The first #chinese #buddhist sculptures of #maitreya were very ornate.
However from the Sung paintings and sculptures expressing the popular belief that a Buddhist monk was an avatar of of maitreya known as Budai or Hotei in Japan.
Now this first image is Maitreya in Tantric and Esoteric Chinese and Japanese Buddhist art ... well the ideal version and in an earlier post I showed you Indian and early Chinese versions but there was a reaction distant ornate imagery partly as the influence of the Chan sects spread and partly because a simpler image is easier to render in and on less expensive mediums.
Budai had greater market appeal ?
This is Ming dynasty
Budai here is a monk conversing with a Confucian scholar.
An visual expression of forms of Ne-Confucianism that attempted to reconcile the Way of Confucius with Buddha, an ongoing philosophical ideological and sometimes also political problem over the centuries in China.
Finally here's a Qing dynasty version of the popular ceramic "Fat / Lucky Buddha version.
Compared to some versions I've seen this one is restrained and tasteful!
I've also seen this as Japanese Okimono and Netsuke.
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