Rare exhibition in Seoul unveils hidden paintings from Korea-Russia diplomatic history

By Im Yoon-seo Posted : July 9, 2024, 17:15 Updated : July 12, 2024, 08:17
AJU PRESS Park Jong-hyeok

SEOUL, July 9 (AJU PRESS) - A handful of historical paintings illuminating the early years of diplomatic relations between Korea and Russia is currently on display at an exhibition in central Seoul.

Hosted by the Russian Embassy to Korea in cooperation with Pushkin House's cultural center in Seoul, the exhibition runs until the end of August, commemorating the 140th anniversary of the signing of the first diplomatic treaty between the two countries.

A total of four paintings by Jang Seung-eop (1843~1897), a renowned artist during the Joseon Dynasty, have been unveiled for the first time in Korea. These classic works were found in the storage of the Moscow Kremlin Museums in February last year.

Jang, known for his bold yet simple style, brings mythological and historical subjects to life on canvas.
AJU PRESS Park Jong-hyeok
These hidden masterpieces were part of gifts presented to Russian Emperor Nicholas II in May 1896 by King Gojong, the penultimate monarch of the Joseon Dynasty, to celebrate his coronation. They have apparently been kept in the museum since then. Two of these paintings were already displayed at a special exhibition in Moscow early last year.

While the exhibition initially planned to showcase historical documents like treaties and several royal letters, the discovery of these treasures is offering a rare opportunity for visitors to explore the early chapters of the two countries' diplomatic relations, thanks to the efforts of the center's head Kim Sun-myung.

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