YUN Duseo (1668-1715), painter-literate from Joseon. A self-portrait between the art of painting and the art of writing
lecture by RYU Nae-young, doctor of art history, specialist of YUN Duseo.
YUN Duseo was born into a literate family of high officials, the YUN of the city of Haenam, in this bureaucratic monarchy of Joseon (1392-1897) where the art of Chinese ideographic writing was practiced, official writing mainly serving to take the state exams to become a civil servant. YUN Duseo began to practice this art of writing at the age of 4. A little later, as a teenager, he also discovered painting, an art still considered not very noble by the majority of scholars of his time, but which he would value. Prevented from becoming a civil servant, he devoted his life to the art of painting, going beyond current practices and the dominant aesthetics, in particular as regards painting on the ground (following the precepts of sirhak, "practical studies") and the representation of human figures (by upgrading the hyeong-sa, "Imitation of form"). His only self-portrait painted at the end of his life, an exceptional and famous image, testifies to this. However, this pioneering painter would never abandon the art of writing, which informed the literate culture of the Chinese Chinese world of his time. Our intervention, where the self-portrait will have a central part, will surround the multiple and rich work of this cultivated and free literate painter, within whom the art of painting and the art of writing established a fertile dialogue.