Unknown15th century AD

Museo d'Arte Orientale

Museo d'Arte Orientale
Torino, Italy

The bodhisattva destined to succeed Shakyamuni Buddha is depicted in splendid robes, seated on the lion throne that anticipates his future role and flanked by four Lokapalas. With his hands forming the dharmacakra-mudra (the gesture of setting the wheel of the law in motion), which also indicates his future mission as promulgator of doctrine, he holds the stems of plants and flowers on which rest his distinctive attributes (cakra and kalasha). His hairstyle culminates in a small gilded stupa, a recurring element in his iconography. The outer frame is occupied by the 35 Confession Buddhas, while at either side of the halo around his head are depicted Marpa, Milarepa and the great masters of the bKa’-brgyud-pa sect.


  • Title: Maitreya
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Creator Lifespan: 15th century AD
  • Date: 15th century AD
  • Physical Dimensions: w98 x h114 cm
  • Origins: Tibet
  • Objects: 'thang-ka' (dipinto arrotolato)
  • Provenance: Comune di Torino
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: All Rights Reserved - MAO Museo d'Arte Orientale, Turin
  • Medium: Tempera on cotton

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