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ISSN : 1229-9618(Print)
ISSN : 2671-7506(Online)
Chinese Studies Vol.80 pp.467-489

Three Types of Chinese Paintings Based on the Myth of the Queen Mother of the West(西王母) and their Artistic Characteristics

Lee Jeong-Ha
베이징대학교 민간문학 박사


According to the background narrative, the Chinese paintings of the myths of the queen mother of the west can be classified into three types: ‘The queen mother of the west meeting kings’ type, ‘Fairyland and female immortal’ type, and Peach-Festival type. Each background narrative was analyzed in detail, there are two types of ‘The queen mother of the west meeting kings’, which depicts the meeting with King Mu of Zhou(周穆王) and Emperor Wu(漢武帝). The symbols closely related to the two figures, the Eight Horses(八駿馬) and the Peaches of Immortality(蟠桃) can distinguish two kings. In the second type, only female characters appear in the background of Legendary Garden(閬苑) and Jage Pond(瑤池), and it reflects the Taoist fairyland and female immortal beliefs. The female members of the royal family are the main demanders, and their actual living environment is reflected in the works. The last type is based on the story combined Peach-Garden(蟠桃園) of the queen mother of the west with the myth of Eight Immortals Cross the Sea(八仙過海). Chinese paintings on the myth of the queen mother of the west doesn’t only simply offer birthday congratulations, also is an important art form that reveals the correlation between the narrative of mythology and paintings. It is also an important medium through which the development and transformation of Chinese mythology can be traced.


서왕모 신화 소재 전통 회화는 배경 서사에 따라 세 유형으로 분류하여 상세하게 분석하였다. ‘서왕모회군’ 유형은 서왕모와 군왕의 만남을 주목왕(周穆王)과 한무제 (漢武帝) 두 인물로 나눌 수 있으며 이들은 각각 밀접하게 연관된 상징 팔준마(八駿 馬)와 반도(蟠桃) 복숭아로 변별한다. ‘선경과 여선’ 유형은 낭원(閬苑)과 요지(瑤池) 를 배경으로 여성 인물만 등장하며 도교 선경 신앙과 여선 신앙이 그 바탕이 된다. 반도대회 유형은 서왕모의 반도원(蟠桃園) 고사와 팔선과해(八仙過海) 신화가 반도대 회라는 시공간을 배경으로 결합한 서사를 뿌리로 삼는다. 이들 작품은 단순히 축수 (祝壽) 기능을 넘어 신화라는 서사와 회화의 상관관계를 확인할 수 있는 중요한 예 술 형식이며, 또 중국 신화의 발전과 변형을 추적할 수 있는 매개체이기도 하다.