PyeongChang Tourist Information

Portrait of State Preceptor Beomil

Portrait of State Preceptor Beomil Share


#374-8 (Dongsan-ri, Woljeongsa Temple), Odaesan-ro, Jinbu-myeon
Gangwon Province.


Cultural Asset


Type : Gangwon Province Tangible Cultural Asset No. 140
Title : Yeongeunsa Temple Portrait of State Preceptor Ven. Beomilguksa
Classification : Portrait
Quantity : 1 piece
Designation Date: December 29, 2001.
Location : Woljeongsa Temple Seongbo Museum
Period : King Jeongjo in the Joseon Dynasty
Possessor : Yeongeunsa Temple
Manager : Woljeongsa Temple

This is a copy of portrait of state preceptor, Ven. Beomil of late Silla Dynasty(57 BC - 935 AD) and takes on a typical authentic image of portrait in the late Joseon Dynasty(1392-1910). The portrait of Monk Beomil is a rarity in its extant origin and has its painting record, which is extraordinary unusual in history of art. The piece is of great value because of being able to know the exact years of manufacturing.

The work was initially shrined in the Chilseonggak Hall in Yeongeunsa Temple located at Gungchon-ri, Geundeok-myeon, Samcheok-si(or city) and transferred to Woljeongsa Temple's Seongbo Museum on June 18, 1999. The painting record at the bottom-center of the portrait which is currently on display tells that it was manufactured by Shim Gyeom, et al in 1788(during the 53th year of Qing's Chien Long rule).

Kings Gyeongmun, Heongang and Jeonggang in the late Silla Period had attempted to offer to Monk Beomil(810~889) their state preceptor position, but Beomil rejected such offer. The state preceptor passed away at the age of 80 in 889 after spending 60 years as a Buddhist monk. in 889.

A portrait puts a priority focus on the description of his/her face to reveal the spirit of the subject. The portrait of state preceptor, Ven. Beomil stands out in a very realistic description of face, shown in his sharp eyes which fix his gaze on any one side, his lips which are held tightly, his eyebrows and mustache, which seems to expose a sharp yet deep spirit of the Buddhist monk. To the contrary of his robust upper body, the monk's lower body is poorly-expressed, not showing a balanced ratio of body.

The blue and gray robe, a red kasaya and the expression of figured matting on the floor on the screen are the characteristic description of portraits in the latter half of the Joseon Period. However, the relatively delicate and sincere decorations and patterns of a chair, and the framed picture of Buddhism draped over the chair are pretty much a unique expression.


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