Kim Sugyu (Korean, active late 18th–early 19th century)
Joseon dynasty (1392–1910)
late 18th century
Hanging scroll; ink and color on cotton
Image: 10 x 13 3/4 in. (25.4 x 34.9 cm) Overall with mounting: 43 1/2 x 18 7/8 in. (110.5 x 47.9 cm) Overall with knobs: 43 1/2 x 21 1/8 in. (110.5 x 53.7 cm)
Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 2006
Not on view
Although little is known about Kim Sugyu, and only a handful of works bearing his signature and seals are known, the artist's name does appear in the standard reference on Korean painters and calligraphers, Geunyeok seohwa jing, written by O Sechang in 1917; the brief entry on Kim notes that he "excelled in painting." Here, the artist signed the painting using one of his style names, Hwalhoja, following a short inscription that describes the image.
The painting depicts a mountainous, tree-covered landscape, its colors saturated with rain. Two fishermen cross the bridge on the lower left side of the painting, perhaps on their way to the village indicated by a cluster of houses at top right. The bold yet economical brushwork and the play of varying ink tones and colors give this diminutive painting a compelling presence. The fold mark down the center along with its small size indicate that the work was originally an album leaf that was later remounted as a hanging scroll (not an uncommon practice in East Asian painting).
Signature: The short inscription on the top left corner reads:
Rain Clears and Brightens a Thousand Mountains Men in Straw Coats Return with Fishing Rods
Following the inscription are the artist's signature "Hwalhoja" (a style name) and two seals spelling another of his style names, "Sa-ik."
[ Kang Collection, Inc. , New York, 2003–06; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Korea," January 14, 2005–October 29, 2006.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Korea," May 19, 2010–November 7, 2010.