Grapes (포도 신사임당) – Daegu Art Museum

Shin Saimdang (1504-1551), Ink on Silk, 31.5×21.7cm
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○Title: Masterpieces of Joseon Painting, Kansong Collection
○Exhibition Period: Jun. 16th (Sat) 2018 ~ Sep. 16th (Sunday) 2018
○Venue: Umi Hall, 1 Exhibition Hall


Lady Sin, mother of the great philosopher Yi I, was famous for painting. She is said to have been exceptionally talented in painting grapes, in particular, and no one could rival her in her lifetime. Nonetheless, only a few of her grape paintings survived through the ages, making this piece all the more precious.

 

The grapevine running down the center of the canvas and the broad leaf and fat bunch of grapes at the bottom make for a very stable composition. The depth of ink – light and dark – effectively depicts the ripening grapes in a vivid, very realistic way. Young, fresh vines were done in dark ink, while old, thick vines were done in light ink, making this painting extremely lifelike.

This painting is included in the Collection of Famous Paintings East of the [Yellow] Sea, also known as the Album of Painting Collections by Kim Gwang-guk, a great art collector during the late Joseon period. This grape painting became all the more familiar to the Koreans when it was featured on the new 50,000 won banknote.

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