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Buddha Amitabha (Amita) and the Eight Great Bodhisattvas
mid-late 14th century


Late Goryeo period

Ink, color, and gold on silk
H: 160.3 W: 86.0 cm
Korea

Gift of Charles Lang Freer F1906.269

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Amitabha, known in Korean as Amita-bul, the Buddha who promises salvation to all believers, is seated in the center of a goup of eight bodhisattvas (enlightened beings). The Buddha wears a red robe embelished with gold patterns, while all but one of the bodhisattvas wear jeweled crowns and fine, translucent garments. Only one, Kshitigarbha, who has the power to save even those who have been reborn in Hell, wears a simpler, hooded garment. Under court patronage Korean Buddhist art of the Koryo dynasty (918-1392) developed an extraordinarily refined style.