Scientific Analysis of the Historical Characteristics and Painting Pigments of Gwaebultaeng in Boeun Beopjusa Temple

보은 법주사 <괘불탱>의 미술사적 특징과 채색 안료의 과학적 분석 연구

  • Lee, Jang-jon (Conservation Science Division, National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage) ;
  • Gyeong, Yu-jin (laboratory of investigation, Research Institute of Sungbo Cultural Heritage) ;
  • Lee, Jong-su (laboratory of investigation, Research Institute of Sungbo Cultural Heritage) ;
  • Seo, Min-seok (Conservation Science Division, National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage)
  • 이장존 (국립문화재연구소 보존과학연구실) ;
  • 경유진 ((사)성보문화재연구원 조사연구실) ;
  • 이종수 ((사)성보문화재연구원 조사연구실) ;
  • 서민석 (국립문화재연구소 보존과학연구실)
  • Received : 2019.09.30
  • Accepted : 2019.11.12
  • Published : 2019.12.30


Beopjusa Gwaebultaeng (Large Buddhist Painting), designated as Treasure No. 1259, was painted in 1766 and featured Yeorae (Buddha) at the center in the style of a single figure. It is the longest existing buddhist painting and was created by Duhun, a painter who was representative of 18th century Korean artists. His other remaining work is Seokgayeorae Gwaebultaeng (1767) in Tongdosa Temple. Considering their same iconography, they are assumed to have used the same underdrawing. Duhun had a superb ability to maintain a consistent underdrawing, while most painters changed theirs within a year. The Beopjusa painting carries significance because it was not only painted earlier than the one in Tongdosa, but also indicates possible relevance to the royal family through its records. Beopjusa Temple is also the site of Seonhuigung Wondang, a shrine housing the spirit tablet of Lady Yi Youngbin, also known as Lady Seonhui. Having been built only a year before Beopjusa Gwaebultaeng was painted, it served as a basis for the presumption that it has a connection to the royal family. In particular, a group of unmarried women is noticeable in the record of Beopjusa painting. The names of some people, including Ms. Lee, born in the year of Gyengjin, are recorded on the Bonginsa Temple Building, the construction of which Lady Yi Youngbin and Princess Hwawan donated money to. In this regard, they are probably court ladies related to Lady Yi Youngbin. The connection of Beopjusa Gwaebultaeng with the royal family is also verified by a prayer at the bottom of the painting, reading "JusangJusamJeonhaSumanse (主上主三殿下壽萬歲, May the king live forever)." While looking into the historical characteristics of this art, this study took an approach based on scientific analysis. Damages to Beopjusa Gwaebultaeng include: bending, folding, wrinkles, stains due to moisture, pigment spalling, point-shaped pigment spalling, and pigment penetration to the lining paper at the back. According to the results of an analysis of the painting pigments, white lead was used as a white pigment, while an ink stick and indigo were used for black. For red, cinnabar and minium were used independently or were combined. For purple, organic pigments seem to have been used. For yellow, white lead and gamboge were mixed, or gamboge was painted over white lead, and gold foil was adopted for storage. As a green pigment, atacamite or a mixture of atacamite and malachite was used. Azurite and smalt were used separately or together as blue pigments.


Supported by : 국립문화재연구소


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