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Puppy Playing with a Pheasant Feather

Attributed to Yi Am, Korean, 1499 - 1566

Made in Korea, Asia

16th century

Ink and color on silk; mounted as a hanging scroll

Image: 12 1/4 × 17 1/4 inches (31.1 × 43.8 cm) Mount: 44 1/2 × 22 1/4 inches (113 × 56.5 cm)

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with Museum funds and with funds contributed by Maxine de Schauensee, 1959

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The genre of animal painting was first recognized as an independent subject in Korea in the eleventh century. During the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), the genre gained further importance as one of the three subjects included in the official proficiency examination for court painters. Yi Am, a descendant of the Joseon royal family, enjoyed great success as a painter not only in Korea, but also in Japan, where his images were appreciated and studied. He specialized in animal painting, and had a particular interest in dogs, as seen in this work.

Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    The essence of puppyhood has been captured in the portrait of this charming canine frolicking with his prize feather. The painting is attributed to the artist Yi Am, about whom little is known except that he was a member of the Korean royal family who specialized in animal and flower paintings. The style of paintings such as this was probably inspired by Chinese examples, but Yi Am's ability to communicate the wide-eyed wonder of this particular puppy makes one speculate that he had a live model close at hand. Felice Fischer, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 36.