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Maitreya, Buddha of the Future

12th century

This classical Nepalese figure, produced by Newar artists from the Kathmandu Valley, shows Maitreya, the future Buddha, spreading the light of wisdom and placing the believer on the path to enlightenment. While light, represented here by gold, did not give rise to major theological developments in Buddhism, the Mahayana school of the Great Vehicle taught that divinities known as bodhisattva have the power to save living beings by leading them to the final enlightenment (bodhi). This imagery of light is reflected in the names of some of these divinities, including the celestial buddhas Vairocana, the Enlightener, and Amitabha, Immeasurable Light.

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Title: Maitreya, Buddha of the Future
Geography: Nepal
Date: 12th century
Medium: copper gilt, semiprecious stones
Classification: religious item
Dimensions: 60 x 16 cm
Inventory number: LAD 2014.033
Contact for images: [email protected]
Permalink: https://www.louvreabudhabi.ae/en/Explore/online-collection/maitreya-a-buddha-in-a-time-yet-to-come
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