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Korean Folk Art
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by Stephanie Lee | | 0 Comments

# Contents
Title Butterflies
Date 19th century
Artist Nam Kye-woo, Korean, 1811 - 1888
Description A high-ranking official in the Joseon court, Nam Kye-woo was also an amateur painter renowned for his depictions of butterflies, which were usually rendered only by professional or court painters due to the skills required. Nam’s extraordinary passion for butterflies earned him the nickname of Nam Na-bi, meaning Butterfly Nam. The artist himself bred butterflies, and his vast collection, both living and dried, enabled him to render the creatures with amazing detail. The realism of Nam’s butterflies demonstrates the superior skills and rare talent that distinguished him from other literati painters. Symbolizing the love and oneness of a married couple, butterflies were a popular motif for decorations in the women’s quarter of Korean homes.
Format Pair of Hanging Scrolls
Medium Ink and color on silk; mounted as a pair of hanging scrolls

Each: 40 × 12 1/2 inches (101.6 × 31.8 cm)

Mount: 6 feet 2 inches × 18 inches (188 × 45.7 cm)

Classification Paintings
Credit Line Purchased with the James and Agnes Kim Foundation Fund, 2006
Source Philadelphia Museum of Art
Accession Number 2006-75-1,2
Geography Made in Korea, Asia
Context Dynasty: Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910)