Image: 33 1/4 × 14 1/2 in. (84.5 × 36.8 cm)
Overall with mounting: 79 × 25 3/8 in. (200.7 × 64.5 cm)
Overall with knobs: 79 in. × 27 1/4 in. (200.7 × 69.2 cm)
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Gift of Horace Havemeyer, 1929
Not on view
A compassionate bodhisattva who rescues sentient beings from descending into hell or purgatory, Kshitigarbha (Korean: Jijang) became enormously popular during the Goryeo period. A key figure in Pure Land Buddhism, Kshitigarbha was often depicted singly and in the guise of a monk—with a shaved head, wearing a monk’s robe, and holding his standard attributes, a staff and a wish-fulfilling jewel (cintamani). This exquisite scroll is a well-preserved example of Goryeo Buddhist painting. Some of its hallmarks are the deity’s graceful facial features and slender fingers, the red and green colors of the robe, and the sumptuously elegant gold decoration.
Very few Korean paintings made prior to the fourteenth century survive. Buddhist paintings of the Goryeo dynasty are renowned for their delicacy and refinement. Most, if not all, were commissioned by members of the royal family and the aristocracy and were painted by monk-painters or professional court painters.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Bodhisattva Jizo, Guardian of Wandering Souls," February 21, 1990–May 20, 1990.
New York. Asia Society. "The Story of a Painting: The Korean Buddhist Treasure from the Burke Foundation," April 23, 1991–July 28, 1991.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Arts of Korea," June 7, 1998–January 24, 1999.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Korea," January 14, 2005–October 29, 2006.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Buddhist Paintings from the Koryō Dynasty (918–1392)," May 8, 2007–October 22, 2007.
Seoul. National Museum of Korea. "Masterpieces of Goryeo Dynasty," October 11, 2010–November 21, 2010.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art of Korea: Buddhism and Buddhist Art," December 9, 2011–June 3, 2012.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Korea: 100 Years of Collecting at the Met," February 7, 2015–March 27, 2016.