Skip to main content

Two Scholars, Attendant, and Donkey in a Landscape

Artist Culture
Joseon dynasty, 1392–1910
17th–18th century
Hanging scroll: ink on silk
Made in
Korea, Asia
Current Location
On View, Gallery 225
image: 15 3/4 × 14 7/8 in. (40 × 37.8 cm)
scroll: 52 7/8 × 19 5/8 in. (134.3 × 49.8 cm)
width from roller end to roller end: 23 1/8 in. (58.7 cm)
Credit Line
Funds given by Mr. David V. Kromm and Mrs. Young-Hie Nahm Kromm, Dr. and Mrs. Moon-Hea Nahm, and Mr. and Mrs. Tae-Hea Nahm, in memory of Dr. and Mrs. Chung C. Nahm
Public Domain
Object Number
This hanging scroll depicts two scholars conversing under the shade of a bamboo grove accompanied by a nearby attendant with a donkey. Executed in ink monochrome on silk, it is a typical Korean literati-style painting, evident especially in the robes on the figures and the wide-brimmed hat worn by one of them. The original source of East Asian literati painting may be traced back to Chinese paintings of the Northern Song dynasty (960–1127). Eminent scholar-artists produced paintings as means of self-expression rather than as sources of income; they focused on conveying overall moods rather than life-likeness in details large and small. During the later Ming dynasty (1368–1644) in China, artists increased the scale of figures in such paintings to occupy a greater proportion of the entire composition. It is this Ming configuration of the figures-in-a-landscape, as seen here, that was closely adopted by Korean painters of the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910) during the 17th and 18th centuries. This recent acquisition is the first Korean painting to enter the Museum’s collection.
Scroll back to top