[Vol. 20 No. 2] STONE STATUES AT THE ROYAL TOMB OF KING SŎNGDŎK (聖德王): THE BEGINNING OF ROYAL FUNERARY SCULPTURE IN THE SILLA DYNASTY
|Title||STONE STATUES AT THE ROYAL TOMB OF KING SŎNGDŎK (聖德王): THE BEGINNING OF ROYAL FUNERARY SCULPTURE IN THE SILLA DYNASTY|
Vol. 20 No. 2
pp. 471~499 (all 29 pages)
King Sŏngdŏk, Silla dynasty, royal tomb, funerary stone statues, statues of military officials, mugwansang (武官像)
Stone statues created for royal funerary sites first appear in the Unified Silla period (668–935) at the royal tomb of King Sŏngdŏk and symbolize the beginning of a funerary sculptural tradition that would later develop, albeit in a limited manner, into a uniquely Silla aesthetic. The stone statues can be categorized into two types. The first includes statues of military officials called mugwansang (武官像) while the second group is made up of statues of warriors called muinsang (武人像). However, only the first type can be found at the Sŏngdŏk burial site. The statues of military officials in the Silla dynasty are distinguishable by a number of characteristics such as the presence of armor, hidden hands and the presence of a sword. From a combined examination of historical records, contemporary stonework and contextual considerations, it can be concluded that the stone statues of the royal tombs were not produced simultaneously with the con- struction of the burial site as is generally believed. Rather, these stone statues were later additions commissioned by the successors of the buried individuals. The motivation prompting the production of these stone statues was dominantly political in nature but could be attributed to several reasons that were specific to each ruler’s circumstances. Furthermore, the observed parallels between the Sŏngdŏk statues of military officials and their Tang dynasty equivalents suggest that the Korean tradition of funerary stone sculpture can trace its beginning to Chinese influence. However, the differences between the statues of each respective culture also signify that the Silla dynasty implemented its own aesthetic and eventually developed its own style though the production of such sculpture remained extremely restricted.