With the three dimensionality of Buddha and Bodhisattava, the painting at the main temple of Yongjusa in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province resembles Renaissance religious paintings found in Europe. Research suggests that this painting, which has long been thought to have been drawn in the early 20th century due to the techniques used, was drawn in 1790 by Kim Hong-do (1745-?) and other court painters.
In a paper published in the recent edition of the National Museum of Korea’s journal, Prof. Kang Gwan-sik of Hansung University claims that monks and court painters such as Kim Hong-do, Lee Myeong-gi and Kim Deuk-shin created a new art form in Buddhist art with the “Painting of Buddhas of Three Ages at Yongjusa” by adopting western painting skills of the time when Jeongjo was King of Joseon (1752-1800).”
The infrared photography of the painting shows that the original prayer for this painting was written for a long life of the heir. Prof. Kang says it is highly likely that Jeongjo ordered that his mother’s name should be added when he visited Yongjusa in January 1791, one year after the construction.
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