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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