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Tigers and Leopard Frolicking

Tigers and Leopard Frolicking

호표도 (虎豹圖)

1700s

Hanging scroll, ink on paper

Painting only: 91.4 x 163.8 cm (36 x 64 1/2 in.); Overall: 208.3 x 193.4 cm (82 x 76 1/8 in.)

Gift of Leighton R. and Rosemarie Longhi 1998.292

Description

This monochrome composition depicts a tiger and her young playing at stalking one another in a stand of pine. Tigers, considered messengers of mountain spirits in Korean shamanism, were a common subject of folk painting in the later Joseon dynasty. Leopards were mistakenly thought to be baby tigers, which explains why the cat peering around the tree trunk at its mother is spotted. The title, signature, and seals at the upper left of the painting may have been added at a later date. The signature, "by the mountain recluse of Honam," may refer to a painter from former Jeolla province.

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