Box with Painted Ox Horn

Box with Painted Ox Horn

화각함 (華角函)


Painted wood with flattened ox-horn inlay

Overall: 16.5 x 28.6 cm (6 1/2 x 11 1/4 in.)

Sundry Purchase Fund 1920.37


This box is nicely decorated with the technique of ox-horn painting (hwagak). The ox horn was cut, soaked in water, boiled, and then pressed into thin flat sheets. The sheets were painted with popular motifs of Korean paintings, such as tigers under the pine trees, ducks in a lotus pond, and deer. The painted surfaces were attached to wooden boxes, and finally, the box was coated with varnish for protection. The translucent quality of the ox horn offers both a lively surface for the painting, and a contrast to the color of the wood.

See also
Korean Art
Korean Art
Type of artwork: 
Credit line: 
Sundry Purchase Fund

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