Korea, Choson Period (1392-1910) / Portrait of an Official / 18th CenturyKorea, Choson Period (1392-1910)
Portrait of an Official
18th Century

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Korean
Creator Name-CRT: Korea, Choson Period (1392-1910)
Title: Portrait of an Official
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1700
Creation End Date: 1800
Creation Date: 18th Century
Object Type: Paintings
Classification Term: Painting
Materials and Techniques: Ink and color on silk
Dimensions: Framed: 159.5cm x 91cm, Overall: 146cm x 76.6cm, with borders: 156.3cm x 86.5cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1999.45
Credit Line: Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund
Rights: http://www.clemusart.com/museum/disclaim2.html
Style or Period: Korea, Choson Period (1392-1910)

During the later Choson period, solemn Confucian rites included expressions of gratitude to one's predecessors in government. Unlike Buddhist rites and festivals, Confucian memorial services were conducted with considerable gravity and did not include dance and music. Confucian ceremonies also focused upon upper-class males and the literati, the principal constituents of the Choson bureaucracy. Calendars clearly identified the important days for observing familial as well as civil ancestors' rites. Worship on these days was meant to console the deceased, and obtain their protection and support for the welfare of the descendants. Special rooms and halls were constructed for the display of ancestral portraits together with spirit tablets and epitaph plaques that were placed on an altar along with incense and offerings of food.

The identity of this seated official is not known, but his cape, robe, chair, leopard skin cover, and woven (and painted) bamboo rug confirm a governmental position. The image features a carefully studied face contrasted with a summarily drawn torso enfolded in a pinkish robe. Later 18th and 19th century Korean portraits meld these components of portraiture into incisive, realistic presentations.

AMICA ID: CMA_.1999.45
AMICA Library Year: 2001
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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