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Rock-carved Standing Buddha of Deokjusa Temple, Jecheon

제천 덕주사 마애여래입상 ( 堤川 德周寺 磨崖如來立像 )

Heritage Search Detail
Classification Treasure
Name of Cultural Properties Rock-carved Standing Buddha of Deokjusa Temple, Jecheon
Quantity 1 Buddha statue
Designated Date 1964.09.03
Age Goryeo
Address Deokjusa Temple 1, Songgye-ri, Hansu-myeon, Jecheon, Chungcheongbuk-do

This Buddha statue is carved on the east stone wall of Deokjusa Temple located on the middle of Woraksan Mountain in Jecheon. According to Donggungnyeojiseungnam (Augmented Survey of the Geography of Korea), the temple was built by Princess Deokju, the older sister of Silla's Crown Prince Maui. It was burned down and destroyed during the Korean War and all that remains are the temple grounds. The large statue, carved on the southern part of the granite wall, is 13 meters in height. The face is carved so as to stick out while the body is carved in lines only. On the flat head is a semicircular usnisa (a protuberance symbolizing supreme wisdom). It has a chubby face with elongated eyes, a large nose, and an emphatic hanging chin. This kind of exaggeration can be seen commonly in large Buddha statues from the Goryeo Dynasty. The neck is almost non-existent so that the head is basically just sitting on the body. Samdo, i.e. the three wrinkles that are supposed to be on the neck are instead carved on the upper part of the body. The body is only depicted as lines, ignoring the shape of the body, and looks strange. The beobeui (sacerdotal robe) around the shoulders hangs weakly and the folds in the clothing also lack vividness. The right hand is held up to the chest with the thumb and middle finger together, and the back of the left hand is showing. The feet are spread to the sides and are almost too big, with long, thick toes. They are supported by pedestals in the form of lotus flowers. This statue was made during the early Goryeo Dynasty, possibly in the eleventh century when the making of such large Buddha statues was becoming popular. The carving method used for the chubby face and the simple, two-dimensional body makes the statue seem rather awkward in comparison to its size.