Pakistan (ancient Gandhara)
Schist with pigment and gold
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, S1987.904
Maitreya is a bodhisattva (enlightened being) who will become the Buddha of the Future. As Buddhism developed, the historical Buddha, Siddhartha, was considered the most recent in a series of seven past Buddhas, with Maitreya as the eighth and last Buddha to come. Still a bodhisattva, he is depicted as a princely figure with elaborate ornaments; a Buddha would invariably wear a simple monk's robe.