[cha T’aesu ]
Korean painter . The few biographical references make it difficult to decide whether he should be considered a court or a literati painter. The art historian An Hwi-jun includes him among the latter on the basis of a passage in which he is listed together with the vice-director of the Bureau of Painting (Tohwasŏ) Sin Se-rim (1521–83) as a well-known follower of the scholar–painter Kang Hŭi-an. In earlier texts Yi Pul-hae is also compared to the 15th-century court painter An Kyŏn. Yi Tong-ju sees a stylistic link between his paintings and a scroll (Boston, MA, Mus. F.A.) carrying the seal Bunsei (Jap.; Kor. Munch’ŏng). These comparisons with Kang Hŭi-an and the landscape painter Munch’ŏng suggest that Yi Pul-hae may have been a follower of a 15th-century Korean tradition influenced by Chinese painting of the Southern Song period (960–1279). An album leaf bearing the seal of Yi Pul-hae (Seoul, N. Mus.; see Kim, Choi and Im, pl. 51) depicts a scholar viewing the scene from a vantage-point. Behind him looms, as if from an unfathomable depth, an immense mountain peak. The composition of the picture as well as the broad, washed-over surface of the mountain, the structure of which is suggested only by the contours, recall the style of Xia Gui, the Chinese court painter of the Southern Song Academy. The trees enveloping the small figure with their branches like ‘crabs’ claws’ are, on the other hand, closer to the tradition of the Chinese painters Li Cheng and Guo Xi of the Northern Song period (...