A royal procession of the Joseon dynasty depicted in the “Painting of the Royal Procession to Hwaseong on the Eight-panel Folding Screen(華城陵行圖 屛風).”

King Jeongjo’s procession with his mother Lady Hyegyeonggung Hong later Queen Heongyeong on her sixtieth birthday in 1795 to the tomb of his father Crown Prince Sado 1735~1762 in Hwaseong was depicted on an eight-fold screen painting.

“The Return Procession to the Capital” depicts the royal procession enroute to the temporary palace in Siheung for an overnight stay.

The painting shows the Great Flag of Twin Dragons gyoryonggi(蛟龍旗) at the head of the king’s rocession,

Lady Hyegyeonggung Hong’s palanquin, and the three-layer guards protecting the palanquin. The painting shows the grandeur of the procession composed of 6,200 escort guards and 1,400 horses.

King Jeongjo’s Horse.

Lady Hyegyeonggung Hong’s Palanquin.

Cart carrying meal ; temporary cooking stall.

The Temporary Palace in Siheung.

“The Procession across Hangang River on a Pontoon Bridge” depicts the procession from the temporary palace in Noryang across the Hangang River on its way to Yongsan. The palanquin of Lady Hyegyeonggung Hong in the middle of the bridge is shown passing the red gate hongsalmun(紅虄門), followed by the king on horseback. The palanquins of King Jeongjo’s sisters are waiting to cross the bridge in front of the Noryang temporary palace. A total of 36 boats were brought together to make the pontoon bridge, each decorated with flags of five colors. The image of the procession surrounded by onlookers is vividly captured in this painting.

The Temporary Palace in Noryang.

Palanquins of Princess Cheongyeon and Princess Cheongseon.

King Jeongjo’s Horse.

Lady Hyegyeonggung Hong’s Palanquin.

This flag stood in front of the yeon to declare the king as supreme commander of the procession and to also signal royal commands when the king reviewed the military camps.

Along with the duk[纛(a banner with an ox or pheasant tail ornament)], it was one of the two key ceremonial objects that symbolized the king in a royal procession.

Ascending and descending twin dragons are painted amidst colorful clouds on a piece of jade-green silk, which is bordered with flameshaped silk in contrasting red.

The enormous flag required a mounted horseman to grab the flag pole and four infantrymen to hold the ropes that kept it aloft, making it one of the highlights of the procession.

The flag can be classified according to the painted decoration. The four animals are symbolic guards of the four cardinal directions. Their flags began to accompany royal processions during the Tang dynasty in China, and were used in the great processions daega nobu, formal processions beopga nobu, and military campaigns during the Joseon dynasty.

White Tiger Flag(白虎旗).

Red Phoenix Flag(朱雀旗).

Black Snake-Tortoise Flag(玄武旗)

The ceremonial armours consisted of flags, objects, and musical instruments.
The Return Procession to Hanyang, the seventh scene of the screen, depicts the percussion and pipe players behind the yellow dragon flag in the procession.

The front royal band usually consisted of conical oboes[taepyeongso], metal horns[nabal], conches[nagak], drums[buk], doubleheaded barrel drums[janggu], gongs[jing], small cymbals[jabara], and brass percussion instruments[unra].
The usage of taepyeongso included not only processional music but was also performed in ceremonies at the Royal Ancestral Shrine, rural nongak(農樂) performance, shaman gut rituals, and Buddhist ceremonies.

Nagak was incorporated in celebratory and military state rites, and in the royal ancestral rites. It is now played in the marching band with a double-reed horn, drums, gongs, cymbals and bugles.

The ceremonial armours were ornamental axes, swords, and fans that created shade, all of which were supported on a pole that was two meters in height. Among them made of wood, these gold and silver colored ceremonial axes are shaped into a dragon biting a wooden piece and set into a long bar.

Painting of Royal Ritual Procession(detail)

The ceremonial armours were ornamental axes, swords, and fans that created shade, all of which were supported on a pole that was two meters in height. Among them made of wood, these large ornamental swords for royal processions were each colored in gold and silver on which auspicious symbolic patterns were painted.

Painting of Royal Ritual Procession(detail), Gold ornamental sword

Painting of Royal Ritual Procession(detail), Silver ornamental sword

The ceremonial armours were ornamental axes, swords, and fans that created shade, all of which were supported on a pole that was two meters in height. Among them these trapezoidal with round corners ceremonial fans are made of red silk. An identical pair of phoenixes is painted on each of the front and back sides, and the fan’s edge is bordered by a silk streamer.

The ceremonial armours were ornamental axes, swords, and fans that created shade, all of which were supported on a pole that was two meters in height. Among them these circular ceremonial fans are made of red silk pasted over layers of paper. The fan with a pair of dragons features ascending blue and descending yellow dragons identically painted on each side.

Palanquins were important means of transportation in the royal ceremonial processions. The royal family rode palanquins when proceeding to events within the palace or outside the palace walls. Yeon consisted of a roof and walls; their patterns and decorations identified the rider.

Painting of Royal Ritual Procession(detail), Yeon

Palanquins were important means of transportation in the royal ceremonial processions. The royal family rode palanquins when proceeding to events within the palace or outside the palace walls. Yeo was used by the king and crown prince for short trips within and outside the palace.

A gagyo(駕轎) is a palanquin pulled by two horses, each harnessed to its front and back, used for long journeys undertaken by the king or senior royals. Lady Hyegyeonggung Hong used a carriage identical in shape to this piece during King Jeongjo’s trip to Hwaseong Fortress in 1795.

A high vehicle standing on a single wheel pulled by two persons, this palanquin unique to Korea was invented during King Sejong’s reign for the exclusive use of officials of the second rank and above. Military officers were not permitted to ride it, and as symbols of authority, the high palanquins were also used by the princes and the spouses of the princesses.

Newly introduced during the Korean Empire, the entire body of this palanquin is decorated with phoenix designs. The two-tiered roof is topped by a gourd-shaped finial which is surrounded by eight phoenixes, and each side of the lower roof is decorated with painted cloud patterns and hanging tassels from the mouths of the phoenixes at the roof corners.

Credits: Story

NATIONAL PALACE MUSEUM OF KOREA

Na-rae Choi.

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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