Painting: Phoenixes, Paulownia, Rock And Sun (Bonghwang Jangsaeng-Do)

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From card [for all 12 paintings, E77052-0 through E77052-11]: "12 Glue-color folk paintings on paper, used for room decoration or storeroom door amulets. - Chang-su Houchins. See pp. 468-9 in "The Bernadou, Allen, and Jouy Korean Collections in the U.S. National Museum" by Walter Hough in USNM AR 1891. All 12 paintings are described there."
From card [for E77052-2], painting original # 3: "Glue color folk painting on paper, of male and female phoenix with their young under the paulownia tree. Included also are: the sun, moon, mountain, water, etc. considered to be the symbols of long life (Ponghwang changsaeng-do). Used for room decoration. Possibly a companion piece for 77051 (1). 52 x 93 cm. Smithsonian Photographic Services color transparency negative number 79-11960."
"Late 19th century. Color on paper. The painting depicts a Korean legend about an imaginary bird, the phoenix, and its association with the birth of a sage or the era of peace brought by a wise ruler (Yun, 1997: 105-111). Male and female phoenixes are shown with their offspring inside a rock under a paulownia tree. These legendary birds are also symbols of immortality (bulsajo, "the bird who does not die"). Other longevity symbols represented here are: the sun, moon, mountain, water, bamboo, rock, pine tree and the immortal sacred fungus known as pulloch'o. The style of painting and placement of objects are identical to the other painting of ten longevity symbols (cat. no. 118). Collected in Seoul. Ref: Hough Korean Catalog p. 469; Published (Houchins 1982: 58-60); "MBM 'Miguk bangmul-gwan sojang Hanguk munhwajae' or The Korean Relics in the United States", 1989: 150)" [from: "An Ethnography of the Hermit Kingdom: The J.B. Bernadou Korean Collection 1884-1885", Chang-su Cho Houchins, 2004, number 119]
Record Last Modified
2 Mar 2017
Specimen Count
Donor Name
Ensign U S N John B. Bernadou
Accession Date
24 Feb 1886
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Accession Number
USNM Number
Seoul, South Korea, Asia
93 cm
52 cm
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
Object Type