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Water-Moon Avalokiteshvara

Unidentified Artist

Period:
Goryeo dynasty (918–1392)
Date:
first half of the 14th century
Culture:
Korea
Medium:
Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk
Dimensions:
Image: 45 1/16 x 21 7/8 in. (114.5 x 55.6 cm) Overall with knobs: 79 3/8 x 30 1/8 in. (201.6 x 76.5 cm) Overall with mounting: 79 3/8 x 28 in. (201.6 x 71.1 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Charles Stewart Smith Collection, Gift of Mrs. Charles Stewart Smith, Charles Stewart Smith Jr., and Howard Caswell Smith, in memory of Charles Stewart Smith, 1914
Accession Number:
14.76.6
  • Description

    In this scroll painting, the resplendently attired bodhisattva known as Water-Moon Avalokiteshvara (Suwol gwaneum) sits on a rocky outcropping above the waves. The usual attributes of the deity — a small image of the Amitabha Buddha on the crown and a ritual sprinkler holding a willow branch — are present. At the top of the painting is a diminutive moon, in which a hare pounds the elixir of immortality. At the deity’s feet stand elegantly dressed, miniature figures led by the dragon king. At the lower right is the boy pilgrim Sudhana (Seonjae dongja), whose encounter with Avalokiteshvara is recounted in the Avatamsaka Sutra (Flower Adornment Scripture).

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    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
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