Birds and Flowers

Title

Birds and Flowers

Subject

Birds and flowers

Date

Late 19th - early 20th century

Creator

Unidentified Korean artist

Format

Ten-panel folding screen; ink and color on silk

Type

Painting

Description

Paintings of birds and flowers have a long tradition in East Asian art. In Korea folding screens depicting combinations of birds and flowers became prevalent in the late Joseon period and continued to be popular in the twentieth century.

Carefully composed and meticulously detailed, the scenes in this colorful and exquisitely painted screen are characterized by heightened realism. Each panel portrays one or more pairs of birds resting on or flying around a blossoming plant, a tree, or reeds. The rightmost panel also includes a hen with her chicks under a rock. The symbolism of male-female pairings of birds—mandarin ducks, for example, are known to mate for life—made such screens suitable decoration for wedding ceremonies or a bridal chamber. Beyond domestic bliss, paintings of birds and flowers also embodied wishes for wealth, career advancement, longevity, and fecundity.

Publisher

Metropolitan Museum of Arts

http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/44760

Contributor

Purchase, The Vincent Astor Foundation Gift and John M. Crawford Jr. Bequest, 1993

Identifier

Accession Number:1993.255
Hwajo-003

Source

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Period

Joseon Dynasty (1392–1910)

Culture

Korean

Geographic Origin

Korea

Medium

Ink and color on silk

Dimensions

Image (each panel): 54 3/8 x 10 3/8 in. (138.1 x 26.4 cm) Overall: 73 5/8 in. × 11 ft. 3/8 in. (187 × 336.2 cm)

Files

Golden Cock and Hen

Citation

Unidentified Korean artist, “Birds and Flowers,” The Museum of Korean Folk Art , accessed December 8, 2021, https://mokfa.omeka.net/items/show/1.