Exposition : Diamond Mountains : Travel and Nostalgia in Korean Art

Jeong Seon (1676–1759), Mount Geumgang Viewed from Danbal Ridge, leaf from the Album of Mount Geumgang, 1711. Ink and light color on silk, 36.1 x 37.6 cm. National Museum of Korea, Seoul, Treasure No. 1875.


Diamond Mountains: Travel and Nostalgia in Korean Art

Jusqu’au 20 mai 2018


The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1000 Fifth avenue, New York, NY 10028


The Diamond Mountains—perhaps the most famous and emotionally resonant site on the Korean peninsula—is the theme of this international loan exhibition. Though the region has inspired cultural pride since ancient times, its location in what is today North Korea has kept it largely inaccessible in modern times. Featuring nearly 30 works—from delicately painted scrolls and screens to monumental modern and contemporary art—the exhibition presents the visual imagery of this iconic site from the 18th century to the present. Among the highlights is a designated Treasure from the National Museum of Korea: an album by Jeong Seon (1676–1759), who revolutionized Korean painting. Most of the objects on view have never before been displayed in the United States.

The exhibition is part of a celebration marking the 20th anniversary of the establishment of The Met’s Arts of Korea Gallery. The exhibition’s opening month also coincides with South Korea’s hosting of the Winter Olympics Games in Pyeongchang.


Danbal Ridge

Travelers to the Diamond Mountains usually approached from the Danbal Ridge, from where they would catch their first glimpse of the glittering rocky peaks—depicted here as if floating in the sky, creating a sense of drama and wondrous discovery. Jeong employed multiple perspectives to create this view.

Jeong Seon painted this album following his first trip to the Diamond Mountains. He likely traveled northeast from the capital, Hanyang (today’s Seoul), and traversed the mountain range from Inner to Outer Geumgang toward the sea. Displayed here are six scenes from a total of thirteen (the last leaf in the album is a colophon). The varied compositions reveal Jeong’s early experimentations, which he would repeat, adapt, or refine over the course of his career.


Elizabeth Keith (1887–1956), Nine Dragon Pool, Diamond Mountains, 1922, woodblock print, ink and color on paper.

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