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Draft portraits of meritorious officials
본무공신 초상 초본 (밑그림)
Place of Origin: Korea
Date: approx. 1728
Historical Period: Joseon dynasty (1392-1910)
Object Name: Album
Materials: Ink and colors on paper
Dimensions: H. 17 1/2 in x W. 13 1/2 in, H. 44.4 cm x W. 34.3 cm (overall); H. 14 3/4 in x W. 10 5/8 in, H. 37.5 cm x W. 27 cm (image)
Credit Line: Gift of Arthur J. McTaggart
Department: Korean Art
Collection: Painting
Object Number: 1992.203.a-.h
On Display: Yes
Location: Gallery 23

Description

Label:

These sketches, originally in album format, capture the particularities of two government officials. These officials were among a group of fifteen honored by King Yeongjo (1694–1776) after their success in suppressing a political uprising in 1728. The king bestowed on them honorary titles and benefits, and also commissioned their portraits. (The album containing the two on display has eight of those portraits; seven others are missing). The commemorative portraits of these role models were produced in several versions and formats to be kept at the royal court and handed down to the officials’ descendants. In Korean tradition, such portraits were believed to convey the spirits of the sitters while recording their appearances. According to the Confucian ideology of the Joseon dynasty, portraits were vehicles for worshiping ancestors and for honoring the deeds of scholars.

Sketches of subjects typically began with spare application of brushstrokes and colors. Draft portraits such as these are considered highly valuable records that exhibit freer artistic characteristics than those seen in final portraits. Few such drafts remain.


Label:

These sketches, originally in album format, capture the particularities of two government officials. These officials were among a group of fifteen honored by King Yeongjo (1694–1776) after their success in suppressing a political uprising in 1728. The king bestowed on them honorary titles and benefits, and also commissioned their portraits. (The album containing the two on display has eight of those portraits; seven others are missing). The commemorative portraits of these role models were produced in several versions and formats to be kept at the royal court and handed down to the officials’ descendants. In Korean tradition, such portraits were believed to convey the spirits of the sitters while recording their appearances. According to the Confucian ideology of the Joseon dynasty, portraits were vehicles for worshiping ancestors and for honoring the deeds of scholars.

Sketches of subjects typically began with spare application of brushstrokes and colors. Draft portraits such as these are considered highly valuable records that exhibit freer artistic characteristics than those seen in final portraits. Few such drafts remain.