Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Golden Cock and Hen

Unidentified Artist
Joseon dynasty (1392–1910)
19th century
Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper
Image: 45 × 18 in. (114.3 × 45.7 cm) Overall with mounting: 79 × 22 in. (200.7 × 55.9 cm) Overall with knobs: 79 × 24 3/4 in. (200.7 × 62.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1919
Accession Number:
Not on view
Paintings of auspicious symbols were popular in the late Joseon period among all classes of society. This scroll represents a combination of two established themes in Korean painting: birds and flowers and the ten symbols of longevity—sun, mountain, water, rock, cloud, pine tree, tortoise, crane, deer, and mushroom of immortality. This work depicts a golden cock perched on a paulownia tree under the sun and clouds, and a golden hen looking up from her place on a rock with sprouting red mushrooms of immortality. Splashing waves create drama. This pair of fowls seems to allude to the golden pheasant (which despite the name has a reddish body with a yellow crest), which is associated with good fortune.

Auspicious creatures such as tigers, dragons, cranes, and deer appeared on a range of media in the Joseon period, attesting to the importance and prevalence of these symbols in Korean culture.
New York. Asia House Gallery. "Korean Folk Art," December 8, 1983–January 22, 1984.

New Orleans Museum of Art. "Korean Folk Art," February 11, 1984–March 25, 1984.

Honolulu Academy of Arts. "Korean Folk Art," April 14, 1984–May 27, 1984.

Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. "Korean Folk Art," June 15, 1984–July 29, 1984.

Tulsa. Philbrook Art Center. "Korean Folk Art," August 18, 1984–October 14, 1984.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Korean Folk Art," November 8, 1984–January 6, 1985.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Still Life in Korean Art," June 7, 2014–February 1, 2015.

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