Water-Moon Avalokiteshvara

UnknownGoryeo Dynasty, 14th century

Horim Museum

Horim Museum
Seoul, South Korea

Water-moon Avalokiteshvara is a type of Bodhisattva painting that was most popularly done during the period of the Goryeo Dynasty. There is a way where Sudana leaves to find his 53 teachers, as described in the Gandavyuha of the Avatamsaka Sutra. The Avalokiteshvara is the 28th teacher of Sudana. He/she is sitting on top of the Potalaka Mountain, which is full of strange-looking trees and fragrant grasses. Under the feet of Avalokiteshvara, Sudana is looking up to him/her, with his hands clasped together. It follows the typical forms and the Water-moon Avalokiteshvara styles during the period of the Goryeo Dynasty. However, unlike other Water-moon Avalokiteshvara paintings that feature holding of prayer beads in one hand and dangling the other hand downward, the Avalokiteshvara holds the prayer beads with both hands in this work. There is a willow tree branch in a vase on the left, while bamboo trees are standing behind Avalokiteshvara. This work presents the characteristic, detailed touches of the brush and the splendid colors of Buddhist paintings during the period of the Goryeo Dynasty.


  • Title: Water-Moon Avalokiteshvara
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: Goryeo Dynasty, 14th century
  • Physical Dimensions: w53 x d103.5 cm
  • Provenance: Horim Museum
  • Type: Painting

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