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Buddhist Painting of Namjangsa Temple, Sangju (The King of Sweet Dew)

상주 남장사 감로왕도 ( 尙州 南長寺 甘露王圖 )

Heritage Search Detail
Classification Treasure
Name of Cultural Properties Buddhist Painting of Namjangsa Temple, Sangju (The King of Sweet Dew)
Quantity 1
Designated Date 2010.02.24
Age 1701
Address Namjangsa Temple 259-22, Namjang 1-gil, Sangju, Gyeongsangbuk-do

This painting dating from 1701, by Takhwi and several other monk painters is the oldest 18th-century painting on the theme of the King of Sweet Dew. Each scene is accompanied by a descriptive title, very helpful for iconographical understanding of this painting. The brushstrokes are elegant, and the bright color tone with pink and yellow as dominant colors, coupled with the use of gold in profuse amount, gives the painting brilliance and splendor. The space is divided into three levels. The top level features the Seven Buddhas, Bodhisattva King Illo (Yinlu in Chinese), Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva and Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, and the middle level is occupied by the scene of monks holding a rite in front of an altar. Finally, the bottom level shows various scenes involving dead souls, arranged in an orderly fashion. The composition of this Sweet Dew painting later became the prototype for 18th-century Buddhist paintings on the same theme. The Namjangsa Temple painting not only offers precious windows into the history and evolution of Sweet Dew paintings made in the Joseon Period, but is also remarkable for the quality of execution displayed in the many iconographic elements composing it.