mouse eating watermelon

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This is one of the paintings of grass and insects painted on the eight screens by the famous female painter Shin Shim-dang (1504-1551) in the middle of the Joseon Dynasty. She is not only an artist, but also a writer, calligrapher and poet. She is the mother of the Korean Confucian scholar Li Er. Often held up as a model of Confucian ideals, she was also honored as the “virtuous mother” ( Eojin Eomeoni ; 어진어머니).

Here we see a very sweet scene with watermelons, mice and butterflies, confirmed by delicate brushstrokes, stable composition and crisp colors. Shin Shim-dang created many paintings with animals and insects. Interestingly, this composition was often used by posterity as an embroidery design.

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PS Explore the exquisite screen paintings of Kiyohara Yukinobu , a female master of the Kano School in Japan.

32.8 x 28 cm

National Museum of Korea

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