During his time, Danwon Kim Hong-do(1745~1806) drew women figure paintings in genre painting, Daoist and Buddhist figure painting, and documentary paintings. Using various women figures such as Gisaeng, maid, ordinary woman, Daoist goddess, and female knight errant, he left a remarkable achievement in women figure painting history. Not only did he produced considerable numbers of women figure paintings compared to previous generations, he created the paintings with unique style with references of painting catalogues from China and preceding artists of his generation. Thus recognizing these significance, this paper attempts to look thoroughly into Kim Hong-do’s women figure paintings, and influences of his art works to Late Joseon Dynasty’s painting field.
Generally, Kim Hong-do’s women figure paintings can be classified into two iconographic styles; Beauty figure style introduced from court women’s portrait of Ming Dynasty and woman figure style appeared in genre paintings of Joseon Dynasty. First, Kim Hong-do drew few pieces such as Folding Screen Paintings of Daoist Immortals and Painting of a Lady in Palace with Chinese court women portraits’ style. For these works, Kim Hong-do studied painting catalogues, woodblock prints, iconograhy from former artists of his time, then adopted and developed into his unique style. Switching objects held in hand between Mago(麻姑) and Haseongo (何仙姑) and modification of women’s facial features with more intimate expression, are instances of his development of style, rather than imitating previous painting.
On the other hand, Kim Hong-do also presented a variety of Joseon Era’s women figures in genre paintings and documentary paintings, mainly into two subjects in Gisaeng and ordinary woman. Paintings of ordinary woman in household chores or working already existed before his era, but Kim Hong-do gave detailed observation to even women’s emotions and facial expressions and was able to carry out realistic and dynamic women figures. In addition, Kim Hong-do’s paintings of Gisaeng had women figures occupied larger proportion in pictures and superior roles in variety of scenarios. Due to his foundation, Gisaeng paintings later became separate topic by Shin Yun-bok.
As mentioned above, Kim Hong-do’s women figure paintings influenced to other well known artists at his era and later, such as Kim Deuk-Sin, Shin Yun-bok, Yi Jae-gwan, Yu Un-hong, Baek Eun-bae. Kim Hong-do’s paintings have affected with his women figure painting’s theme, subject, technique, and general format. His painting style has expanded not only to the wellknown artists, but to local and nameless painters. Thus his painting style even influenced to folk paintings, and represented to later as one of the style in era.