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Hanging Scroll Behind the Buddha in Daeungjeon Hall of Heungguksa Temple

흥국사 대웅전 후불탱 ( 興國寺 大雄殿 後佛幀 )

Heritage Search Detail
Classification Treasure
Name of Cultural Properties Hanging Scroll Behind the Buddha in Daeungjeon Hall of Heungguksa Temple
Quantity 1 painting
Designated Date 1974.07.09
Age Late Joseon Period
Address Heungguksa Temple San 17, Jungheung-dong, Yeosu, Jeollanam-do

This hanging scroll represents Shakyamuni Buddha in sermon at Vulture Peak, before a group of Bodhisattvas, demigods and disciples. This gigantic painting in ink and color on silk measures 4.27m by 5.07m. Thangka are paintings on a Buddhist subject, usually realized on fabric or paper and mounted into a scroll or frame. Shakyamuni Buddha, seated on a throne at the center, is flanked by six Bodhisattvas, standing on either side. Next to the Bodhisattvas are the Four Guardian Kings. Shakyamuni’s ten disciples and other followers are harmoniously distributed with some placed behind him, and some right next to him. The Buddha’s robe leaves his left shoulder bare, and his round face is plump. The dominant colors are red and green. The green paint used for the nimbus around the Buddha’s head is somewhat too glossy to render the diffuse radiance a nimbus is supposed to be. Meanwhile, the gold paint used for floral motifs and garment folds provides a flattering touch to this hanging scroll, adding to its refined atmosphere. The hanging scroll was painted in 1693 (the 19th year of King Sukjong’s reign) by two monk painters, Cheonsin and Uicheon, to wish the king health and a long life and pray for peace in the country. This work with well-shaped figures and elegant colors is considered amongst the masterpieces of 17th-century Buddhist painting.