Korean Art and Korean Antiques

Wonderfully Inventive Pair of Allegorical Paintings

Wonderfully Inventive Pair of Allegorical Paintings

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Korean: Paintings: Pre 1900: Item # 1051417

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$200 for the pair

You see the written characters su (longevity) and bok (happiness) paired together everywhere, on paintings, furniture, ceramics, textiles, etc., but this is likely the most delightful and creative allegory for the pair that you'll see. One painting depicts the god of longevity Namgungoin (literally, "south-country-old-man", another name for Suseongnoin, the Southern Star Spirit) riding a crane, another symbol of longevity. The South Pole Star Spirit's large head represents his great wisdom. The other painting is of beautiful butterflies, symbols of happiness, or good fortune. A wonderfully creative allegorical painting of su (longevity) and bok (happiness). Another level of meaning can be found in the painting of the Southern Star Spirit. Because the Southern Star (or the Southern Cross) cannot be seen from Korea but can be seen from China, only those who had traveled to China or who could read Chinese books knew about it. So to paint or own a Southern Star Spirit painting meant that you were educated or well-traveled, or both. Mineral pigments on paper. Each frame: 21 x 21 inches, 53 x 53 cm; Each painting: 12 inches, 30.5 cm diameter.