The introduction of Buddhism to Korea in the late 4th century C.E. had a decisive effect on the formation of early Korean art and culture. Besides the importation of Buddhist texts from China and the arrival of monks to propagate the doctrines, temples were constructed and devotional images, both painted and sculpted, were created to be enshrined within them. Eventually, Buddhism gained acceptance among Koreans, in the process transforming indigenous religious life and thought as well as the cultural patterns of Korean society.
Large-scale banner paintings (t'aenghwa) such as the one in the Asia Society's collection became popular in Korea during the 17th and 18th centuries. The size and iconography of this painting suggest that it was originally an important image in a monastery. Most likely it was made to hang behind a statue of Buddha Shakyamuni and would have been displayed in a hall dedicated to the Lotus Sutra or in some other major building within a temple complex.