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Painted Banner (Thangka) of Bodhisattva Maitreya Surrounded by his Retinue

A work made of opaque watercolor and gold on cotton.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of opaque watercolor and gold on cotton.


16th century


Southern Tibet

About this artwork

The bodhisattva Maitreya, the Buddha of the future, and the successor of Shakyamuni Buddha, is identifiable by the tiny, gold waterpot perched on the lotus near his shoulder at right. He is flanked by two other bodhisattvas; the green one is Vajrapani and the golden one is most likely Manjusri. Collectively, these three deities represent Shakyamuni Buddha’s virtues: Maitreya is the manifestation of his compassion, Manjusri is the manifestation of his wisdom; and Vajrapani is the manifestation of his power. Most of the deities in the margins form part of the bodhisattva’s retinue. The monk who officiated at the thangka’s consecration is at lower right in white.


Currently Off View


Arts of Asia


Painted Banner (Thangka) of Bodhisattva Maitreya Surrounded by his Retinue


Tibet (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Opaque watercolor and gold on cotton


50.2 × 39.7 cm (19 3/4 × 15 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Marilynn B. Alsdorf

Reference Number


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