This painting depicts the full moon shining through a stand of bamboo, and for Joseon literati it would have conveyed the sense of life in harmony with nature to which they aspired. As one of the "four gentlemen" along with plum trees, orchids, and chrysanthemums, bamboo, which has immense flexibility, allowing it bent to extremes without breaking—symbolize a gentleman's noble virtue. Here, the painter depicted the shining moon rising above a bamboo tree to create a meditative nightly scene.

Download this artwork (provided by The Cleveland Museum of Art).
Learn more about this artwork.


  • Title: Bamboo in Moonlight
  • Date Created: 1500s
  • Physical Dimensions: Painting only: 85.2 x 33.5 cm (33 9/16 x 13 3/16 in.); Overall: 163 x 43.2 cm (64 3/16 x 17 in.)
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1987.186
  • Medium: hanging scroll; ink on paper
  • Original Title: 월하묵죽도 (月下墨竹圖)
  • Inscriptions: two seals of artist (?) at upper left side.
  • Fun Fact: This painting is currently in the Korean art collection, but some stylistic features suggest that it may be Japanese.
  • Department: Korean Art
  • Culture: Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910)
  • Credit Line: Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund
  • Collection: ASIAN - Hanging scroll
  • Accession Number: 1987.186

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app


Google apps