In East Asian Buddhist temples, portraits of Buddhist monks are housed in special dedicated halls as icons of spiritual ancestors to the community of Buddhist monks and nuns.
The monk in this portrait, identified by an inscription in a red cartouche at the upper right of this painting, is the Great Master Yeongwoldang Eungjin. Portraits of this type, painted following the death of an important Buddhist monk, are known as jinyeong. His elevated status is indicated by his fine monastic garments, the dragon-headed ceremonial fly whisk he holds in his left hand, and the Buddhist scripture in his right hand. The writing box on his desk, with brushes, ink stone, and water dropper, further emphasizes his prowess as a man of deep insight into the Buddhist teachings.
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