Chaekgeori

Eight ink still life drawings of stacked bookcases

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  • Eight ink still life drawings of stacked bookcases

Date:

Joseon dynasty (1392–1910), 19th century

Artist:

Korean

About this artwork

Chaekgeori are Korean still-life paintings that were popular during the latter part of the Joseon dynasty. Three-dimensional effects were commonly used in chaekgeori, as was reversed perspective, in which distant objects are shown larger than those nearby, thus flattening the pictorial surface. These different treatments of spatial illusion resulted in compositions with a highly graphic feel that is enhanced by the decorative patterning on the depicted objects. It is clear that such still-life images did not have realism as a goal. Instead, chaekgeori (defined as “painting[s] of books and associated things”) were seen as conveyers of cultural values. They were most often displayed within studios or schools and reflected reverence for scholarship and learning. In this screen, scholarly tools are depicted along with flowers, plants, food, rare imported objects, and religious implements. These motifs express varied meanings; for example, eggplant represents the promise of a long life, while musical instruments symbolize harmony among people. Such a profusion of auspicious meanings indicates that chaekgeori may not have been restricted to the scholarly environment; they may also have served as talismans ensuring harmony within the home and beyond.

On View

Asian Art, Gallery 109

Title

Chaekgeori

Origin

Korea

Date

1392–1910

Medium

Ink and color on paper mounted on silk brocade with wooden frame

Dimensions

162.5 × 415.2 cm (63 31/32 × 163 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Wirt D. Walker Fund

Reference Number

2006.3

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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