A Beauty (미인도 신윤복) – Daegu Art Museum


○Title: Masterpieces of Joseon Painting, Kansong Collection
○Exhibition Period: Jun. 16th (Sat) 2018 ~ Sep. 16th (Sunday) 2018
○Venue: Umi Hall, 1 Exhibition Hall

Sin Yun-bok was able to use fine brush lines as thin as silk thread and as elastic as wire in illustrating human figures. His superb painting skills helped him depict the voluptuousness of women’s sensuous bodies, and the neat and tidy appearance of the scions of noble families.


A myriad of spring feelings well up in the artist. The brush tip capably conveys the spirit of the subject.

This painting titled A Beauty portrays a beautiful lady who was at the center of the art and literature world in the capital at the time. Sin Yun-bok successfully portrayed the subject’s alluring figure; a wig with a bun makes her hairdo look fuller; her jacket is so short that her breast is almost exposed; the sleeves are so narrow that they almost cling to the forearms; and the pleated skirt is voluptuously bulky with a rainbow skirt bolstering it. Her shapely foot in a white sock, barely visible under the skirt, is shaped like a cucumber seed. The two strips of crimson waistbands hanging from around the left armhole and the deep purple coat strings, not yet tied, are effective devices to captivate a man’s attention.

Box In Post 1 – Laluce – 300×250

That is why Koreans believed that portraits convey the spirit. So says the colophon on the right written by the artist himself.

Three kinds of color blocks were used to make the attire even more sophisticated, adding a sense of urbanity. Ornamental cloth blocks attached to the collar and armholes are dyed deep purple, the same as the coat strings, and the ends of the sleeves have azure cloth. She keeps fingering heavy agate cuffs, certainly an action that fascinates men. By contrast, her young-looking round face is filled with desire, and her pouting lips of cherry red appear to be about to say something but instead keep silent. Her clear and inward-looking eyes are filled with longing. To be sure, the artist must have read the inner feelings of his subject very deeply to be able to produce such a life-like image.

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