Korean Art and Korean Antiques

Early 20th Cent. Portrait of Jeong Mong Ju by Hyeon Gok

Early 20th Cent. Portrait of Jeong Mong Ju by Hyeon Gok

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Korean: Paintings: Pre 1940: Item # 1231498

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Early 20th Century Portrait of Minister Jeong Mong Ju (aka Poeun) by Hyeon Gok (aka Dohwa Sanin), active 1920's and 30's. Jeong Mong Ju is one of the most important figures in Korean history. He was assassinated in 1392 for refusing to betray his loyalty to the outgoing Goryeo court and for his rejection of overtures from the incoming Joseon court. There is now a national monument on the spot where he was murdered on Sonjukkyo Bridge in Gaeseong, North Korea. Jeong Mong Ju's death marked the symbolic end of the Goryeo Dynasty. He remains revered throughout Korea, and portraits of him are very popular. This is a very well-executed and fine example of traditional Korean portraiture. This was painted during the Japanese occupation of Korea, and so would have served as a surreptitious inspiration for Koreans to remember Jeong Mong Ju and remain loyal to Korea, and do not give up, during those very difficult days, on the dream of Korean independence. Frame: 32.5 x 25 inches, 82.5 x 63.5 cm; Painting: 28 x 20.5 inches, 71 x 52 cm. There are reflections in the glass that are a byproduct of the photography and are not in the actual painting, such as the reflection of the camera lens that creates the spot under the eye on your left side and along the cheek's edge on your left side, and the diagonal line that starts at the bottom left corner of his robe. That is a reflection of the camera tripod.