The deity is one of many small apsaras, or heavenly beings, attached to the mandorla of an over-life-sized statue of Amida Buddha. The robe and surface of this example have retained much of their gold leaf. For another apsara from this set formerly in the collection of the Osaka businessman Muto Sanji, see London Gallery, ed., Buddha's Smile: Masterpieces of Japanese Buddhist Art, exh. cat (Tokyo: Okura Shukokan, 2000), pl. 33.
Three more apsaras, possibly from the same group, are illustrated in Anne Nishimura Morse and Nobuo Tsuji, eds., Japanese Art in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Tokyo: Kodansha, 1998), vol. 2, pls. 29-31, pp. 184-85. One, said to be from the mandorla of the Amida at Kofukuji, Nara, entered the museum collection in 1912.