19th century Lee Dynasty Korean folk art painting on hand woven linen. The painting is of deer, birds, flowers, salmon (fish), a dragonfly and other symbolic details. There are two seals, a square one in the top left, and one in the top right which are believed to be collector’s seals. This is because Korean folk artist’s rarely sign their work. The painting has been framed and matted in a beautiful, gilded gold frame. The dimensions given below are of the actual size of the painting, the framed dimensions are 17.5” width 38” height x 2” depth and the dimensions of the hand woven linen canvas is 16” width 36” height x .2” depth. This is one of six Korean folk art paintings we have listed for sale.Shipjangsangdo (or Shipchangsaengdo) paintings convey the early Korean desire for longevity, that is the desire to live a long and healthy life. In Shipjangsangdo, this desire is communicated through the depiction of objects associated with longevity in Korean culture. The ten objects most commonly associated with longevity are the sun, clouds, rocks, water, pine trees, bamboo, red-crested cranes, deer, turtles, and immortal’s fungus. The origin of Shipchangsaengdo painting is said to lie in the Koryo dynasty, when a sick man hung images of and wrote poems about these items, because of their association with health. Shipjangsangdo paintings can be difficult to classify, as the ten items listed above are only the most commonly depicted items, and cultural differences may result in other items representing health and longevity.
The Joseon dynasty (1392–1910) was founded by the powerful Goryeo (918–1392) military commander Yi Seong-gye, who named it Joseon. Joseon Dynasty was also called Yi Dynasty or Lee Dynasty.
Minhwa refers to Korean folk art produced mostly by itinerant or unknown artists without formal training, emulating contemporary trends in fine art for the purpose of everyday use or decoration.
Minhwa literally means "painting of the people" or "popular painting". This type of painting was often the work of anonymous craftsmen who faithfully adhered to the styles, canons and genres inherited from the past. Minhwa also involved a magical dimension. They were believed to possess beneficial virtues and to protect the owner and his family from evil forces. They feature popular themes such as cranes, rocks, water, clouds, the sun, moon, pine-trees, tortoises, insects and flowers. Minhwa means popular painting or people’s art and is traditional Korean folk art from the Chosun era (1392-1910) painted onto paper or on canvas.
Minhwa art developed into its present form in the seventeenth century. The artists were common people who went from place to place, often following festivals, where they would paint for the locals, fulfilling their commissions on the spot. The artists are mostly unknown commoners of the low and middle class, and some were traveling visitors usually attending festivals who followed trends in fine art to develop the crude minhwa style artwork that expressed its emotions using symbolism, optimism, humor, and satire. Important stages in life were also marked by the painting of a minhwa picture.
The paintings worked on several levels. They show figures from folk mythology and legends, symbols of happiness, wealth and health, and scenes of everyday life. Minhwa colorfully represents the perspectives, religions, symbols of daily life and desires, and folk mythologies of its time. It featured robust animals as supernatural such as tigers, dragons, insects, and cranes, and featured colorful natural backgrounds with peonies, clouds, lotuses, water, or the sun. The unique symbolism blended Buddhism, shamanism, Confucianism, and Taoism. Providential circumstances were represented by things such as carp, which represent success. The ten objects most associated with longevity are the sun, clouds, rocks, water, pine trees, bamboo, red-crested cranes, deer, turtles, and immortal’s fungus.
Minhwa was hanged by the front door to bring about happiness and luck. Minhwa was a detailed process from scratch. It consisted of making the pigments from natural ingredients and coloring hanji, or Korean paper.
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