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Korean J Art Hist > Volume 299; 2018 > Article
Korean Journal of Art History 2018;299:199-235.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.31065/ahak.299.299.201809.008    Published online September 30, 2018.
조선 후기 한궁도 연구
윤 민 용
한국예술종합학교 미술원 강사
A Study on Paintings of Han Palace in the Late Joseon Period
Min yong Yoon
Lecturer, Korea National University of Arts
Paintings of Han Palace are a subordinating theme of the court decorative paintings in the late Joseon. In those paintings, not a real palace of the ancient Han dynasty in China but imaginary palaces of China were depicted. At present, a considerable number of folding screens of Han Palace remain. This study aims to understand its style and characteristics, and to investigate its historical background within the trans-East Asian perspective. In China, paintings of palaces, based on historical court stories, had been produced for the didactic purpose until Ming (1368~1644) and Qing (1644~1912) periods. However, neither paintings depicting the Chinese historical palaces nor Joseon palaces were developed until the late Joseon period. Only brief floor plans of palaces or government office buildings were produced. Architectural paintings emerged as a new painting theme in the late Joseon period. Simultaneously, depiction of the imaginary Chinese palaces appeared and increased in the court decorative painting. The palace depicted in paintings of Han Palace reflects an East Asian concept of utopia based on thoughts of the immortality. In the context of Taoism, a palace or a pavilion is the place where the immortals live. Historically, a palace means the symbolic space where an empress dowager enjoyed the delight and comfort in her old age in Han dynasty. Because of these double meanings, images of a grand palace or a splendid pavilion were depicted in a painting as a gift for celebrating birthday in China. It is assumed that images of palace and pavilion had the same symbolic meaning in late Joseon period. The images of palace and pavilion were appeared as a background in other themes of the court decorative paintings. They symbolized a space filled with happiness and comfort; paintings of the Birthday Celebration for Guo Ziyi, One Hundred Children, or the Banquet of Queen Mother of the West (Seowangmo) would be good examples. Currently the remained paintings of Han Palace are stereotyped so that they can be categorized into 2 groups by image and painting style: a type of a landscape painting with pavilion and a type of architectural painting. The former is depicted in a manner of traditional green and blue style. Especially, this type illustrates the general arrangement of buildings taken from paintings of the Birthday Celebration for Guo Ziyi. The important thing is that a peaceful landscape of Jiangnan( 江南) waterside takes up substantial parts of the overall composition. Judging by images and historical documents, it is assumed that this type would have been described the spring of Jiangnan, which was a very popular painting theme in the nineteenth century in Joseon. The latter actively used the Western painting techniques such as linear-perspective, foreshortening, light and shadow, and highlight. The Suzhou print of Qing dynasty is assumed as the most influential source of the western painting techniques and architectural image drawn in Han Palace painting. The second type also reveals the influences of Japanese art. For example, the composition of two folding screen as a set and the all over coloring style in the background reflect the format and style of Japanese folding screens. Concrete depiction and emphasis on the Chinese palace architecture in the second type reflect the fashion of Chinese style in the 19th century in Joseon. The Chinese style buildings were popular among the wealthy literati residing in the capital; its style was applied even into the palace architecture of Joseon court. In conclusion, paintings of Han Palace reveal the hybrid aspect of the Joseon court painting: the mixture of the Western painting techniques adopted through China, the influences of the Japanese art and the imaginary architectural images of China. Thus, paintings of Han Palace emphasize the necessity of the trans-East Asian perspective, when studying the court paintings of the late Joseon period.

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