Landscape Painting (山水畵)

Yi Sinul, Joseon dynasty, 18-19th century, ink and color on paper, 110.0X33.0cm, Busan Museum of Korea ⓒemuseum

Songam Yi Sinul (松菴 李時訥, late 18th – early 19th Century) was employed in the Dongnaebu Naval Office and produced a great number of paintings for export to Japan. Yi’s Landscape Painting is representative of the type of Southern-school inspired landscape paintings that were frequently traded for Japanese products. For example, the painting features so-called mi-dot and hemp-fiber texture strokes that are typical of the Southern school painting style. Unlike other well-known painters whose works were frequently copied and forged, scholars believe that the majority of extant works bearing the seal “Songam” were in fact painted by Yi Sinul himself. These works include Bamboo and Tiger Painting and Pinetree and Hawk Painting in the collection of  Jishoin, Shokokuji Temple in Japan.

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Artworks related to Yi Sinul’s Landscape Painting

: Southern School Literati Style Paintings

Painting of a Figure in a Landscape


Yi Sinul, Joseon dynasty, 18-19th century, ink and color on paper, 96.5X31.0cm, Busan Museum of Korea ⓒemuseum 

UNESCO Memory of the World

This painting combines a close-up view of a landscape with a distant view. In the foreground, the artist depicts small, sloping hills with a few trees and a vacant structure atop a cliff. For the mountains in the distant background, the artist applies mi-dot texture strokes. In terms of composition and style, this painting reflects current painting trends inspired by the Southern School style of literati painting that was popular in the Eighteenth Century. 

Landscape Painting (山水圖)

Goe Won, Joseon dynasty, 18-19th century, ink and color on paper, 80.5X47.2cm, Busan Museum of Korea ⓒemuseum

This landscape was produced by a professional painter known as Goe Won who produced paintings for export at the Waegwan. Like Yi Sinul’s work, Goe’s painting includes key features of the Southern school style of painting such as a sparse hilly landscape in the foreground and long mi-dot texture strokes. At the bottom right, the inscription “Joseon” suggests that the painting was intended for export to Japan.

What are the names of the texture strokes in East Asian Landscape Paintings?

: Mi-dot texture strokes and Hemp-fiber texture strokes

Mi-dot texture Strokes (米點) are created by tilting the brush to the side and applying repeated elongated dots to a landscape composition. This technique is used to describe softly curving mountainsides, green summer forests or a landscape wet with thick fog after a rain

Hemp-fiber texture strokes (披麻皴) refers to layers of cross-hatched brushstrokes that can appear like the intersecting threads found in hemp cloth. This technique is often used to describe the surface of mountains, rocks or stones.

  Try to identify the Mi-dot texture strokes and hemp-fiber texture strokes in the painting below.

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