The bodhisattva Maitreya, anonymous, c. 200 - c. 300

The bodhisattva Maitreya, anonymous, c. 200 - c. 300

slate, polychrome, gilding, h 52.0cm × w 30.0cm × d 12.0cm. More details

Maitreya, the Buddha of the future, is making the abhaya mudra, or ‘fear not’ gesture. His webbed fingers are a sign of his divine nature. This figure shows that Buddhist art in Gandhara, which was in contact via trade routes with regions around the Mediterranean Sea, was influenced by Greco-Roman sculpture. The drapery folds of the Maitreya’s lower garment, for instance, recall Roman figures, while his hairstyle is based on representations of the Greek god Apollo.

On display in Aziatisch Paviljoen, room 1 Asian art Bodhisattva

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