Note on the Image

Y3. Self-Portrait as Mother of Yi Sun-shin

Yi’s mother used to pray for her son’s safety at the soy bean sauce terrace in the back yard.


     The two strong light sources enhance the mood of his mother’s affection and affliction for her son that dominated mother’s profoundly expressive features in this grave and laconical composition of the Baroque genre realism of the anecdotal episode. The supernatural calm that pervades this picture is characteristic of the mood of the devotional mother.

The placement of soy sauce jar puts the darkest shadow in front of the brightest light, creating an emphatic, if obvious, dramatically tenebristic effects.

The pictorial unity of the single figure in this circular composition through using the strong Chiaroscuro is established effectively with the arrangement of the balancing elements around the focal point, his mother.

The small opening of the sky above the wall on the right leads the eye naturally out of the picture after viewing the entire picture while not detracting from the subject. 

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