1833 San-shin  Painting
one of the oldest Mountain-Spirit icons
at Daeseong-san Jeongchwi-am Hermitage
in Sancheong County, South Gyeongsang Province
My friend and fellow explorer of Korean temples Dale Quarrington found a reproduction
of this antique masterpiece enshrined at Jeongchwi-am Hermitage (정취암) in 2012, on
Daeseong-san [Great Saint Mountain, 634m], in Shindeung-myeon [Spirit-Lantern District]
just SE of Sancheong Town, out west of
Jiri-san National Park.   It is not known when or
by whom Jeongchwi-am was first founded, our first extant record of it being from 1481,
but there is a claim that great Master Uisang-josa established it in 686 CE.  The above
photo of the original Sanshin-taenghwa was taken from the temple's website; we are not
sure of its current location, but presumably safe in the private rooms or a local museum.
A sign at the site confirms that it was painted in 1833, making it 179 years old, and therefore
one of the oldest Sanshin icons now extant; it is designated Provincial Cultural Material #243.

Dale put up a post on his visit on his blog
Dale's Korean Temple Adventures, and
kindly let me use copies of his shots of the Sanshin-shrine and the reproduction there.

It is an excellent artwork with remarkable features.  The Mountain-King rides on his tiger,
usually a Shamanic motif.  He grasps the tiger's ear like a saddle-horn, very rare; he holds
a natural leaf-fan, long & narrow, fairly rare.  He sits with one leg folded-up as if in lotus
sitting-position, and his foot is bare; these are very rare Buddhist motifs implying some
kind of Bodhisattva status
(compare with the great 1831 antique at Gaya-san Haein-sa).  Also, it
is highly unusual that he has a "flying scarf" like the
dongja boys behind him do! (they are
standard, except that they stand in spirallic clouds, very rare)
.  His shoulder-mantle of green leaves
(paulowina?) demonstrates his link to Korea's
founding-king Dan-gun.  His tiger is full-on
folkish, an excellent Korean artwork in-itself.  There are white
bullocho (yeongji-beoseot-ish
in the foreground.  Dr. Zo Zayong would have dearly loved this icon!
The Sanshin shrine on a crag above the main temple, original and picturesque, with a
granite statue on top and the modern painting of the treasured antique in a glass case below.
the reproduction painting, done very faithfully except that damages to the original were not copied.
the official sign in front of the enshrined reproduction; perhaps the original used
to be here in a Sanshin-gak, but that building was removed or destroyed...