Yi Jaegwan
Korean, 1783-1837

Yi Jaegwan was a court painter of high rank during the Joseon era, considered by his peers to be one of the leading portrait artists of his time. Yi never received formal academic training in art, but won attention and his position when he successfully replicated a royal portrait. A versatile painter, he could paint a wide range of subjects in a variety of styles ranging from realism to the traditional literati ink styles. His most common commissions were for noble and courtly portraits that often fused a combination of styles. Yi’s paintings were also well received in Japan, and were publicly complimented by the master artist Kim Jeonghui. Artist and art critic Cho Hiryong once said of Yi: “In 100 years before and after, there is no such excellent painter.”

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