National TreasureDaebojagyeong Sutra, Volume 32 in Gold Characters

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  • Handscroll
  • Height 29.2cm, Length 841.0cm
  • Kyoto National Museum
  • B甲678

This rare treasure of a sutra is the only remaining volume from a complete set of Buddhist scriptures in gold lettering on indigo paper that was offered by the Empress Dowager Cheonchu (997-1009) and her favorite retainer Kim Chi-yang in 1006 (Tonghe 24), during the Goryeo dynasty (918-1392). It is the earliest copied sutras from the Goryeo dynasty, and important as a painting as well. The cover is lavishly decorated with auspicious floral (J., hôsôge) arabesques in silver paint, while the frontispiece, also in silver paint, is adorned with three bodhisattvas scattering floral offerings. The name Choi Sung-sak is transcribed as the sutra's copyist, whose powerful brushstrokes exemplify Liao and Khitan influences.