Skip Navigation

Heritage Search

National Treasure

Hanging Painting of Gapsa Temple (Buddha Triad)

갑사 삼신불 괘불탱 ( 甲寺 三身佛 掛佛幀 )

Heritage Search Detail
Classification National Treasure
Name of Cultural Properties Hanging Painting of Gapsa Temple (Buddha Triad)
Quantity 1 Item
Designated Date 1997.09.22
Age The 1st year of the reign of King Hyojong of Joseon (1650)
Address Gapsa Temple, 567-3, Gapsa-ro, Gyeryong-myeon, Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do

Gwaebul is a large Buddhist painting that is hung at the front garden of the sanctuary during sermons or ceremonies. The Samsinbul, or the three Buddhas, Sakyamuni, Nosanabul with Vairocana Buddha in the middle, preaching truth is the subject of this gwaebul. It is 1,270.4cm long and 887.6cm wide. It is arranged into three sections; upper, middle, and low. In the upper section there are the images of Avalokitesvara, Bodhisattva of Power, Buddha's disciples and guardian deities. The Samsinbuls are in the middle and the images of Manjusri Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva of Karuna, the Four Guardian Kings and Sarira Buddha are in the lower section. Vairocana Buddha or Buddha of Enlightenment in the middle has a nimbus behind his back and has a round face. He is cloaked in clothes covering his shoulders and holds his right hand in his left hand. Considering his large face and hands, he has a rather small body and the distance between his knees when sitting cross-legged is longer than the width of his shoulders. Nosanabul sitting at the left side of Vairocana Buddha has a jeweled crown on his head. He has both hands lifted to his shoulders, which makes it look as if he is going to preach. The image of Sakyamuni at the right side of Vairocana Buddha has his fingers pointing downwards, the figure of putting off demons. Both Vairocana Buddha and Sakyamuni have singular hairstyles, protruding upwards like a column. The reddish aura of Avalokitesvara, Bodhisattva of Power, the Buddhas of entire world and Buddha's disciples and the splendid colors of the clouds in the upper part of the gwaebul create the image of a beautiful heavenly world. Compared to the upper part, the lower part is more simply arranged. Images of the Four Guardian Kings, Manjusri Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva of Karuna and Sarira Buddhas can be seen in the lower part. Middle tone colors, such as green, red, yellow and the golden color lighten up the whole picture. This gwaebul is unique in that it emphasizes the Samsinbuls in the middle. The date of production is recorded as around 1650. A list of donators of the many materials necessary for the drawing of this picture is also recorded, which makes it possible to assume the financial background of temples in the 17th century.