Eloquent celebration of ordinary lives

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Eloquent celebration of ordinary lives


Name: Album of Genre Painting by Danwon (Kim Hong-do)

Period: Joseon, 18th century

Status: Treasure No. 527

Kim Hong-do (1745-1806), whose pen name was Danwon, is known for his candid paintings of ordinary people from different walks of life. The album shows children in the seodang, or elementary school, farmers plowing rice fields, blacksmiths at the forge and young people dancing.

This album consists of 25 paintings. The backgrounds of these pieces were notably omitted to highlight the central figures. The works exhibit the uniqueness of Kim’s style. His paintings look like practice drawings with strong, rough brush strokes and well-formulated arrangements. While it is not certain when Kim made these paintings, it is presumed that he did them in his late 30s. He completed the album when he was about 40.

*The photos and text for Treasure Trove are provided by the National Museum of Korea. For more information, call (02) 2077-9000 or visit www.museum.go.kr.

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