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Yi Che-gwan (attributed to), Portrait of a Confucian scholar, a painting


Height: 600.000 mm

Asia OA 1922.6-30.011

Room 67: Korea

    Yi Che-gwan (attributed to), Portrait of a Confucian scholar, a painting

    From Korea
    Late Choson dynasty, late 18th - early 19th century AD

    Wearing a traditional horse-hair indoor hat (t'anggon)

    There is a very similar painting in the National Museum of Korea. The similarities of the portraits suggest that they are of the same man, and both painted by Yi Che-gwan (1783-1837). This portrait appears to be the later, as the sitter seems to have aged.

    Western painting techniques were introduced to Korea through Jesuit missionaries in China in the eighteenth century. This influence is apparent here, perhaps in the shape of the eyes, but certainly in the details of the face, such as the wrinkles and the use of repeated minute lines (hatching) to show shading.

    Earlier Korean portraits were more interested in capturing a sense of the sitter's 'spirit' rather than in portraying an actual physical likeness. However, during the prosperous eighteenth century it became fashionable in portraiture as well as in chin'gyong, or 'true-view' painting, of real scenes from the Korean landscape.


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    On display: Room 67: Korea

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    Korean art and archaeology, £9.99

    Korean art and archaeology, £9.99