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Munbangdo (문방도 병풍 文房圖 屛風)

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# Contents
Title Munbangdo (문방도 병풍 文房圖 屛風)
Subject Books and objects associated with scholars
Creator Unidentified Korean artist
Format Eight-panel stacked-type 'munbangdo' screen
Type Painting and Drawings
Medium Ink and color on paper

Portal 2000: 'Chaekkori' paintings of piles of books and scholar's equipment are an example of a subject which occured both in court paintings and in folk paintings. King Chongjo was particularly fond of 'chaekkori' paintings; his interest may have been roused by the use of Western techniques of perspective, possibly under the influence of Jesuit painters in Beijing such as Giuseppe Castiglione. The table-type 'chaekkori' was used by less afluent people to enable them too to decorate their ordinary homes with depictions of Confucian scholarly objects. These paintings also included many auspicious fruit, animals and non-scholarly objects which had significance in the context of Korean folk beliefs; for example, many-seeded fruits such as melons and pomegranates, representing the wish for many children.

Ch'aekkori (literally 'books and things') screens were painted in ink and mineral pigments in three formats. This screen uses the most common, the 'table' format, where still-life arrangements form architectionic constructions. It is so named because tables or other pieces of furniture are always incorporated into the theme. Of the other formats, one shows objects isolated from each other and painted in vertical columns; the other, called trompe l'oeil (illustrated here by an example in the Hoam Museum, Seoul), creates an illusion of a three-dimensional book-case, combining elements of both Western and East Asian perespective.

2016 National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage catalogue entries:

'This painting, which is known by several different names, chaekgado, chaekgeorido and munbangdo, depicts books and items in the study of a Joseon Confucian scholar, and is mounted as a eight-panel screen. Chaekgado was a painting genre that emerged in the eighteenth-century when many intellectuals devoted themselves to the collection and appreciation of antiquities, particularly old stationery items and other decorative household objects. This genre is the similar to still-life paintings in that objects are solely represented. These paintings, especially the type depicting bookcases with the use of linear perspective and volumetric shading, also reveal the influence of Western painting.
In this painting, the stacked type, each panel shows books, flowers, ceramics, curios, and writing implements stacked on a table. The painting has many auspicious symbols. The various fruits and vegetables represent abundance and fertility, such as peach, grapes, pomegranate, and watermelon. Longevity
is symbolised in the mushroom motif and in the character decorating the ceramics. The painting is also characterized by its vivid colors, thus enhancing its decorative function.'

'8폭으로 구성된 민화 책가도冊架圖이다. 책가도는 책걸이도, 문방도文房圖라고도 하며 고동서화古銅書畵 취미의 확산과 실내 장식병풍에 대한 수요에 힘입어 18세기 후반에 확립된 장르이다. 도화서 화원들은 선원근법을 사용해 병풍 전면에 서가가 실재하는 듯한 착시효과를 나타내기도 했다. 민간에서도 많은 책가도가 제작되었는데 이 작품에서와 같이 책가를 그리지 않고 책과 문방구를 정물처럼 배치하여 그린 경우가 많다. 이 병풍에는 각 폭마다 경상經床 또는 서안書案 위에 놓인 책 포갑包匣, 문방구, 화분, 접시 등
이 등장한다. 반복을 피하기 위해 서안과 화분 및 병은 다양한 형태와 구도로 묘사되었다. 접시에는 불수감, 복숭아, 불로초와 같이 복과 장수를 부르는 길상물과 함께 수박, 포도, 석류 등 다산을 기원하는 과일이 담겨 민화의 현세구복적 주제가 잘 드러난다. 보색 대비가 선명한 색채를 사용하여 장식성이 뛰어난 작품이다.'

Rights The British Museum
Registration number


Period Late 19thC - early 20thC
Culture Korean
Geographic Origin Korea

Height: 138.80 centimetres (total)
Length: 57.40 centimetres (image (each panel))
Width: 36 centimetres (image (each panel))
Width: 387 centimetres (total)

Resource URL https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/A_1994-0414-0-1