Portraits of Virtuous Rulers and Sages

Unknown (Japanese)Japan, 19th Century

Academy of Korean Studies

Academy of Korean Studies
Seongnam-si, South Korea

An album of portraits of Chinese wise kings and loyal vassals. From the legendary emperor Bokhee to Hwangjeonggyeon of Northern Song, 55 portraits are included. Kings were arranged in the chronicle order and from the 40th portraits onwards are the pictures of the vassals. Some of the pictures have the word ‘white’, ‘red’ and ‘blue’ written in the picture to indicate the color which make them seem incomplete. This is because those pictures are either the draft versions or examples for coloring. Description about the portrait of a person is very refined, the drawing line is very delicate and Japanese characters are indicated.


  • Title: Portraits of Virtuous Rulers and Sages
  • Creator: Unknown (Japanese)
  • Creator Nationality: Japanese
  • Date: Japan, 19th Century
  • location: Jangseogak, Academy of Korean Studies, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do, Rep. Korea
  • composition: 1 book
  • Physical Dimensions: w27 x h38.7 cm
  • Original Title: Seonghyeon-do (성현도, 聖賢圖)
  • Korean caption: 중국의 역대 성군(聖君)과 현신(賢臣)의 모습을 그린 화첩. 태고의 전설적 황제 복희(伏羲)부터 북송의 황정견(黃庭堅)까지 총 55인의 인물을 담았다. 역대 황제들을 시대 순으로 배열하고 40번째부터 신하들을 배열하였다. 그림 중 간혹 백(白) • 적(赤) • 청(靑) 이라는 글씨로 색을 나타내고 있어 미완성의 인상을 준다. 이는 작품 제작을 위한 초본이거나 별도로 채색을 지시한 모본의 성격을 띤다고 하겠다. 인물에 대한 묘사가 유려하고 필선도 세밀하며, 일본 문자가 곳곳에 적혀있다.
  • Provenance: Academy of Korean Studies
  • Type: Manuscript & Painting
  • Rights: Academy of Korean Studies

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