Amitayus is the Buddha of Infinite Life, and he can be recognized by the vase he holds in his lap, a symbol of longevity as it contains amrita, the nectar of immortality. Amitayus is a form of Amitabha, a buddha who is said to bring his devotees to his Pure Land after death, where they are freed from the cycle of samsara and reach enlightenment. Amitayus and Amitabha are revered throughout East Asia as well as in Tibet. In Tibetan Buddhist culture, an image of Amitayus is often commissioned for the sake of a practitioner’s long life. He is often depicted with two other deities, White Tara (bottom right) and Ushnishavijaya (bottom left); together they are known as the three deities of long life. This pictorial form, in which the entire ground of the painting rendered in gold, is very expensive and increases the merit generated by its commission.
20 1/8 x 17 1/8 x 2 1/4 in.