Decorative Paintings of the Royal Court

National Palace Museum of Korea

Paintings were especially utilized in various spaces to express the wishes of the court and its dignity. A variety of formats existed, such as screens spread hebind the living spaces, paper sliding doors, and wall paintings drawn directly on the walls or on silk or paper pasted on the wall. 

Six-Fold Screen of the Sun, Moon, and Five Peaks
Joseon

A variety of formats existed, such as screens spread behind the living spaces, paper sliding doors, and wall paintings drawn directly on the walls or on silk or paper pasted on the wall. These were made to display the king’s majesty, add glamour to state ceremonies, and to decorate the royal court and the living quarters of the royal family.

Eight-Fold Screen of Peonies and Rocks
Joseon

At state-sponsored celebratory events, screen paintings of peonies and the ten longevity symbols were frequently set up to display the splendor and dignity of the royal court. Instead of being depicted realistically, the paintings of peonies displayed at court had exaggerated large blossoms painted in bright colors arranged schematically along the vertical picture plane. Being symbols of peace and prosperity, they were frequently used in solemn state rites such as the auspicious ceremonies.

Ten-Fold Screen of the Ten Symbols of Longevity
Joseon

The screen of Ten Longevity Symbols was also frequently displayed in the royal palaces. The ten longevity symbols consist of any ten of the sun, mountains, water, clouds, rocks, pine trees, tortoises, deer, cranes, bamboo, herbs of eternal youth, and peaches. Bearing wishes for long and healthy lives of the royal family, the screens were placed behind the queen or the crown prince during palace banquets such as the wedding or the sixtieth birthday of a royal.

Set of Sliding Doors Decorated with Painting of Ten Longevity Symbols
19th century - Early 20th century

In addition to screens, there were diverse formats of paintings in the palaces. The sliding doors between rooms were often decorated with auspicious symbols of the sun, moon, and five peaks, and the ten longevity symbols.

Ten-Fold Screen of Shelves Full of Books
Early 20th century

Screen paintings of bookshelves chaeggado(冊架圖) expressing the high esteem on scholarship were placed close to the king and the crown prince.

Painting of Books and Stationery on Six-panel Folding Screen
19th century-Early 20th century

Painting of Shelves Full of Books on Ten-panel Folding Screen
19th century-Early 20th century

Painting of Shelves Full of Books on Ten-panel Folding Screen
19th century-Early 20th century

Ten-Fold Screen of Wild Geese and Reeds
Korean Empire, 1905

The Chinese characters for “no(蘆)” reeds and “an(雁)” geese sound similar to the characters for “no(老)” old age and “an(安)” wellbeing, and thus have the meaning of “happiness and health in old age”.

Extra View of Manmul-Sang, Diamond Mountain Mural from Huijeongdang Hall, Changdeokgung Palace.

Wonderful View of Chongseok-Jeong Mural from Huijeongdang Hall, Changdeokgung Palace.


White Cranes Mural from Daejojeon Hall, Changdeokgung Palace

Phoenixes Mural from Daejojeon Hall, Changdeokgung Palace

Credits: Story

NATIONAL PALACE MUSEUM OF KOREA

Su-hee Park.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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