Located on the flank of Tohamsan Mountain in Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Bulguksa Temple was founded by Kim Dae-seong in 751 (the 10th year of the reign of King Gyeongdeok during the Unified Silla Period).
According to Samguk yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms), Bulguksa Temple was built for the parents of Kim’s present life, whereas Seokguram Grotto was carved for the parents of his previous existence.
This 1.66-meter-tall statue of Amitabha Buddha is enshrined in Geungnakjeon Hall of Bulguksa Temple.
The Buddha has a cranial protuberance on top of his head, while the face has a benign look, with semicircular eyelashes and a shapely nose.
The broad shoulder, imposing chest and nice shape create a strong and magnificent impression, while the wide-open lap makes the statue look more balanced and stable.
The robe, thrown over the left shoulder with the right shoulder exposed, is roughly folded; especially the folds protruding from the inside of collar were so vividly expressed.
The slightly narrowed left hand, raised to the shoulder, shows the palm, while the right hand, with the index and middle fingers bent a little, lies on the lap.
The firmly built shoulders, voluminous chest and slim waist of the statue make it an ideal and highly refined work of the Unified Silla Period.
This statue is regarded as one of the three greatest gilt-bronze Buddhist statues of the Unified Silla Period, along with the Gilt-bronze Seated Vairocana Buddha of Bulguksa Temple (National Treasure No. 26) and the Gilt-bronze Standing Bhaisajyaguru Buddha of Baengnyulsa Temple (National Treasure No. 28).