8 Panels Of Screen: Tribute Mission To The Chinese Court (Byeongpung)
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From card: "Painted on silk. 8 panels. Painted with a scene which represents an Emperor of China of the Ming Dynasty receiving presents from states tributary to China. Eight leaves; old, rare, and finely painted. this screen is worthy of close study for the number of nationalities depicted and from the fact that it is an example of the finest [Asian] handpainting. The scene is of about four hundred years ago; the Koreans with pardonable pride have placed themselves in the first rank. ...
This screen is described (but not illustrated) on p. 109 of Houchins, Chang-su. (2004). An Ethnography of the Hermit Kingdom: The J.B. Bernadou Korean collection, 1884-1885. Washington, D.C.: Asian Cultural History Program, Smithsonian Institution. It is identified in this publication as: ""Tribute Mission to the Chinese Court" (Byeongpung), Choson Period (1392-1910), mid 19th century. Eight panels of an eight-panel screen; color on silk. H: 140 cm., W: 416.5 cm.. Ref: HKC pp. 469-470; Published: McCune, Evelyn B. (1983). The Inner Art: Korean Screens (Hanguk ui byeongpung), translated by Soyoung Kim Sohn [Kim Seo-yeong]:14-19. Collected in Seoul. Donor/Collector John Baptiste Bernadou, accessioned by the Smithsonian in 1886. This screen illustrates an imaginary scene of the Chinese Emperor receiving tribute from the areas bordering China. The eight panels "illustrate the final stage in the three days of ceremony that tribute missions took part in before being allowed to trade" (McCune, 1983: 14-15, 17-19 for illustration). The first panel depicts their arrivals at the imperial court, while the fifth to seventh panels show ceremonial courses of presenting gifts to the Chinese Emperor. The scenes are elaborately drawn, probably by a Korean court painter, a Dohwaseo (Office of Paintings) specialist (ibid.). [Walter] Hough gives the classic interpretation of the scenes as Ming Dynasty (1368-1628) court, and notes that eight-panel silk screens such as this one are old and rare. According to Evelyn B. McCune, "The architecture is of that of the Forbidden City in Peking [Beijing] perhaps of Yuan (1206-1341) times as the costumes appear to be." Hough further comments, "This screen is worthy of close study for the number of nationalities depicted ... [and] the scene is about four hundred years ago; the Koreans with pardonable pride have placed themselves in the front rank." Though originally an eight panel screen, the panels are now separate.
The screen is not intact, but rather consists only of the 8 separate component panel paintings (Bernadou acquired it in this state). Per Department of Anthropology Conservator Greta Hansen, 2011, the paintings, which are stored rolled, are fragile and need conservation and should not be handled without a conservator. UPDATE, Sept 2015: the panels have been gently unrolled by conservator Andrew Hare (Freer-Sackler Galley) and will be stored flat, making them easily accessible for viewing, but please avoid handling.
23 Feb 2017
- Chicago citation style
- 8 Panels Of Screen: Tribute Mission To The Chinese Court (Byeongpung). 1886-Feb-24. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, http://collections.si.edu/search/results.htm?q=record_ID%3Anmnhanthropology_8480162&repo=DPLA. (Accessed December 17, 2018.)
- APA citation style
- (1886-Feb-24) 8 Panels Of Screen: Tribute Mission To The Chinese Court (Byeongpung). Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, http://collections.si.edu/search/results.htm?q=record_ID%3Anmnhanthropology_8480162&repo=DPLA
- MLA citation style
- Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America <http://collections.si.edu/search/results.htm?q=record_ID%3Anmnhanthropology_8480162&repo=DPLA>.