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Yun Sun (Yun Baek-ha)

Asian Art

Although the study of classical calligraphy focused primarily on controlling brushstrokes to create legible writing, it was considered appropriate for expert calligraphers to experiment with the basic forms and engage in self-expression. This poem, by one of Korea’s most celebrated calligraphers, is a fine example of the type of free brushwork that is informed by the rules of beautiful writing but not bound by a need for legibility. Like many calligraphers of his time, Yun Sun was also a high-ranking government minister.
MEDIUM Hanging scroll, ink on linen
DATES early 18th century
DYNASTY Joseon dynasty
DIMENSIONS scroll: 74 3/16 × 20 13/16 in. (188.5 × 52.8 cm) image: 40 3/8 × 14 15/16 in. (102.5 × 38.0 cm)  (show scale)
MARKINGS Very faint seal at lower left
SIGNATURE Object may be signed
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of the Carroll Family Collection
CAPTION Yun Sun (Yun Baek-ha) (Korean, 1680-1741). Poem, early 18th century. Hanging scroll, ink on linen, scroll: 74 3/16 × 20 13/16 in. (188.5 × 52.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Carroll Family Collection, 2020.18.12 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.TL2020.25.4_seal.jpg)
IMAGE detail, CUR.TL2020.25.4_seal.jpg. Brooklyn Museum, 2020
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Calligraphy. Poem, consisting of three short lines written in large, free-hand script on linen or silk. Text of the poem to be translated. Yun Sun served as Minister of the Bureau of Rites. He was one of the most important calligraphers of the Joseon period, often compared in Korea to the great Chinese calligraphers. He and his primary pupil, Yi Gwang-sa, dominated the calligraphy practice of the first half of the 18th century. He strove to emulate the style of Chinese calligrapher Wang Xizhi (321-379), which he learned through printed copies.
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