Korean Art and Antiques

Painting of the Mountain Spirit Sansin and his Tiger and Attendant

Painting of the Mountain Spirit Sansin and his Tiger and Attendant


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Korean: Paintings: Pre 1900: Item # 1493691

Please refer to our stock # 1555 when inquiring.
Korean Art and Antiques
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400 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036
917-675-1369

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 $4,000.00 
Rare and beautiful late 19th Century painting of the Korean Mountain Spirit (Sansin) with a scarce sacred white tiger and boy attendant (Dongja) alongside a stream in an idyllic mountain landscape on finely handwoven silk mounted on a gold silk scroll. Sansin's tiger is the animal lord of the mountain and the messenger for Sansin and the enforcer of his will. The white tiger holds special meaning in Korea. It was believed that when a tiger survived challenges and attained wisdom, his fur turned white and he became a sacred spirit. The tiger is a national symbol of Korea and the white tiger was the mascot of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea. Very few antique Korean paintings with white tigers are in existence. The Dongja holds Sansin's wood staff, as gnarled as the pine tree under which he sits. The pine tree is a symbol of longevity and tenacity. In a country where most of the land is covered by mountains, it makes sense that Sansin the Mountain Spirit is the most revered of Korea's native deities. He is the god most often appealed to for fertility, prosperity, and longevity. This Sansin is a great example of the open-minded syncretism of ancient Korean belief. He is a deity of purely Korean Shamanist origin, crowned by a delicately painted Confucian hat, wearing a Buddhist robe, and being attended by a Dongja boy in a utopian Daoist mountain landscape. Sansin paintings can be found in the Sansin-gak shrine of Korean Buddhist temples. Gold silk mount: 59 x 31.5 inches (80 cm). Painting: 36.5 x 25.5 inches (93 x 65 cm).