Hanging scroll, ink on silk
Image: 101 x 47 cm (39 3/4 x 18 1/2 in.); Overall: 176.5 x 73 cm (69 1/2 x 28 3/4 in.)
Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1999.43
Grape wine was introduced to the Korean court in the 1200s, but the common classes did not have many opportunities to enjoy it until the 20th century.
Grapes began to be employed as artistic motifs in Korean art after their introduction to the peninsula around the 600s through the Silk Road, the ancient global trade route. Artists used them to embellish the surfaces of mother-of-pearl lacquer boxes and blue-and-white porcelain, while scholar-poets composed poems about the luscious sweet sourness of green grapes. Grape paintings such as this were hung on a wall especially in a scholar’s elegant study during the summer season when deep blue grapes ripen.
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