This portrait of King Taejo (r. 1392-1398) was produced in 1900, the 4th year of Gwangmu, to be enshrined in Seonwonjeon Hall or the Hall of Royal Portraits at Gyeongungung Palace or Palace of Joyful Fortune (another name for Deoksugung Palace or Palace of Virtuous Longevity). About half of the portrait, including the face, has disappeared. The painting, the copy of the portrait of King Taejo in Junwonjeon Hall or Hall of Deep Origin, was enshrined in the Hall of Royal Portraits at Gyeongungung Palace but after several months it was lost to fire along with other portraits. In this portrait King Taejo wears a red royal robe unlike in the portrait at the Gyeonggijeon Shrine, Jeonju; however the king’s pose of sitting with his hands together and looking directly ahead, as well as the chair and carpet in the background, look almost the same. Unlike the version at the Gyeonggijeon Shrine depicting the king in his old age, the version at Junwonjeon Hall shows the king in middle age, and so it is therefore presumed that King Taejo is depicted in middle age in this portrait. In the upper right corner, a piece of red silk is attached with the phrase, “Portrait of King Taejo, copied and enshrined in the 4th year of Gwangmu.”


  • Title: Portrait of King Taejo
  • Creator: Cho Seok-jin (趙錫晉, 1853-1920), Chae Yong Shin (蔡龍臣, 1850-1941) et.al
  • Date Created: 1900
  • Rights: National palace museum of Korea
  • Medium: Paintings

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