Maitreya is considered the successor to the founder of the Buddhist faith. When Maitreya comes in the future, he will bring universal salvation and happiness. Until that time, Buddhists believe that they are reborn after death in accordance with their deeds in life.

This altarpiece is one of the largest and finest surviving examples of Maitreya. The slender form is decoratively enrobed in elongated triangular folds suggesting the mysteries of a higher realm.
Artist Chinese
Title
  • Maitreya
Date 520
Medium Gilt bronze
Dimensions Overall: 17 3/4 × 6 1/2 × 6 inches (45.1 × 16.5 × 15.2 cm)
Credit Line Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edsel B. Ford
Accession Number 30.303
Department Asian Art
Not On View
Inscriptions On back of base: In the first year of Jeng Kuang, the tenth month, the twenty seventh day, I, Fu Lin-du, on behalf of the parents of seven generations, for the family now living, and for all infinite creation, revently cast this image of Maitreya, and offer in sacrifice incense and flowers, hoping that the entirety of living creatures passing through Maitreys's three stages of transformation will quickly become Buddhas."
Formerly in the collection of:
Dr. Friederich Sarre, Berlin.
DIA BULLETIN, vol 12, no 2, 1930, p 14.

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DIA, LOAN EXHIBITION OF CHINESE ART, Nov 19-Dec 12, 1929, no 66.

Cohn, W., "Maitreya," KUNST UND KUNSTLER, XXI, ff 69.

Glaser, C., OSTASIATISCHE PLASTIK, Berlin, 1925, fig 29-31.

Salmony, Alfred, EXHIBITION OF CHINESE ART, Mills College, California, Oct-Dec, 1934, no 200.

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University Liggett School, Grosse Pointe Woods, Mi, UNIVERSITY LIGGETT ANTIQUES SHOW, June 13-16, 1979, pp 74, 76.

"FAMILY ART GAME", DIA Advertising Supplement, DETROIT NEWS, April 10, 1983, p 24 (ill).