Tiger and Magpie

UnknownLate 19th century

Horim Museum

Horim Museum
Seoul, South Korea

Tigers and magpies is one of the iconic subject matters of Korean folk painting. A magpie is chirping on the top right hand corner and on the centre is a tiger, almost filling the entire painting. The tiger's body is especially exaggerated and its face looks rather silly so that it seems more familiar than authoritative. The magpie, on the other hand, is painted in a livelier manner, making it look as if the magpie, which represents ordinary people, is scolding the tiger, representing corrupt officials. Originally, tigers and magpies were both symbols for good fortune, but they developed into a major theme in folk paintings as their relationship became more and more satirical.


  • Title: Tiger and Magpie
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: Late 19th century
  • Physical Dimensions: w61.4 x d104.5 cm
  • Provenance: Horim Museum
  • Type: Painting

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