Skip Navigation

Heritage Search


Buddhist Painting of Beobinsa Temple, Hamyang (The King of Sweet Dew)

함양 법인사 감로왕도 ( 咸陽 法印寺 甘露王圖 )

Heritage Search Detail
Classification Treasure
Name of Cultural Properties Buddhist Painting of Beobinsa Temple, Hamyang (The King of Sweet Dew)
Quantity 1
Designated Date 2011.12.23
Age 1726
Address 14, Geumseong-gil, Anui-myeon, Hamyang-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do

This painting on the theme of the King of Sweet Dew was painted, according to the note written near its bottom edge, in Geumdaeam Hermitage in Hamyang-gun and was intended to be housed in Angugam Hermitage. The painting displays, in the top tier, the images of the Seven Buddhas, Illowang Bosal (Guiding Bodhisattva), Avalokitesvara, Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, and in the middle tier, an altar, hungry ghosts, a monk officiating a death rite and surviving family members of the dead attending the rite. The bottom tier shows images of people dying from various causes, including a forest fire, attack from a tiger and a flood. The iconography is overall that of a typical 18th-century painting of the King of Sweet Dew. The facial contour and the outlines of the body are very precise, and the clothing is finely depicted as well. The color tone with red and green as the dominant colors is rather light, and is well in harmony with the soft atmosphere of this painting. For a painting on the theme of judgment in hell, this painting of the King of Sweet Dew is, in fact, a bit too tame. The hesitant way in which trees under the Seven Buddhas are depicted, and the blank faces of the pretas are some of the examples to this effect. But, the souls of the dead, depicted in ink, are quite realistic and lively. This painting, according to the information provided by the inscription near the bottom edge, was created in 1726, by three monk painters; Chaein, Ilmin, and Taehyeon. These three people are recorded to have collaborated with Uigyeom, a renowned monk artist who was active in the early 18th-century in Jeolla-do and Gyeongsang-do. Chaein, who led this group of three artists had also participated in the creation of the Painting of the King of Sweet Dew of Unheungsa Temple (1730, Gyeongsangnam-do Tangible Cultural Heritage No. 356); which may explain the striking iconographic similarity between the two paintings. The Painting of the King of Sweet Dew of Gwallyongsa Temple is among the oldest extant paintings on this theme and is very telling of the prevailing style in Buddhist painting of the time.