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Buddhist Painting in Daegwangmyeongjeon Hall of Tongdosa Temple (Buddha Triad)

통도사 대광명전 삼신불도 ( 通度寺 大光明殿 三身佛圖 )

Heritage Search Detail
Classification Treasure
Name of Cultural Properties Buddhist Painting in Daegwangmyeongjeon Hall of Tongdosa Temple (Buddha Triad)
Quantity 3
Designated Date 1990.09.20
Address Tongdosa Museum 108, Tongdosa-ro, Habuk-myeon, Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do

This painting of the Buddha triad used silk as canvas (3.15 m wide and 4.6 m long), depicting Vairocana Buddha flanked by Rocana Buddha and Sakyamuni Buddha. At the center of the painting, Vairocana, the principal Buddha, wears a robe that covers both shoulders and displays vajra mudra symbolizing that Buddha and the people are the one. On his left side, Rocana Buddha raises both hands as if preaching and wears a covering robe and a jeweled crown on his head. On the right side of Vairocana Buddha, Sakyamuni Buddha shows bhumisparsa mudra, the hand gesture of defeating evil, with his robe covering only the left shoulder. Placed under Rocana and Sakyamuni Buddha are two pairs of Guardian Kings, one pair for each, making the overall composition of the painting look as if the Guardian Kings protect the Buddha triad. During the Joseon Period, a painting of the Buddha triad usually depicted Sakyamuni, Amitabha, and Bhaisajyaguru Buddha. Nonetheless, this one, painted by Im Han and Ha Yun in 1759 (35th year of King Yeongjo’s reign), is a rare example featuring Vairocana, Rocana, and Sakyamuni Buddha as a triad. It is very important for the research on both art history and Buddhist history of Korea.