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Portrait of Chief Minister Han Ik-mo

Asian Art

This sensitive portrait depicts a gentleman who served as prime minister in 1772. He wears a samo, the black silk hat of a high-ranking court official, with its distinctive wing-like protrusions of woven horsehair. In his depiction of the flaps, the artist captures the patterns created when two layers of fine mesh overlap. Unlike the wide-brimmed gat, which was worn by all members of the upper classes, the samo was initially reserved for the most important courtiers. Like many trappings of royalty, the samo was later adopted by commoners as part of wedding-day regalia: until recently it was the standard headgear for bridegrooms.
MEDIUM Ink and light color on silk
  • Place Made: Korea
  • DATES last half of 18th century
    DYNASTY Joseon Dynasty
    DIMENSIONS 62 3/8 × 26 1/8 in. (158.4 × 66.4 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Dr. and Mrs. John P. Lyden
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION From "Korean Art Collection in the Brooklyn Museum" catalogue: Han Ik-mo (1703-?) was a late Joseon official who served as prime minister in 1772. His penname was Jeonggyeon and his posthumous name was Munsuk. Although the exact date of his death is unknown, a portrait of him painted when he was seventy-nine testifies to the fact that he enjoyed a long life. This painting depicts him as a young man wearing a red robe and a black silk hat. The contours of the folded robe, especially the hook-shaped folds, indicate that this painting was executed in the typical portrait style of the late eighteenth century.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Portrait of Chief Minister Han Ik-mo, last half of 18th century. Ink and light color on silk, 62 3/8 × 26 1/8 in. (158.4 × 66.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. John P. Lyden, 86.271.7 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 86.271.7_SL3.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 86.271.7_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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