69.0 x 40.0 x 31.0cm
In the Buddhist art of China and North Asia, Maitreya is represented as both a Buddha and a Bodhisattva. The Historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, is said to have visited Maitreya in the Tushita heaven when he appointed him to be his successor. For this reason Maitreya is also known as the 'Future Buddha'. In later times and in yet another form, Maitreya became one of the most popular of Buddhist images as Budai, the manifestation of the Future Buddha: always represented as a fat jolly fellow commonly referred to as the 'laughing Buddha'. Here Maitreya is represented as a Bodhisattva, identified by the hands held in the dharmachakra (teaching or turning the wheel of the law) 'mudra', with the legs pendant: the only deity in the vast pantheon of Buddhist gods to be shown seated in the European manner. Also visible are the now broken stems of the lotus flower traditionally held by Maitreya. The ornate 'dhoti' tied at the waist and elaborate necklaces, headdress and jewellery are all characteristic of Bodhisattva images of this time, when the influence of the Tibetan style was being felt.
Art Gallery Handbook, 1999. pg.251.
'The Arts of Asia' by Edmund Capon, pg. 20., Look Apr 1997, Apr 1997, 24 (colour illus.).
'The Collections', pg. 44-45., The Art Gallery of New South Wales Bulletin Feb 1997-Apr 1997, Feb 1997-Apr 1997, 45 (colour illus.).
Bruce James (Australia) (Author), Edmund Capon (England; Australia, b.1940) (Director), Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, Domain, 1999, 251 (colour illus.).
'A landmark for the city' by Judith White, pg. 16-19., Look Apr 2001, Apr 2001, 17 (colour illus.). In this publication this object is titled 'Figure of Maitreya'.
Tom Stannage (Australia) (Author), Gold and civilisation, Canberra, 2001, 191 (colour illus.).
The arts of Buddhism 2001, 2001, back cover (colour illus.).
Jackie Menzies (Australia) (Editor), Buddha: Radiant awakening, Sydney, 2001, 165 (colour illus.), 188. cat.no. 121
'The Discovery of Mass: A Footnote to the Stylistic and Iconographic Innovation in Chinese Buddhist Sculpture' by LIU Yang, pg. 88-95., Orientations Sep 2000, Sep 2000, 94 (colour illus.). fig.6
China 'Buddhist Art', The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales 2003, 2003, 98 (colour illus.).
Gold and civilisation, National Museum of Australia, Canberra, 11 Mar 2001–24 Jun 2001.
Gold and civilisation, Melbourne Museum, 18 Jul 2001–21 Oct 2001.
Buddha: Radiant awakening, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 10 Nov 2001–24 Feb 2002.
Great collections (2009), Campbelltown Arts Centre, 12 Dec 2008–18 Jan 2009.
Great collections (2009), Tweed River Regional Art Gallery, 06 Feb 2009–15 Mar 2009.
Great collections (2009), Western Plains Cultural Centre, 03 Apr 2009–10 May 2009.
Great collections (2009), Albury Regional Gallery, 29 May 2009–05 Jul 2009.
Great collections (2009), Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, 24 Jul 2009–30 Aug 2009.