Segments in this Video

Korean History, Influence (08:12)


Robert D. Mowry emphasizes the influence of the Chinese in Buddhist art. The Korean Peninsula has historically served as the land bridge between continual culture and Japan. Mowry outlines the Korean royal dynasties; Buddhism was introduced to Korea during the Three Kingdoms period.

Three Kingdoms (12:07)

Mowry describes the Three Kingdoms. Buddhism was introduced to Goguryeo in 372 CE, Baekje in 384 CE, and Silla in the 5th century; it was officially adopted as the state religion by Silla in 535. Mowry discusses golden crowns, "Standing Buddha in Abhaya-varadamudra," "Meditating Bodhisattva Maitreya" and other notable artifacts from the period.

Unified Silla and Balhae (10:19)

Mowry shows a map of Unified Silla in the eighth century, following the defeats of the Gaya Confederacy and the Baekje and Goguryeo kingdoms. See slides of noteworthy statues from the period including "Seated Buddha Shakyamuni in Bhumisparsha-mudra" and "Standing Buddha of Healing and Medicine." Mowry highlights temple architecture of the period.

Goryeo Dynasty (05:42)

The Silla Kingdom was overthrown in 918 CE, paving the way for the Goryeo Dynasty. Painting comes to the forefront during this dynasty; “Seated Gwanse’eum Bosal” is a prime example.

Indian and Chinese Roots (14:36)

Mowry highlights Korean influences on early Japanese Buddhist art, some of which would have been created by Korean missionaries. He shows temples and statues from various periods, tracing their influences back to early Indian and Chinese cave temples.

Goryeo Dynasty Paintings (10:36)

Fewer than 175 Goryeo Dynasty paintings are known to exist. Mowry analyzes “Seated Gwanse’eum Bosal” and “Frontispiece to the Amitabha Sutra,” using them as examples of the best Buddhist paintings of the 14th century.

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Korean Buddhist Art

Part of the Series : Exporting Enlightenment
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
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3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Robert D. Mowry introduces the development of Korean Buddhist art from its formative phase in the late Three Kingdoms (57 bce–668 ce) and Unified Silla (668–935) periods through its maturation in the Goryeo dynasty (918–1392), emphasizing architecture and sculpture in the earlier periods and paintings and illuminated sutras in the later periods. Due to the ascendance of Neo-Confucianism, Buddhism fell into decline during the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910), so this lecture will only touch on the Buddhist art of Korea’s last dynasty. Korean Buddhist art drew inspiration from Chinese Buddhist art and thus relates closely to contemporaneous Chinese art. Even so, once they had fully mastered Chinese styles, aesthetics, and techniques, Korean artists typically transformed the subjects, formats, and styles adopted from China to meet their own aesthetic needs, thereby establishing distinctive Korean styles that reflect their Chinese origins but stand apart from them. In tracing the development of Korean Buddhist art, this lecture will explore relationships with China and will identify those characteristics that are uniquely Korean. In addition, Korea served as the bridge by which continental learning passed from China to Japan, particularly during Korea’s Three Kingdoms and Unified Silla periods. Indeed, not only do historical records relate that Buddhism was introduced to Japan from Baekje, one of Korea’s three kingdoms, but they document the importation of Buddhist sculptures from Korea into Japan and thus demonstrate the close artistic ties between early Korea and Japan.

Length: 62 minutes

Item#: FMK143732

ISBN: 978-1-64481-080-4

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

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