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Mural Paintings in Koguryo Tombs
The brave, strong, beautiful and noble emotional feelings of the Koguryo people are reflected in the tomb murals of Koguryo (B.C. 277-A.D. 668), a powerful state that existed in the East for a thousand years.
The tomb murals of Koguryo vividly depict the people of Koguryo and the then social appearance and economic and cultural customs in distinguished artistic techniques.
Most mural paintings were drawn after painting plaster on the tomb wall piled up with natural stones, and some were drawn directly on the trimmed granite or marble stones. They are mainly divided into those with figure and genre paintings, those with pictures of four guardians and those with decorative patterns.
Among them, murals with figure and genre paintings form the main current as they are diverse in themes and rich in contents and profoundly show the disposition and way of life of the Koguryo people.
The mausoleum of King Kogukwon (Tomb No. 3 in Anak), the Tokhung-ri and the Yaksu-ri mural tombs, etc. have the pictures of large and small themes showing the details of social life.
The mural with pictures of four guardians fully shows the traditional Korean painting technique.
Murals with pictures of four guardians in big and medium tombs in Kangso, representing the final development of Koguryo tomb murals, are the height of beauty and fineness.
Decorative patterns in the Koguryo tomb murals are mostly depicted in the margins of murals with figure and genre paintings and murals with pictures of four guardians, but there are some occupying the whole of scene.
The Koguryo tomb murals are pride and precious treasure of the Korean nation with a history of 5 000 years and cultural heritage of the world.