VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Avatamsaka Sutra
Leeum10
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Though incomplete, the painting shows Vairocana (the Buddha of All-pervading Light) as a Bodhisattva seated on a lion throne with his legs crossed and hands posed in the mudra position signifying that Buddha and all sentient beings are one. To the left is depicted the preaching Samantabhadra (the Bodhisattva of Universal Benevolence) surrounded by various other Bodhisattva. The painting is executed mostly in gold with occasional accents of silver on red mulberry paper. The background consists of a square architectural setting, clouds, halos, and lotus flowers with curled stems. It is designated as Korean National Treasure No. 196.

History of the Object
Part of the only dated painting from the Unified Silla period surviving to this day, these fragments of a frontispiece of the Avatamsaka Sutra, or the “Great and Vast Buddha Garland Sutra,” are extremely important evidence of a Silla tradition of sumptuously illuminated Buddhist manuscripts. Judging from the extent of decay, this piece is assumed to have been a part of the fascicule containing the first to the tenth volumes. The scroll shown here contains the 44th to the 50th volumes of the same sutra.

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Type
Book 
Materials
Frontispiece: Gold and silver pigment on red mulberry paperSutra text: Ink on white mulberry paper 
Measurements
Frontispiece: 25.7 X 10. cm, 24.0 X 9.3cmScrolls: 29.0 X 1400.0 cm, 26.9 X 1998.4 cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Korea 
Geography
Korea 
Time period
AD 8th century ~ AD 8th century 
Creation date
8th Century; 754-755; Unified Silla Period 
Function
Sutra 
Acquisition
It is the official position of the Leeum Museum not to publish the provenance of its collection. 
Copyright
Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art 
Museum
Leeum Samsung Museum of Art 
Credit line
Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art 

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