Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Birds and Flowers

Artist:
Unidentified Artist Korean
Period:
Joseon dynasty (1392–1910)
Date:
late 19th–early 20th century
Culture:
Korea
Medium:
Ten-panel folding screen; ink and color on silk
Dimensions:
Image (each panel): 54 3/8 x 10 3/8 in. (138.1 x 26.4 cm) Overall: 73 5/8 in. × 11 ft. 3/8 in. (187 × 336.2 cm)
Classification:
Screens
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Vincent Astor Foundation Gift and John M. Crawford Jr. Bequest, 1993
Accession Number:
1993.255
Not on view
Paintings of birds and flowers have a long tradition in East Asian art. In Korea folding screens depicting combinations of birds and flowers became prevalent in the late Joseon period and continued to be popular in the twentieth century.

Carefully composed and meticulously detailed, the scenes in this colorful and exquisitely painted screen are characterized by heightened realism. Each panel portrays one or more pairs of birds resting on or flying around a blossoming plant, a tree, or reeds. The rightmost panel also includes a hen with her chicks under a rock. The symbolism of male-female pairings of birds—mandarin ducks, for example, are known to mate for life—made such screens suitable decoration for wedding ceremonies or a bridal chamber. Beyond domestic bliss, paintings of birds and flowers also embodied wishes for wealth, career advancement, longevity, and fecundity.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Birds and Flowers," November 1, 2006–April 21, 2007.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Maebyông," October 30, 2007–March 3, 2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art of Korea," July 7, 2009–November 15, 2009.

Related Objects

Scholars in a Rock Garden

Date: 15th–16th century Medium: Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk Accession: 57.174.2 On view in:Not on view

Snowscape

Date: 17th century Medium: Framed hanging scroll; ink and color on paper Accession: 1976.2 On view in:Not on view

Copy of a Portrait of Zhao Mengfu

Date: 19th century Medium: Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk Accession: 1986.267.3 On view in:Not on view

Ink Making

Date: early 19th century Medium: Gouache on paper Accession: 1994.409 On view in:Not on view

Transcription of the Dongfang Shuo Huazan

Medium: Handscroll; ink on silk Accession: 1989.370 On view in:Not on view