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Korean Paintings

The tradition of Korean paintings emerged millennia ago in the form of cave painting. That tradition continues today as contemporary artists further develop the nation’s storied artistic dialogue, reflecting on Korea’s culture and history in relation to the modern world.

With a rich and varied history, Korean painting juxtaposes the vivid color palates of folk art, tomb paintings, and festival art with the monochromatic calligraphic tradition. Throughout the history of Korean painting, there has been a well-delineated separation between these art forms.

Until the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897 A.D.), the techniques and iconography of Korean painting appeared heavily influenced by the Chinese. After the introduction of Confucianism, the practice of calligraphy emerged as a new medium and developed in parallel to existing art forms.

The Confucian ruling class favored the simple beauty of calligraphy—defined by its sparseness and absence of color—over more colorful traditional works. Korean artists such as Park Seo-bo and Lee Ufan continue the Korean tradition of monochrome painting commonly known as danksaekhwa, reflecting on the art form’s cultural legacy and its meaning in the contemporary world.


Quick Facts

  • In 2014, Korean artist Lee Ufan participated in an exhibition at the palace of Versailles, exhibiting a selection of works in the former home of Louis XIII
  • Korean post-war painters were inspired by the heavy impasto and vibrant color palate of European masters including Cezanne, Gauguin, and Van Gogh
  • Hunting scenes are a common subject among Korean royal paintings and often include wild boar and Siberian tigers

Recommended Items at Auction

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THREE SCHOLAR LANDSCAPE PAINTINGS
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THREE SCHOLAR LANDSCAPE PAINTINGS
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TEN PAINTINGS OF FLOWERS AND ANIMALS ATTRIBUTED TO JANG SEUNG-EOP (1843-1897)
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TEN PAINTINGS OF FLOWERS AND ANIMALS ATTRIBUTED TO JANG SEUNG-EOP (1843-1897)
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AN INK PAINTING OF A PAIR OF BIRDS AND A FLOWERING PRUNUS
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AN INK PAINTING OF A PAIR OF BIRDS AND A FLOWERING PRUNUS
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THREE PAINTINGS WITH FLOWERS AND BIRDS
Nov 11, 9:30 AM CET
THREE PAINTINGS WITH FLOWERS AND BIRDS
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Deux peintures représentant des immortels
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Sellers Who Sell Korean Paintings


Nagel Auction

Nagel Auction

Cornette de Saint-Cyr

Cornette de Saint-Cyr