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Korean J Art Hist > Volume 302; 2019 > Article
Korean Journal of Art History 2019;302:37-66.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.31065/ahak.302.302.201906.002    Published online June 30, 2019.
고려시대 신앙의례와 불교회화 시론(試論) - ‘대고려918·2018 그 찬란한 도전’ 특별전 출품작을 중심으로 -
정 명 희
국립중앙박물관 학예연구관
The Functions of Paintings in Buddhist Rituals during the Goryeo Period - Focus on the paintings exhibited at the ‘Goryeo: the Glory of Korea’–
Myoung hee Jeong
Curator, National Museum of Korea
Received: 28 March 2019   • Revised: 6 April 2019   • Accepted: 19 May 2019
Abstract
This study is a survey of the functions of paintings in Buddhist rituals, focusing on the items presented at the exhibition, “Goryeo: the Glory of Korea,” at the National Museum of Korea. Thirty-four paintings showing the cultural exchanges in the North-east Asia were showcased, including twenty paintings made during the Goryeo period. Although the remaining works were mostly made in a short period of 150 years from the mid-14th to the end of the 15th century, written evidences reveal that paintings of various themes were used to adorn religious venues. The choice of a theme was likely dictated by Buddhist doctrines and religious intentions, but based on historical records and inscriptions, it can be deduced that the doctrinal significances were not absolute and the functions of paintings were increased according to how they were worshipped and employed in religious practices. The Buddhist paintings contributed to sound management of temples. Regular ceremonies were of great importance in maintaining religious institutions. As this was a time when the fundamentals of Buddhist rituals were established, there was a high demand for visual images to be used during the practice of Buddhanussati or chants. Buddhist paintings, along with other ornamental or ceremonial objects, were made and kept at temples as religious rituals were regularized. It became a common religious practice during the Goryeo period to contemplate or visualize particular images in mind when reciting chants, or making prayers and repentances. It is worth noting that the tradition of recitations, chants, contemplations, offerings, and prayers, all continued to this day, were specifically established during the Goryeo Dynasty. Although it is difficult to establish a direct relationship between particular rituals and paintings with the limited documents and evidences that survive, studying the paintings with a focus on the religious rituals will reveal the unknown themes or functions of the Goryeo paintings, and moreover, the cultural achievements of the Goryeo Dynasty.
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