Image: 38 1/8 × 21 1/8 in. (96.8 × 53.7 cm)
Overall with mounting: 48 × 24 7/16 in. (121.9 × 62.1 cm)
Overall with knobs: 48 × 24 3/4 in. (121.9 × 62.9 cm)
Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 2012
Not on view
This portrait depicts a man kneeling atop a patterned straw mat in front of a folding screen. His white robe, trimmed in black and tied above the waist, and double-tiered black hat with three peaks identify him as a scholar in unofficial garb.
The inscription on the left provides the cyclical year gapja (甲子), corresponding to 1924. The artist’s pen name Seokji (石芝) is given in the seal.
A renowned portraitist, Chae Yongsin painted people from all levels of society. This scroll is from late in his career, when he worked with his son and grandson, forming what might loosely be termed a studio. The composition and such details as the folds of the robe and the patterns on the mat closely follow Chae’s signature style. The sensitively modeled face, rendered with short brushstrokes that articulate the texture and creases of the skin, is undoubtedly by the master’s hand.
Chae’s portraits incorporate the conventions of both traditional ancestral portraiture and modern photography. He often painted from photographs, and the backgrounds in many of his works replicate photo-studio sets.
Signature: The inscription on the left provides the cyclical year gapja (甲子), corresponding to 1924. The artist’s pen name Seokji (石芝) is given in the seal.
Dr. Peter Reimann , Springfield, New Jersey (1957/58–2012, acquired in Korea ; sold in 2012, through Koo New York, to MMA)