During the reign of the Qianlong Emperor, who was himself a fervent Buddhist devotee, the production of Buddhist images, paintings, and ritual items, drastically increased to fill the large numbers of temples and religious halls built during this period. In some temples, such as the Fanhua Lou at the Forbidden City, the entirety of the Buddhist pantheon, numbering in the several hundreds of deities and important personages, were depicted sculpturally in gilt-bronze, as illustrated by Yu Zhuoyun in Palaces of the Forbidden City, Hong Kong, 1982, pp. 180-181, figs. 200 and 201. Although the present work does not bear an identifying inscription, it is highly likely the figure depicts an important disciple or teacher from the lineage of the Gelugpa sect, which was the dominant strain of Tibetan Buddhism in China at this time.