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5. Portrait of Jade Emperor of Heaven (옥황상제)

late Joseon Period (1392-1910), Korea

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Portrait of Okhwangsangje (Jade Emperor of Heaven)
Artist Unknown
19th c., Korea, late -Joseon Period (1392-1910)
ink and color on paper
Panel: 35 1/4 x 44 in (89.5 x 111.8 cm)
Painting 29 1/4 x 38 1/4 in (74.3 x 97.2 cm)

The Jade Emperor is the highest deity in Taoism, who rules over the realm of the heaven and the earth. In Korean folk religion, he was also God of agriculture, who was worshiped during the ceremonies and rituals wishing for abundant harvest.

In Joseon Dynasty, Korean Shamanists have adopted and worshiped him, wishing for a long life and good fortune. In traditional depictions of Okhangsangje, a man of long beards sits on a chair directly facing the viewer, wearing a crown a king’s robe and holding a scepter in his two hands.

In constant with the important color scheme of Daoist Theory, the Five Elements of the Cosmos, the five-color scheme was used in this painting.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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