Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Maitreya Main Page

Bodhisattva Main Page

Database Search: All Images | Painting | Sculpture | Bodhisattva Maitreya | Buddha Maitreya

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Maitreya Description (below)
- Masterworks
- Iconographic Forms & Types
- Maitreya Outline Page
- Mandala secondary figure
- Narrative Forms: Life Story, Manjushri & Maitreya
- Art History Topics
- Confusions: Dipamkara, Shakya Sengge, Lokeshvara
- Others...


Three Key Subjects:
- Appearance (Buddha or Peaceful Deity)
- Posture (Seated or Standing)
- Attributes (Vase, stupa, wheel, mala, deerskin)

Iconography: Three Main Topics:
- Peaceful Appearance: non-iconic, narrative based, a student of the Buddha from Mahayana literature
- Buddha Appearance: Buddha of the Future, narrative based
- Meditational Deity: iconic, based on the Tantra (Vajrayana) literature

Maitreya (Tibetan: cham pa. English: Love), the bodhisattva of loving kindness and the Buddha of the next future eon after the age of Shakyamuni Buddha. Maitreya is believed to currently reside in the Tushita Heaven and is typically depicted as having either a Peaceful Appearance (Bodhisattva) or Buddha Appearance.

Tibetan: Jetsun Jampa Gonpo (rje btsun byams pa mgon po)

In painting, Maitreya is commonly depicted in peaceful appearance and very often grouped with the Eight Great Bodhisattvas. Either Shakyamuni or Amitabha Buddha typically appear as the central composition or sculpture for such sets.

"With the fire of great love burning the fuel of anger,
The light of pristine awareness removes the darkness of ignorance.
Heir to the Conqueror's Dharma, upcoming leader of beings;
To the one residing in Tushita, I bow." (Buddhist liturgical verse).

Iconographic Attributes:
- Stupa
- Water Flask
- Wheel
- Tree Branch
- Mala (bead garland)
- Deer Skin
- Legs Pendant

Jeff Watt 2-2002 [updated 2-2016, 5-2017]