Stone standing Maitreya Bodhisattva in Gamsan

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Stone standing Maitreya Bodhisattva in Gamsan

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Located in Wolseong County, North Gyeongsang, Gamsan Temple was built in 719 by a dedicated Silla Buddhist named Kim Ji-sung who wanted to persuade Buddha to bring peaceful rest to his deceased parents and protect the king and the royal family. He is said to have commissioned this Maitreya bodhisattva (National Treasure No. 81) for his mother and the Amitabha Buddha (National Treasure No. 82) for his father.

Both stone statues are now kept in the National Museum of Korea in Seoul.

This Maitreya statue is characterized by the lavishly decorated headgear it wears and the attractively plump face wearing a benign expression. Behind the mandorla is an inscription showing that the bodhisattva was carved in 719 when Silla was under the rule of King Seongdeok.

The technique of rendering the bodhisattva’s voluminous body suggests that the Silla artisans during this period were under the influence of aesthetics from other regions.

Name: Stone Standing Maitreya Bodhisattva

of Gamsan Temple, Gyeongju

Period: Unified Silla Period

Location: Yongsan District, Seoul

Status: National Treasure No. 81

*The photos and text for National Treasure are provided by the Cultural Heritage Administration. For more information, call (042) 481-4650 or visit www.cha.go.kr
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