Important Cultural Property
1 hanging scroll
Hanging scroll; ink and colors on silk
H 99.1, W 40.3
Yuan dynasty, China or Goryeo dynasty, Korean peninsula
Nara National Museum
This painting represents Byakue Kannon facing front while sitting with its legs stretched on grass that covers a rocky area in a southern region called Fudarakusan (a place where the Kannon live). Byakue Kannon is a Kannon that wears a white pilgrim robe covering from the head to body. The image had started to be seen in China and was often drawn in the Sung period. In addition to China, Byakue Kannon became known on the Korean Peninsula and in Japan and many images were created as it became a symbol of belief.
Compared to the iconographies in many other paintings drawn in the era between the Sung and the Yuan period in China and between the Kamakura and the Muromachi period in Japan, this painting has slightly different features such as arched eyebrows, slanting eyes, Sogishi that are turned up to above the chest level, unique facial expressions and clothing and a scenery of Fudarakusan that contains trees with oak leaves. In particular, as differences in this painting are identified in the parts stylized in other paintings, it is considered that this painting was drawn after the general iconography of Byakue Kannon in Fudarakusan was established.
Due to the unique features, it has been long considered that this painting was made in Korai on the Korean Peninsula, but there is not enough evidence to support the idea. It is also indicated that it may have been made in the late Yuan and early Mingperiods in China due to the features of the scenery.
The writing in ink on the observer's top right is a tribute of describing an act of charity devoted to the Kannon. The details about the writer of the tribute named Kaiyo are not known. It is presumed that this painting was drawn in 1377 due to the painting style.