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Cast bronze, incised, with traces of gilding
Overall: 45.8 cm (18 1/16 in.); Figure: 39.4 cm (15 1/2 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1950.86
The Sanskrit name of this being, Maitreya, derives from the Sanskrit word for friend, mita.
Buddhism was introduced to Japan in the sixth century. For early Japanese devotees, Buddhism offered the promise of salvation through faith in the Buddha of the Future, who would appear at the end of the world. The concept of eternal salvation held particular resonance with the Japanese aristocracy, who became the staunchest supporters of this new faith. Small sculptures like this one, with its gentle grace and powerful presence, were popular devotional objects.
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