Kim Hong-do (1745–1806). Korean Painter
Kim Hong-do, also known as Danwon (1745–c. 1806) was one of the most famous painters of the Joseon Period. He entered royal service as the official painter of the Joseon court. Danwon is known as the first Korean painter to extensively portray Korean daily life.
His landscapes belong to the outstanding examples of Korean realist school, his portraits are admirable. But above all, he was the leading artist of the school of genre painting, emerged in the late Joseon period.
It is also known that in his youth, he was not only a talented artist, but also had a charismatic personality which was reflected in the satirical style and mood of his paintings. Kim Hong-do was a pleasant and sociable man, very popular among his contemporaries, and enjoyed the favor of the king.
At the age of 29 he painted a portrait of Crown Prince, and at 44 he traveled around the country, creating paintings and sending them to the king. At 60 he painted mostly landscapes.
At the end of the career he devoted himself to genre painting, depicting ordinary events of everyday life. His works faithfully document the society of his time more convincingly than any other records.
The extant paintings of Danwon have the status of national treasures and exhibited in major art museums of the world. As often happened with the artists of the past Danwon died alone, forgotten by all, sick and poor.