The figure was originally employed as the animal pedestal for a statue of Monju Bosatsu (Skt. Mañjuśrī). The body was painted with blue and the hair was painted with green. The cut gold leaf was streaked on the hair. The figure was well expressed characteristics of the feline beast, such as finely balanced four legs and the accurate angle of the joints, as well as the delicately raised muscle.
Masterworks from the Nara Buddhist Sculpture Hall at the Nara National Museum. Nara National Museum, 2010, p.138, no.152.