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01. Guo Ziyi’s Banquet

18th to 19th century

Eight-panel folding screen, ink and color on silk, 68.5 x 176 in (174 x 447 cm)

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Guo Ziyi’s Banquet
18th to 19th century,
Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), Korea
Eight-panel folding screen,
ink and color on silk
68.5 x 176 in (174 x 447 cm)

Guo Ziyi, from the Tang Dynasty in China, is often depicted holding a lavish banquet with his numerous descendants and followers. His heroic military accomplishments granted him popularity and wealth as a conqueror. The screen is abundant with scenes of women, children, and scholars enjoying the fruits of Guo Ziyi’s labors. He became the ideal fantasy for Korean aristocrats who were confined to their Confucian restraints. Illustrated with various symbols including deer, peacocks, and elixir plants, the screen carries wishes for a prosperous long life and many offspring. The density of the painting leaves little room for breath, emphasizing the energetic atmosphere throughout the festivities. On the right side of the screen, women relax inside the palace-like pavilion, while children and animals alike happily frolic. Guo Ziyi himself is seated at the center of the screen, surrounded by his joyful followers, descendants, and courtesans, watching a performing dancer. The left side of the screen depicts scholars conversing and playing go, a traditional board game for the aristocracy.

Selected Collections
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
The National Museum of Korea, Seoul
National Palace Museum of Korea
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Seoul Museum of History

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