Portrait of a Dignitary
By anonymous artist. Korea. 16th century
Mineral pigments on paper
32 × 20 cm
Medieval Korean portrait-painting was strongly influenced by Chinese art. It adopted pictorial canons evolved in China during the rule of the Sung dynasty. This portrait of a Korean dignitary, the governor of a province, is the work of an unknown Korean artist. The model is represented in formal dress and traditional headwear. His posture is static, his face impenetrable. The portrait is not devoid of individual traits, yet the artist apparently concentrated on rendering certain general features of a high-ranking person-imperiousness, self-assurance, and strength of mind and character.