Small digitally-printed thangka.
Maitreya is a bodhisattva who will appear on Earth in the future, achieve complete enlightenment, and teach the pure Dharma. According to scriptures, Maitreya will be a successor to the present Buddha, Gautama or Shakyamuni Buddha. The prophecy of the arrival of Maitreya refers to a time in the future where the Dharma will have been forgotten by most beings in the world.
Maitreya is typically pictured seated, with either both feet on the ground or crossed at the ankles, on a throne, waiting for his time. He is dressed in the clothes of either a monk or Indian royalty. As a bodhisattva, he would usually be standing and dressed in jewels. He usually wears a small stupa in his headdress holding the relics of Shakyamuni Buddha and can be holding a Dharma wheel resting on a lotus. A katag is always tied around his waist as a girdle.