Shang and Chou Bronzes and Their Inscriptions
Screen with Ancient Bronzes and Their Inscriptions, 1800s. Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), Korea.
Silk, color, gold; overall: 85 x 95 3/4 in. Denver Art Museum: Anonymous gift, 1973.73.1-8
Ancient Bronzes and Their Inscriptions
1800s, Joseon dynasty (1392–1910)
Color and gold on silk
In the late eighteenth century, the “favorite furnishings” from a Korean scholar’s studio became a popular theme in screen paintings, and the hallmark of gentrified taste was an ancient Chinese bronze. Mounted as a screen, these eight paintings depict sketches of forty Chinese bronzes and their inscriptions. The Bronze Age in China began around 2,000 BCE, and objects like those shown on this screen were made for ritual purposes. They represent a variety of bronze types, including tripod vessels, four-legged vessels, containers, water pourers, cups, beakers, flasks, and bells. The theme reflects a growing appreciation of ancient Chinese bronzes among Joseon-era intellectuals.