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Object ID: B72D38
Designation: The Buddha Amitabha with the eight great bodhisattvas
Object Name: Hanging scroll
Date: Goryeo dynasty, approx. 1350-1390
Medium: Ink, colors, and gold on silk
Place of Origin: Korea
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Label: 㪼䐈⽀䊀㍨㧀ⳬ䴀䌌㽌
The Buddha Amitabha with the eight great bodhisattvas, approx. 1350-1390
Korea; Goryeo dynasty
Hanging scroll; ink, colors, and gold on silk
Here Amitabha, the Buddha of Infinite Light, is surrounded by the Eight Great Bodhisattvas. Amitabha is one of the most compassionate figures in the Buddhist pantheon, and a central figure of Pure Land Buddhism, which proliferated in East Asia, including Vietnam, China, Korea, and Japan. Amitabha promised all believers rebirth in the Pure Land, where souls are reborn rid of all impurities.
The accompanying eight bodhisattvas are (on the right, from bottom to top:) Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri, Maitreya, and Vajrapani, and (on the left, from bottom to top:) Mahasthamaprapta, Samantabhadra, Kshitigarbha, and Sarvanivarana Vishkambhin. The link between Amitabha and the eight bodhisattvas is mentioned in a Korean version of the Eight Great Bodhisattvas Mandala Sutra, in the "Practices" chapter. Many scholars believe that the pairing of Amitabha with these eight bodhisattvas is unique to Korea.
Typical of late Goryeo Buddhist paintings, the figures in this painting are adorned with sumptuous garments decorated with delicate gold patterns, translucent nimbuses, and gilded skin tones. The luxurious aesthetics evident in this painting were prevalent during the Goryeo dynasty.
On display: no
Collection: Painting
Dimensions: H. 59 1/2 in x W. 34 15/16 in, H. 151.1 cm x W. 88.7 cm (image); H. 102 1/2 in x W. 43 in, H. 260.6 cm x W. 109.9 cm (overall)
Department: Korean Art