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Yi Che-gwan (1783-1837) (attributed to), Portrait of a Confucian scholar
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PAINTING techniques were introduced to Korea in the eighteenth century through Jesuit missionaries in China. Such influence is apparent in this painting of a Confucian scholar wearing a traditional horse- hair indoor hat (t'anggon), 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 likely to capture a sense of the sitter’s ‘spirit’ than portray an actual physical likeness. However, during the prosperous eighteenth century it became fashionable in portraiture as well as in chin’gyong (true-view) painting of real scenes from the Korean landscape.

There is a very similar painting in the National Museum of Korea which suggests that they are of the same man, and both painted by Yi Che-gwan. This portrait appears to be the later of the two, as the sitter seems to have aged.

Yi Che-gwan (1783-1837) (attributed to), Portrait of a Confucian scholar

From Korea, Late Choson dynasty, late 18th-early 19th century AD Fit 60 cm

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