Portrait of Emperor Gojong

Around 1918

National Palace Museum of Korea

National Palace Museum of Korea
Seoul, South Korea

This is the portrait of Emperor Gojong, the first sovereign of the Korean Empire. The Emperor in the portrait is wearing a red royal robe and an imperial coronet instead of a royal ceremonial coronet, suggesting that the portrait was produced after his ascension to the imperial throne. The background is decorated with curtains and under the feet is laid a carpet with patterns similar to that of the curtains. It is unprecedented that curtains are hung in the background of a king’s portrait and the realistic depiction of the face and clothing in stark contrast to the light and shade is what makes it distinctive from other previous royal portraits.


  • Title: Portrait of Emperor Gojong
  • Date Created: Around 1918
  • Rights: National palace museum of Korea
  • Medium: Paintings

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