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Folk Paintings

  • Birds and Flowers
  • Dragon in the Clouds
  • Hunting
  • Tiger and Magpie
  • The Diamond Mountains
Three Kingdoms1

Tiger and Magpie虎鵲圖


This work is a quintessential example of one of the most popular motifs of Korean folk painting: a tiger crouched under a pine tree, with a magpie chirping down from the branches above. The tiger-and-magpie motif is based on a legend of the Seonang deity (divine guardian of a village), who once used a magpie to deliver an oracle to a tiger, since the tiger was far away and difficult to reach. In most folk paintings, tigers are painted with humorous, even silly expressions, reflecting people’s deep affection for tigers at the time.

Joseon Dynasty, 19th Century
Colors on paper