The Korean Painting "A Cowherd" 


The Korean painting "A Cowherd" is a typical work of Kim Tu Ryang, a realistic painter of Korea. He reflected its social life in a lot of his art works in the first half of the 18th century.

In the painting a cowherd is depicted as a sound sleeper tired from hard work. His body is sunburnt, his hair shaggy and his mouth shut hard. The tails of both his eyes slant up. His thick right arm is put on his head and his left arm rests on the grass. This manifestly shows the uprightness and optimism of his character.

In the painting the front part of the unlined summer jacket of the cowherd remains open and his pants is uncorded to expose his belly in his deep slumber. This evokes a smile from spectators.

A big ox, tied to the lower part of a willow, is seen in the center of the painting. It seems to chew the cud carefully for fear of waking his master up while the twigs of the willow sway in the breeze.

After all, the cowherd takes a nap while his cow grazes.

The painting truthfully and interestingly shows the lives of the then diligent and simple Korean farmers.


Rodong Sinmun