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Water-Moon Avalokitesvara (Suwol Gwaneum bosal)
mid-14th century


Late Goryeo period

Ink, color and gold on silk
H: 98.3 W: 47.7 cm
Korea

Gift of Charles Lang Freer F1904.13

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This painting, executed in ink, colors, and gold on silk, follows the same Chinese prototype as numerous other surviving examples executed in Korea during the late Goryeo period. The willow branch is held in a small vase to the side of the Bodhisattva. The small figure in a devotional pose may represent an allusion to passage in the Avatamsaka sutra. The details of this painting, from the elegant pose of the deity to the delicate use of color to render elements of the costume are characteristic of Korean Buddhist painting at the peak of its development. Touches of gold highlight the landscapes in a typically decorative manner.