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Portrait of a Government Official

Portrait of a Government Official

관료 초상


Chae Yongshin 채용신

(Korean, 1848–1941)

Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk

Overall: 156.4 x 87.3 cm (61 9/16 x 34 3/8 in.); Painting only: 127 x 71.1 cm (50 x 28 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2020.259


Did you know?

It was European photography introduced to Korea in the end of the 1800s that most inspired Chae’s naturalistic approach to his subject.


Wearing a dark green court uniform, a man is seated in a chair covered with a leopard skin, a gift from the royal court to a newly appointed officer. The embroidered rank badge with a design of a single flying crane identifies the sitter’s bureaucratic status: the third ranked officer. In this work, the painter Chae Yongshin (1848–1941) rendered a newly promoted government official's shy smile, giving a glimpse into his mixed feelings of confidence and anxiety about his future professional career.

See also
Korean Art
Type of artwork: 

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