From slave to accomplished artist

February 19, 2023

Ri Sang Jwa was a painter in the period of the feudal Joson dynasty (1392-1910).

For his remarkable drawing skill he was freed from slavery and became a painter of Tohwaso (a government office in charge of paintings created on the demand of the royal court).

He drew well different kinds of pictures including landscape, figure, animals, flowers and birds, Buddhist painting and book illustrations.

His masterpieces so far handed down include “Walking under the pine tree at moonlit night”, “Angry tiger” and “Flowers and birds”.

His pictures show his intention to rid himself of bigoted and formalistic painting in the literary artist’s style of aristocrats of noble linage which was prevailing in the world of artists at that time.

His brushwork provides valuable materials for the development and study of Korean painting.


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