Baekjado, One Hundred Children
Late 19th to early 20th century
Ten panel folding Screen,
Mineral ink on paper
Painting alone: 13.5 x 40 in
Mounted:61.5 x 178 in
While the Agriculture and Household Industries subject was Confucian, One Hundred Children was a Taoist theme. Since early times, the Chinese liked to create numerical categories and associate them with magic power and symbolic meaning. Among these mystical categories, “one hundred” and “ten thousand” were auspicious numbers signifying abundance.
Screen paintings of One Hundred Children were popular during the 18th to19th century in Joseon Dynasty, Korea. Usually, between nine to thirteen children were depicted on each panel, for a total of one hundred.
A Baekjado screen was especially appropriate for display in the bedroom of a newly married couple. The screen’s purpose was more than decorative. It was meant to inspire the bride to conceive. Boys were preferable, so all one hundred children on the screen were boys. Baekjado screens were also displayed at first birthday parties.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
National Museum of Korea, Seoul
The National Folk Museum of Korea