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Gibbons in a Landscape

원숭이유희도 (群猿遊戱圖)

early 1900s
Painting only: 104.8 x 393.7 cm (41 1/4 x 155 in.)
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Location: not on view

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Gibbons were often presented to the Joseon royal court as diplomatic gifts from the Japanese government.

Description

In this folding screen, gibbons playfully interact with each other. In Korean paintings, gibbons were less frequently depicted than in their Chinese and Japanese counterparts. However, they became popular toward the end of the 1800s, possibly due to an influx of Chinese and Japanese decorative arts. Gibbons symbolize good fortune, but as paired with the red autumn foliage, specifically refer to professional success, such as passing the government examination and getting promoted to a higher position. The large ripe peach held by one gibbon bears another symbolic meaning: prosperity and longevity.
Gibbons in a Landscape

Gibbons in a Landscape

early 1900s

Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392–1910)

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