Maitreya Triad

Northern Wei Dynasty
Beilin Museum, Xi'an

Turning now to some of the religious statuary in the museum, here is a triad consisting of a Buddha flanked by two bodhisattvas and a pair of lions. According to the posture of his crossed feet, this should be Maitreya, the Buddha of the Future. (The museum label identifies it only as "a Buddha.") Almond-shaped mandorlas (halos) are characteristic of this period. The back of the stele is decorated with smaller buddhas and a design of flames. At its base, two bodhisattvas flank an incense burner.