This Buddhist painting depicts the Seven Stars of the Big Dipper, which are worshiped as a deity. For a long time, the Seven Stars have been worshipped in Korean folk religion as a spirit who controls the longevity and fortune of the humans. The worship of the Seven Stars became a part of Buddhism in Korea, which demonstrates how local folk beliefs and practices were incorporated into Korean Buddhism.
This painting was made in 1929 by the painter-monk Wanho (1869-1933), who lived mainly in Busan in the early 20th century, and his disciple Wolju (1913-1992).
In the center of the painting is Tejaprabha Buddha, depicted as the Buddha of Polaris, seated on a pedestal. To either side of his head are seven buddhas who symbolize the Seven Stars. In front of Tejaprabha Buddha stand Suryaprabha (Bodhisattva of Sunlight) and Candraprabha (Bodhisattva of Moonlight), next to whom are eight deities wearing official robes. The yellow patterns depicted on the clothes and the Sanskrit designs engraved on the pedestal are typical characteristics of Wanho’s works.
The overall composition, the layout of the figures, and the depiction of clouds in red and yellow are characteristics of Seven Stars paintings from the 19th to the early 20th century.