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Last BuddhaFuture Buddha
Song Dynasty Stone Buddha

Antique Chinese Schist Stone
Maitreya Buddha

Treading on Two Lotuses
Song Dynasty, 10th-12th Century
h.25.5in.(65cm.) X w.9in.(23cm.) X d.10in.(25.5cm.)
Condition: Gilt and pigment erosions

Song Dynasty Stone Buddha

 

Private Collection

Maitreya, the Buddha of the future, whose name means gentleness, rests in sublime ease in Tushita heaven, awaiting the time when the world will have fallen into deep forgetfulness of the Dharma, when he will manifest and lead sentient beings to liberation. Already he is guiding the propagation of the Buddhist faith from his heavenly abode.

This representation shows Maitreya with right hand in the gesture granting fearlessness; the left hand lowered in generosity. The carving is controlled and devoid of extraneous forms. The robes descend in simple repeated draping curves with traces of red and blue pigment remaining. The gilding has flaked off of much of the piece, leaving a gleaming patchwork of antiquity. A gentle smile breaks through the surface to transmit the benevolent spirit. The hands and the feet are substantially carved and attentively detailed, both feet resting upon lotuses. Upright and immovable in the faith, this stone statue seems to float above the earth.

  
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