Ancient Korean Sculpture


The sculpture of ancient Korea was dominated by Buddhist themes such as figurines and monumental statues of the Buddha and his followers, and large bronze bells for temples. Gilded-bronze was the most common material used by Korean sculptors, but they also used marble, stone, clay, iron and wood. Non-Buddhist sculpture includes masks, guardian figures for tombs, and carved poles, all of which were designed to ward off evil spirits. Initially influenced by Chinese art, Korean sculptors would go on to create their own unique style and themselves influence the sculpture of ancient Japan.

More about: Ancient Korean Sculpture


  • 539
    The earliest known sculpture of Buddha is produced in Korea.
  • 751 - 774
    The Buddhist cave temple at Seokguram (Sokkuram) east of Gyeongju, Korea is built.
  • 759
    The earliest changsung - a village guardian post topped by a human face - is produced in Korea.
  • 771
    The large bronze bell at the Buddhist shrine at Bongdeoksa, Korea, also known as the Emille Bell, is cast.