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Meditating Half-Seated Gilt-Bronze Maitreya Bodhisattva Statue

Meditating Half-Seated Gilt-Bronze Maitreya Bodhisattva Statue

Heritage Search Detail
Classification National Treasure 78
Name of Cultural Properties Gilt-bronze Pensive Maitreya Bodhisattva
Quantity 1 Item
Designated Date 1962.12.20
Age Three Kingdoms Period
Owner National Property
Manager National Museum of Korea
This 80-centimeter high gilt-bronze pensive Maitreya Bodhisattva is seated on a stool-like pedestal with his right leg crossed over his left, the fingers of his right hand gently touching his cheek.

It was acquired by a Japanese collector in 1912 and donated to the Japanese Government-General of Joseon before being turned over to its museum in 1916.

Currently, the statue is on display at the National Museum of Korea.

The bodhisattva is wearing a lavishly decorated headgear from which two strands are drawn over to both shoulders.

He has a rather squarely, plump face wearing a benign smile and a sleek, imposing body with slender limbs and comparatively large hands and feet, all of which highlight his elegant physical appearance.

He is clothed in a celestial veil robe that covers both shoulders before being draped down to cover the knees.

The lower garment, made of a rather thick fabric, has many U-shaped folds exhibiting excellent workmanship.

The oval pedestal on which the bodhisattva places his left leg is decorated with a lotus motif, but the mandorla (Buddhist halo of light) is missing.

An X-ray inspection carried out in 1963 revealed that it has no trace of defect or repair either inside or out, and that it was made of a rare material using unique techniques.

Art historians believe, based on the statue’s balanced physique, beautifully rendered robe folds, and pensive look, that it was made in the mid- or late 6th century during which the Korean style of bodhisattva images emerged.