Nov 8, 2022
Nov 8, 2022
Nov 8, 2022

General Guo Zi-yi’s Birthday Banquet

General Guo Zi-yi’s Birthday Banquet

late 1700s

Six-panel folding screen; ink and color on silk

207.6 x 295.3 cm (81 3/4 x 116 1/4 in.)

Private Collection, Courtesy of Sebastian Izzard Asian Art, New York 12.2022


Did you know?

Based on its history of ownership and painting style, this screen was most likely made in the 18th-century Korean royal court.


This colorful folding screen depicts the famous military general Guo Zi-yi (697–781) of the Chinese Tang dynasty (618–907) enjoying his birthday. He is known to have a long and successful military career as well as a blissful family life. Thus, his image surrounded by his numerous family members symbolizes the paragon of success and happiness.

Although General Guo was a Chinese historical figure, in this Korean painting he is portrayed wearing a quintessentially Korean royal hat made of black silk with vertical ridges, called wonyugwan (원유관). Across the lower section of the first two panels (starting from far right), a group of court ladies is portrayed playing with a cat, while a band of boys is shown carrying a large banner and one riding a toy horse, imitating a royal procession.

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