Not currently on display at the V&A

Tiger and Magpie

Painting
1850-1910 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Paintings of tigers and magpies were popular in Korea in the 19th century and were often displayed on the front gate of homes at New Year. In Korea, the tiger is considered the most powerful of evil-repelling animals, while magpies are traditionally viewed as the bearers of good news. This subject matter was thus not only visually appealing, but was also thought to provide protection and attract good fortune for the forthcoming year.

The humour of this particular painting is characteristic of the genre. Two magpies chatter to each other on the bough of a pine tree. A tiger, frustrated by their noise but powerless to stop it, glares up at them from below.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional TitleHochakdo (generic title)
Materials and Techniques
Black ink and colours on paper
Brief Description
Painting showing a tiger and two magpies, Korea, 1850-1910.
Physical Description
A small tiger with striped fur and a long tail curving around the lower portion of the picture is seated with its body facing to the left and its head towards the right. The tiger appears to be looking at two magpies perched in the branches of a pine tree in the top right-hand side of the picture.
Dimensions
  • With mount height: 124.8cm
  • With mount width: 62.5cm
  • With mount depth: 1.5cm
  • Without mount height: 99.5cm
  • Without mount width: 50cm
Style
Credit line
Purchased with the help of Museum colleagues in memory of Lisa Bailey (1964-1996), Curator of Korean Art 1994-1996
Object history
Korean folk painting of a tiger and magpies
Subjects depicted
Summary
Paintings of tigers and magpies were popular in Korea in the 19th century and were often displayed on the front gate of homes at New Year. In Korea, the tiger is considered the most powerful of evil-repelling animals, while magpies are traditionally viewed as the bearers of good news. This subject matter was thus not only visually appealing, but was also thought to provide protection and attract good fortune for the forthcoming year.



The humour of this particular painting is characteristic of the genre. Two magpies chatter to each other on the bough of a pine tree. A tiger, frustrated by their noise but powerless to stop it, glares up at them from below.
Associated Object
Bibliographic Reference
published inBeth McKillop & Pauline LeMoigne "Tradition and Transformation : two decades of Korean Art and Design at the V&A Museum" in Orientations,Volume 43, number 6, September 2012, pp.83-91.
Collection
Accession Number
FE.69-1997

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record createdFebruary 3, 2000
Record URL