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Grapes

Grapes

1700s

Hanging scroll; ink on paper

Painting only: 101.3 x 33 cm (39 7/8 x 13 in.); Overall: 183.8 x 49.9 cm (72 3/8 x 19 5/8 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1986.13

Description

The grape was imported into East Asia from the west via the Silk Road. This ink painting of a grape vine composed of delicate and subtle lines reflects the elegant taste among the high elites in the early Joseon period. It keenly portrays the sinuous texture of grapevines, and the interplay of wet or dry brushstrokes and dark or light ink tones convey the plant’s structure, surface texture, and internal strength. In the late Joseon period, grape paintings were enjoyed by all classes as a sign of fertility-a bunch of grapes symbolizing many children.

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