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4. Pair of Geumgang Yoksa (Vajrapani)

19th century, Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), Korea

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Geumgang Yoksa (Vajrapani)
19th century, Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), Korea
ink and color on paper
Panel: 29 3/4 x 45 in (75.6 x 114.3 cm)
Painting 24 x 39 3/4 in (61 x 101 cm)

The protector of Buddhist law and the enemy of evil spirits, the Geumgang deities (Vajrapani) was believed to help convert people to buddhism and protect believers. In Korean buddhist art, the Geumgang deities is often represented as eight warrior deities who assume fierce poses, as if ready to destroy all evils they encounter.

As inscribed, the one above depicts Jahyun Geumgang, one of eight Geumgang deities, who help open the closed hearts of the people and enlighten them. The painting below particularly depicts Byukdok Geumgang, one of the eight Geumgang deities, who protects people from suffering of illness.

Reference: Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, "Hopes and Aspirations: Decorative Painting of Korea", 1998.2.14 --5.10

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