Books and Scholar's Utensils

Jang, Han-jongJoseon, Late 18th~Early 19th century

Gyeonggi Province Museum

Gyeonggi Province Museum
Yongin-si, South Korea

Paintings such as this one depicting a scholar’s reading room complete with books, furniture, stationery, flowers and even fruits earned great popularity among the literati of the late Joseon period. Its quality and size suggest that it was originally painted on an eight-panel folding screen used by the royal household or a wealthy aristocratic family. A unique and interesting element of this painting is that the bookshelves are enclosed by a large piece of drapery decorated with ssanghuija (Character of Double Joy). The artist’s seal is stamped on the middle of the eighth panel, revealing that the painting was produced by Jang Han-jong (1764-1815). It is the earliest known example of the “hidden seal” used on paintings of a scholar’s bookshelves.


  • Title: Books and Scholar's Utensils
  • Creator: Jang, Han-jong
  • Date: Joseon, Late 18th~Early 19th century
  • Provenance: Gyeonggi Provincial Museum
  • Type: Painting

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