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Antique Chinese Marble Stone
Maitreya Buddha

Seated on Double Plint
Qing Dynasty, 19th Century
h.18in.(46cm.) X w.8.5in.(21.5cm.) X d.8in.(20cm.)
Condition: excellent!

This Maitreya, carved in pure white marble, sits poised and stately, its symmetry and uprightness enhancing a surface that bears its signs of age as markings left by twisting vines adhering to the sculpture, suggesting its original placement was outdoors in a temple garden or shrine.

The future Buddha is seated on a draped plinth atop a lotus base. His upper torso is bare; he is attired in fine robes and ornaments, a sacred cord and crown, and bears an expression of quiescent tenderness. The work conveys a sense of softness, echoed in the youthful face with its serene smile and the lyrical note of curving drapery. The Qing taste for Song style is evident in the broad features and graceful linearity.

Private Collection

All Buddhas represent the one pure consciousness existing at all times, in all places and throughout every dimension, yet the mind can only grasp this ubiquity in the form of personages, therefore Maitreya Buddha waits serenely in the future, promising an end to all misfortune, a time when wishes shall be fulfilled and defilements overcome. He is a deity of bountifulness and generosity whose name in Sanskrit means “merciful one.” The Buddha of the future rests in Tushita heaven until the time arrives for him to manifest on earth to lead suffering sentient beings out of the confusion of a degenerate time, presumed to be five thousand years after the appearance of the Gautama Buddha.

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