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Korean J Art Hist > Volume 300; 2018 > Article
Korean Journal of Art History 2018;300:167-195.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.31065/ahak.300.300.201812.006    Published online December 31, 2018.
갑사 대웅전 소조석가여래삼불좌상 및 사보살입상 연구
김 광 희
문화재청 문화재감정위원
Clay Seated Sakyamuni Buddha Triad and Four Standing Bodhisattvas in Daeungjeon Hall of Gapsa Temple
Gwang hee Kim
Conniosseur of Cultural Heritage, Cultural Heritage Administration
Received: 7 September 2018   • Revised: 17 September 2018   • Accepted: 6 October 2018
This study analyses in detail the iconography of seven Buddhas and bodhisattvas, the style and production technique of the monk sculptor Haengsa, and the context of production and art historical significance of the Clay Seated Sakyamuni Buddha Triad and Four Standing Bodhisattvas in Daeungjeon Hall of Gapsa Temple(Hereafter, the Clay Buddhas of Three Worlds in Gapsa Temple). The Clay Buddhas of Three Worlds in Gapsa Temple are the works of the monk sculptor Haengsa, made in 1617. They are clay-made sculptures of monumental size and are early examples of Buddhist sculpture from late Joseon. The contrast of the flat upper body and the voluminous lower body is distinctive and the scheme of three Buddhas and four bodhisattvas is rare to find. The iconography of seven Buddhas and bodhisattvas have been understood as a variation of the Buddhas of Three Worlds and attending bodhisattvas, as the name “Maitreya” is written on the crown of a bodhisattva. Consequently, the three Buddhas are assumed to be the Buddhas of Three Worlds, namely, Sakyamuni, Bhaisajyaguru, Amitabha, and the four bodhisattvas, Manjusri, Samantabhadra, Maitreya, and Dipamkara. The concept of the Buddhas of Three Worlds encompassing all space and time, is an original iconography that displays the changes of three Buddhas and its context in the late Joseon period. This Buddha triad is also the only work that names Haengsa as its main sculptor in the letter of prayer found inside the sculpture. The characteristics and production technique are also examined in detail in the study. Haengsa favored a long torso and flat knees in his sculptures, whose vestments and drapery, and the crown and necklace of the bodhisattvas combined the traditions of the 16th century and the new style of the 17th century. The sculptures also show the influence of Gakmin, a monk sculptor assumed to be Haengsa’s teacher, in its wide brow, angular shoulders, and slender body. However, whereas Gakmin’s facial features are more pronounced and aristocratic, Haengsa’s Buddhas have more friendly, flatter, and wider faces. As for the production technique, scientific research reveals that clay was put over cores made by joining several pieces of wood. The technique of lacquer used on the crown is also remarkable. In conclusion, Haengsa was an exceptional sculptor who had command over different materials such as wood, clay, and lacquer. Lastly, the letter of prayer lists the names of over 2,300 donators-360 monks and 1,974 laymen. The names include female monk Myo-chong, apparently of a high status, monk Yeong-gue from Gapsa Temple who led an army of monks, and monk sculptors and monks from Choongcheong-do and Jeolla-do Provinces. This is significant as they are indicative of the importance of the temple and the Buddhist works.
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