Maitreya (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

2nd-3rd century
gray schist
Gandhara (present-day Pakistan), India
Overall: 63 1/2 × 22 1/2 × 9 1/2 in. (161.29 × 57.15 × 24.13 cm)
This monumental sculpture of the Bodhisattva Maitreya probably occupied a niche in a stupa or shrine. The Buddha-of-the-future is arrayed in the luxurious finery of an Indian prince, including a necklace with two flying figures and a very elaborateheaddress. His left hand clutches an ornamented vase that contains the elixir (a magical substance) of immortality, and his right hand was probably raised in a gesture of reassurance. On the sculpture's base, small figures of monks and devotees areshown worshipping a central object now effaced.
Kushan period
Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund
Dye, Joseph M. The Arts of India: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. London: Philipp Wilson, 2001. (cat. no. 7, p. 97)
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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