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Korean J Art Hist > Volume 301; 2019 > Article
Korean Journal of Art History 2019;301:5-36.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.31065/ahak.301.301.201903.001    Published online March 31, 2019.
고려후기 마애불에 대한 고찰: 조성시기와 특징을 중심으로
이 해 림
단국대학교 석사
Rock-carved Buddhas of the Late Goryeo Dynasty: Production Dates and Styles
Hae-rim Lee
Master, Dankook University
Received: 30 August 2018   • Revised: 17 September 2018   • Accepted: 9 November 2018
The aims of this study are to determinate the production dates of rock-carved Buddhas, until now roughly dated to the late Goryeo Dynasty, and to understand their characteristic styles. Earth surface investigations reveal that each rock-carved Buddha stood in close proximity to temples that were in existence between the early Goryeo Dynasty and Joseon. Although there are no evidences on the histories of the temples or the exact circumstances under which the carvings were made, it can be assumed that they were produced under the influences of the temples that worshipped Buddha. The styles of rock-carved Buddhas are explained by generality and diversity. Made during the late Goryeo Dynasty, they were placed near grain-transport warehouses and water routes, and more specifically on natural stones that look down on villages or roads. This choice of location was presumably because the rock-carved Buddhas were primarily made to pray for protection and safety since the ancient times. As the centers of Buddhist worship were moved to the provinces after Military Officers’ Revolt of 1170, the location of rock-carved Buddhas were explained to be the result of the growth of provincial styles. However, the techniques seen on traditional-style statues and paintings patronized by the royal family and aristocrats are also recognized on the rock-carved Buddhas, making it possible to posit that they were made by provincial patrons who could learn from upper class culture and express them. Moreover, several iconographical patterns appear across the country, showing that there existed basic designs for the rock-carved Buddhas and schools of stonemasons who shared them. There are also examples that were modified from original patterns, a novel type of crown, and mudras that resemble those of esoteric Buddhism. In conclusion, rock-carved Buddhas of the late Goryeo Dynasty had accordingly embraced and expressed generality of past culture and diversity of new culture, and were received by several classes by accommodating their faiths. Moreover, as they existed at the transition period from Goryeo to Joseon, they have fully performed their role of sharing the past and moving into the new era.
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