Art/ Collection/ Art Object

석지 채용신 학자 초상
石芝 蔡龍臣 學者肖像
Portrait of a scholar

Chae Yongsin (artist name: Seokji) (ASA) (Korean, 1850–1941)
dated by inscription to 1924
Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk
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)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 2012
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 233
Although the sitter in this portrait is not identified, his black-trimmed white robe and double-tiered hat with three peaks identify him as a scholar in informal garb. Quite unusual, he sits kneeling, rather than cross-legged like the gentleman in the adjacent portrait.

Chae’s works incorporate the conventions of both traditional ancestral portraiture and modern photography, such as a heightened realism and a studio-set background that included a painted folding screen. Indeed, he often painted from photos, especially as age limited his mobility; this portrait may very well have had a photographic, rather than live, model.
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.

Inscription: 一千0十五萬五千八百四十一年甲子三月上澣前府使從二品蔡石芝寫
Dr. Peter Reimann , Springfield, New Jersey (1957/58–2012, acquired in Korea ; sold in 2012, through Koo New York, to MMA)
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