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 look down on the tiger from the safe distance of a pine tree. Frustrated by their constant chattering but powerless to stop it, the tiger growls back at them, revealing his red tongue and two fangs.


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 large tiger with striped fur and a long tail curving around the lower half of the picture is seated with its body facing to the right and its head turned to the left. The tiger appears to be looking at two magpies perched in the branches of a pine tree in the top left-hand side of the picture.
Dimensions
  • With mount width: 57.5cm
  • With mount height: 111cm
  • With mount depth: 1.5cm
  • Without mount width: 43.3cm
  • Without mount height: 73.7cm
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
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 look down on the tiger from the safe distance of a pine tree. Frustrated by their constant chattering but powerless to stop it, the tiger growls back at them, revealing his red tongue and two fangs.
Associated Object
Collection
Accession Number
FE.68-1997

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record createdFebruary 3, 2000
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