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Iron Seated Buddha of Silsangsa Temple, Namwon

남원 실상사 철조여래좌상 ( 南原 實相寺 鐵造如來坐像 )

Heritage Search Detail
Classification Treasure
Name of Cultural Properties Iron Seated Buddha of Silsangsa Temple, Namwon
Quantity 1 Buddha statue
Designated Date 1963.01.21
Age Unified Silla
Address Silsangsa Temple, 50, Ipseok-gil, Sannae-myeon, Namwon, Jeollabuk-do

A representative artwork of the late Unified Silla period, this iron statue of a seated Buddha has been preserved since the foundation of Silsangsa Temple in the early ninth century and is justly very famous. During the late Unified Silla Period, iron statues of Buddha were made by many Zen Buddhist temples around the country, and this particular example clearly exhibits the style of Buddha statues of that time.
The Buddha’s hair is expressed in the curly nabal style (i.e. twirled up and around in a seashell-shaped fashion), and a small usnisa (a protuberance symbolizing supreme wisdom) can be seen on top of his head. The Buddha’s ears are reasonably long, while the samdo, i.e. the three wrinkles on the neck, can hardly be seen. The low brow, crescent-shaped eyes, and closed mouth convey a serious expression unlike the lively, gentle image of the Buddha statues of the previous period. Although the Buddha’s shoulders are smooth and his chest curved, the overall impression is of a dull clumsiness, while the Buddha’s beobui (sacerdotal robe), draped over both shoulders, gives off a heavy feeling. The wrinkles in the garments are shaped like short "U"s, a popular technique of the time.
The iron seated Buddha at Silsangsa Temple was one of many iron statues made during the period of transition from the tense and vital works of the eighth century to the more subdued style of the ninth century.