Not currently on display at the V&A

Painting
1800-1900 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Painted with mineral colours on paper, the dragon's scaly body curves down from the upper to lower registers of the scroll. In Korea, dragons were associated with moisture, clouds, water and rain. The dark clouds surrounding the dragon suggest his powers as a bringer of rain. Beyond the dragon's snout is a flaming pearl, trailing fiery plumes like those which extend from his limbs.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Additional titleDragon and Clouds (generic title)
Materials and techniques
Painted mineral colours on paper
Brief description
Pap, Korea, paintings and drawings. Hanging scroll, dragon chasing flaming pearl; Korea, 1750-1900, Chosôn dynasty
Physical description
The yellow dragon outlined in blue is depicted writhing among clouds, chasing a flaming pearl. Flames rise from his four legs and an impression of forceful forward motion is conveyed by the dramatic foreshortening of the dragon's forequarters in the lower centre.



Colour: Blue, yellow, black



The dragon flying through dark clouds is painted in five directional colours, yellow, blue, white, red, and black, reflecting the ancient Chinese thought of ohaeng. Dragons are a traditional symbol of sovereign authority, water control, state protection, defence against evil spirits, and good auspice. They are therefore frequently portrayed in paintings. The dragon in this picture is painted in yellow. A yellow dragon symbolizes the middle of the universe or the king’s power, since yellow indicates the centre among the five directional colours. When dragons are depicted along with clouds, it underlines a wish for rain.
Dimensions
  • Length: 126.1cm
  • Width: 74.5cm
Style
Summary
Painted with mineral colours on paper, the dragon's scaly body curves down from the upper to lower registers of the scroll. In Korea, dragons were associated with moisture, clouds, water and rain. The dark clouds surrounding the dragon suggest his powers as a bringer of rain. Beyond the dragon's snout is a flaming pearl, trailing fiery plumes like those which extend from his limbs.
Associated object
Bibliographic references
  • 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.
  • National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage. Daejeon: National Research Institue of Cultural Heritage, 2013, p. 266.
Collection
Accession number
FE.48:1-1993

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Record createdApril 6, 2000
Record URL
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