Bodhisattva Kshitigarbha (Jijang bosal)

Historical period(s)
Late Goryeo period, Late 13th or early 14th century
Ink, color and gold on silk
H x W (overall): 200.7 x 72.4 cm (79 x 28 1/2 in)H x W (painting): 107.6 x 49.4 cm (42 3/8 x 19 7/16 in)
Credit Line
Anonymous gift
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

Buddhism, Goryeo period (918 - 1392), Ji-jang, Korea, WWII-era provenance
Provenance research underway.

The Buddhist diety known in Korean as Jijang, or in Sanskrit as Kshitigarbha, was a bodhisattva (enlightened being) revered for his merciful deliverance of living beings from the world of suffering. He was also believed to have the power to rescue those who were unjustly sentenced to hell.Jijang is customarily portrayed, as in this painting, wearing the garments of a Buddhist monk. His sacred status is represented by a circular halo and the lotus-shaped pedestals on which he stands. In his left hand he holds a staff with six rings, which would announce, through their distinctive sound, the presence of a Buddhist priest; in his right hand he holds a circular gem, which has the power to grant wishes.Korean Buddhist paintings reached a peak of refinement under the patronage of the kings of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392). The richness and elegance typical of Koryo Buddhist paintings can be seen in Jijang's ornate robes, which are embellished with delicate patterns painted in gold.

Published References

Kumja Paik Kim. Goryeo Dynasty: Korea's Age of Enlightenment, 918-1392. Exh. cat. San Francisco. cat. 16, pp. 76-77.Paths to Perfection, Buddhist Art at the Freer/Sackler. Washington, D.C. pp. 108-109.Korean Art in the Freer and Sackler Galleries. Washington, D.C. no. 7.3, p. 133.Ideals of Beauty: Asian and American Art in the Freer and Sackler Galleries. Thames and Hudson World of Art London and Washington, 2010. p. 166.

Collection Area(s)
Korean Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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