Byeon Sang-byeok

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Byeon Sang-byeok
Hangul 변상벽
Hanja 卞相璧, or 卞尙璧
Revised Romanization Byeon Sangbyeok
McCune–Reischauer Pyŏn Sangpyŏk
Pen name
Hangul 화재
Hanja 和齋
Revised Romanization Hyajae
McCune–Reischauer Hwajae
Courtesy name
Hangul 완보
Hanja 完甫
Revised Romanization Wanbo
McCune–Reischauer Wanbo

Byeon Sangbyeok was a Korean painter of the Miryang Byeok clan during the late period of the Korean Joseon Dynasty (1392–1910). Byeon is famous for his precise depictions of animals and people in detailed brushwork.


His courtesy name (ja) is Wanbo and pen name (ho) is Hwajae. His birth and death dates are unknown, but was active in the mid 18th century during King Sukjong's (r.1674–1720) and King Yeongjo's reign (r. 1724–76). Byeon was praised for his excellent depictions of animals and people. He served as a royal painter of Dohwaseo, the office of painting and then as a hyeongam, a magistrate of a small province.[1] According to the book titled Jinhui sokgo (震彙續攷), Byeon Sangbyeok was especially excellent at depicting cats and chicken, so he gained nicknames like Byeon Goyang (trans. Byeon Cat)[2] and Byeon Dak (Byeon Rooster). In addition, the book says that Byeon was famous for drawing portraits too, so he was also referred as Guksu (國手, a first class artisan)[3] of the time, and his portrait works are over 100 pieces. Though, one of his extant portraits, the portrait of Yun Geup, an officer, does not show his excellent skills. He participated in drawing the portraits of King Yeongjo in 1763 and 1773.[4]


Byeon's representative works include "Myojakdo" (Painting of Cats and Sparrows) and "Gyejado" (Painting of a Chicken and Chicks). Myojakdo housed in the National Museum of Korea captures a lively scene of two cats and alarmed sparrows around a tree in detailed brushwork. The depiction of a group of chirping sparrows on twigs are illustrated precisely with very detailed brushstrokes.It is based on his deep affections toward animals and close observations in real life.[4][5]


Gukjeong Chumyo

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Yi Sŏng-mi (2008). "Euigwe and the Documentation of Joseon Court Ritual Life" (in Korean). 58. Archives of Asian Art. ISSN 1944-6497. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  2. ^ Yu, Hong-jun, An Approach through the theory on Art to theory on Painting of Scholars of the Korean Practical Science", Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2004, p.126
  3. ^ 國手 [Guksu] (in Korean). Nate Korean-Hanja Dictionary. Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  4. ^ a b Choi Sunu. 변상벽 卞相璧 [Byeon Sangbyeok] (in Korean). Nate/ Encyclopedia of Korean Culture. Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  5. ^ 변상벽 卞相璧 [Byeon Sangbyeok] (in Korean). Nate / Britannica. 2009-11-14. Archived from the original on 2011-06-10. 
  • An, Hwi-jun (1980), "Han'guk hoehwasa" (History of Korean painting), Ilchisa.

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