Geumgang Jeondo by Jeong Seon
Period: Joseon (1392-1910)
Location: Yongsan District, central Seoul
Status: National Treasure 217
This is a picture of Naegeumgang (the inner part of Mount Geumgang) drawn by Jeong Seon, whose pen name is Gyeomgjae (1676-1759). He is known as the great master landscape painter in 1734 (the 10th year of King Yeongjo) during the late Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).
This picture was painted in India ink in the shape of round form on the whole which was seen from above. Twelve thousand peaks of the mountain are depicted on the canvas. Starting from the highest peak, Birobong in the back, a cascade of waterfalls flow along the valley called Manpokdong.
In contrast with the numerous rugged peaks on the right that look strong which were painted with the method of drawing lines up-down, many mountains are on the left with green trees that look relatively soft and rich as they were painted with the method of dotting brushwork.
On the upper right of the picture, there is a comment written by the painter along with the title and his pen name. Landscape paintings in those days were created by imitating those imported from China. However, Jeong Seon discarded Chinese styles and created his unique themes based on Korean scenes. This picture was also drawn by Jeong Seon in person looking at the actual scene of Mount Geumgang in Korea. Among many pieces he drew of Mount Geumgang, this picture is most highly valued as the largest and the best masterpiece.
The photos and text for National Treasure are provided by the Cultural Heritage Administration. For more information, call (042) 481-4650 or visit www.cha.go.kr.