Painter Of The Night: The significance of clothes (part 2)

This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhin.com/en/comic/painter

But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes. I mostly used the following website for the colors: https://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/

Yesterday, I described Seung-Won, Min, Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho from the chapter 1 to 30. The only thing I would like to add is that I was finally able to find the name of the color corresponding to Baek Na-Kyum’s jacket: Pink Mountbatten. On certain websites, it is a little more brown and on others more pink. It was the closest I could come to. Now I would like to continue, where I stopped yesterday. We were still describing Yoon Seungho’s clothes.

First, it is important to start with the robe he wore, when he visited the low noble Jung In-Hun. He had a style of robe that he doesn’t usually put on. Furthermore, he always kept his hat on his head indicating that he couldn’t feel comfortable in such a shabby house. He gave a different impression about himself, as if he was concerned about his appearance and image. He was acting like a typical noble, vain, superficial and with an air of entitlement. That’s why he had chosen the exterior robe with short sleeves in order to demonstrate his wealth. Only rich and powerful lords wear that kind of robe. Now, you can understand why the low noble felt comfortable around Yoon Seungho and revealed his true thoughts about the commoners. Due to the clothes, the teacher thought to perceive the lord’s personality. Yet, Seungho did it in order to deceive the man. Nonetheless, I doubt that Jung In-Hun wasn’t just talking in order to impress the man. His contempt for commoners did represent his true thoughts, however I have the feeling that Jung In-Hun was particularly harsh in words because of Yoon Seungho as he believed that he would look down on the commoners. In other words, here these clothes should be perceived as a disguise from my point of view. Now, let’s pay attention to the color. First, Yoon Seungho was wearing green announcing a turning point in his life, then he wore blue as he wanted to impress the painter and was somehow irritated at the same time due to the negative description of himself, “a man consumed by lust”, and now for the teacher, he chose dark purple. And this is what I found about purple and dark purple:

Empathy: Compassion, kindness and a love of humanity are positive qualities of Violet. Controlled emotion: Violet is passionate, like red, but inclined to display it in private only. Respectable & distinguished: The darker shades of violet particularly are linked to the origins of purple where it was only available to royalty and the wealthy. […] Dignity: Violet exudes a quiet modest form of dignity which is often appealing to others. Cynical: This is a negative side of violet. […] Deep Purple: Dark purple is related to higher spiritual attainment. A powerful color, it can also indicate arrogance and ruthlessness.

One might argue that during their conversation, the lord doesn’t seem to show any empathy. However, the empathy could be understood differently. Yoon Seungho acts as if he showed empathy towards the young noble, feels sorry for his poor situation. No one has recognized his true talent. He fakes to display a certain concern for him. He asks about his profession and lets the teacher talk. During their entire conversation, he is very cynical here for example, he is mocking the low noble. But the latter is too arrogant to perceive the irony behind this comment. Due to the impressive dark purple color, Jung In-Hun thought, he needed to impress the noble and said things that the protagonist wanted to hear, while in reality it was the opposite. Seungho wanted to reveal the hypocrisy of this man and due to the disguise, he was able to hear what the low noble truly believed. Right from the start, Jung In-Hun was already kissing the man’s ass and the seme was well aware of it. The cloth and the color were used as a subterfuge and Jung In-Hun fell into that trap. While he thought, he was manipulating the powerful master, the opposite happened. The color and the robe left such a deep impact on the poor noble that he was manipulated to unveil his true mentality: arrogance, entitlement and a scheming nature. Due to his appearance, Jung In-Hun imagined that he was standing in front of a typical wealthy noble.

Now, if we pay attention to the other exceptions where he didn’t wear a robe with long sleeves, we have the hunt and the visit at the tailor shop. He chose black for the exterior robe and burgundy for the interior clothing. You can imagine why we see these colors. Black is associated to death, [I know that in Asia in the past white was chosen for funeral but since then it changed due to the influence of the Occident.] which does fit to the hunt. Nevertheless, black is also associated to other notions:

Black means power and control, hanging on to information and things rather than giving out to others. […] Black is intimidating, unfriendly and unapproachable because of the power it exudes.

And now, we know why he chose this color for the hunt, each time he knew that his guests would pry into his life and try to get some info hence the color serves as a shield. It creates a distance to his “guests”. Besides, he is also making a statement: he has power and is in control hence he can’t be manipulated and influenced by Min and Jung. The other color is burgundy which is related to red. We shouldn’t forget that blood is red too which fits to the situation. By putting these two colors together, it signalizes Yoon Seungho’s personality. He is strong-willed, fearless and in dangerous situations, he will be ruthless and determined to protect himself. He oozes energy and has no problem to dirty his own hands which is also shown each time. He is always the one killing the wild animals (deer, pheasant). So his clothing reflects his personality according to the situation. He mistrusts his guests and he needs to make a statement with his clothes and his behavior. He makes them see that he can be merciless and is not afraid of them. He is demonstrating his power and strength.

But what caught my attention is that each hunt always happened after his relationship with the painter had improved. In the chapter 22, he had just made love to the artist a few days before and in the chapter 41, he had just done a foreplay at the tailor shop. And we all know that red is connected to passion and sex. So from my point of view, the burgundy red on the sleeves are an indication about Seungho’s sexuality. It indicates an improvement in his life, he is coming back to life, since there is no life without blood. He is feeling much more positive emotions. But these are just small steps, especially during the chapter 22. This explains why at the end of the first season, his last robe with long sleeves is burgundy. This symbolizes that he has come back to life entirely. While at the beginning, the light green reflected the start of a new life and indicated as such growth and awakening linked to spring, now the flower is slowly blossoming. But burgundy has a specific signification:

Burgundy: a dark purplish red, it is more sophisticated and serious and less energetic than true red. It indicates controlled power, determined ambition and dignified action and is often favored by the wealthy.

This fits his personality and situation. He is still very serious and passive. He hasn’t given up his hobby looking through the window. It was as if he had just come back to life hence he is not entirely active. He needs time to adapt. His love for Baek Na-Kyum hasn’t reached its peak, he hasn’t opened up and he has never let him see his long hair. Therefore the gap between the painter and the lord hasn’t disappeared. From my point of view, he will have to leave the window and meddle in politics due to Baek Na-Kyum and his family. But he is ambitious and powerful despite the appearances of his hedonistic way of life. Remember my theory is that his bad reputation is just a diversion and in fact, he has built his own connection hence he could sent someone in order to dig info about Jung In-Hun very quickly. And this “disguise” as a huge sodomite is quite palpable during the sex orgy. Unlike the other nobles, his coiffure is still well kept. He hasn’t lowered his guard at any moment. Even Min has some fuses in his hairdressing.

Now, it is time to examine the clothes the protagonist was wearing from the chapter 33 to 40.

Here, we see him the burgundy robe which we saw in the last chapter. Now, you might argue that this would somehow contradict my interpretation above. Striking is that his robe is only seen when the lord leaves the sex party. He has decided to go back, especially after having heard from Min that Baek Na-Kyum should become a plaything for the nobles’ amusement. The noble Min even manipulated the other aristocrats due to his remark so that Min’s words triggered something in the protagonist. He became very possessive and this shows that his love for the uke was the reason why he returned to the mansion. Min’s words reminded him that by staying away, he wouldn’t get the painter’s affection. While sleeping with others, he attempted to ease the pain from a guilty conscience and even try not to think but Min’s words brought him back to reality. Furthermore, what caught my attention is that the beholder only views a part of the robe. So he has not fully come back to life and his love is strong enough to make him leave the party and to never return but it is still unstable as he has no idea how Baek Na-Kyum will react, when they face each other.

During the chapters 35 and 36, Yoon Seungho chose a dark green robe, the color symbolizing envy and jealousy. Here he had to witness how Jung In-Hun was flirting with his painter. He could imagine how the commoner would blush due to the stroke on his hair and the caress on the cheek. The exhausted man had done everything in his power to win the man’s heart but he had always failed: threads, his position as master, sex appeal, new clothes, a master’s bed, taking care of his health at any cost, giving up his chamber and his sexual expertise as a fine lover. None of this worked. That’s why he was so desperate at the end and even willing to kill the low-born out of jealousy. The cloth reflects his inner emotions and fragile state of mind. The irony is that at the end, he is no longer jealous or envious the moment he notices the uke’s erection. He literally gives up on these bad emotions which is somehow reflected with a simple gesture due to the brother’s visit. He gives up on his jealousy by covering the artist with his green robe. Simultaneously, by putting his own robe on the artist, he is making a statement. This is his trusted partner and lover hence he is sitting by the lord’s side. The noble is protecting him with his name and he makes it clear that he is taking his responsibility. That’s why after sharing the same bed, the aristocrat wants to make it official as soon as possible and sends him to his own tailor.

Now, the clothes Yoon Seungho is wearing at the tailor shop are totally different from the usual ones. They contrast by the colors and the form. He has for the second time an exterior robe with short sleeves. He chose black and pink as the interior robe. The reader is able to perceive the message here. He is in love and oozes a certain happiness therefore he can’t help teasing Baek Na-Kyum at the tailor shop.

Unconditional love: Pink relates to both unconditional love and romantic love. Hope: Pink inspires the possibility of a positive outcome. […] Caring: Sensitivity and tender loving care relate to pink’s feminine and intuitive energies.

He is expressing himself through the color pink. He hopes for a positive outcome, they haven’t had sex together since the sex marathon and this time, the master wants Baek Na-Kyum to take the initiative. He is willing to wait but sharing the same bed was a good first step. The noble is also bringing to light his caring side and would like the commoner to detect it. This explains why he is helping him later.

However, he chose a black robe indicating that he doesn’t want to make his new found love too obvious. At the same time, black is intimidating as if he wanted to scare people off so that they wouldn’t try to pry into his life. There is another reason why he chose such clothes. He wants to appear as a noble so that people will talk about him and his particular reason to the tailor shop. Remember that he is using his reputation for a purpose and he is in control of the situation like black suggests it. That’s why he is wearing a red belt again. He is definitely attracting attention, not only for people so that they can start gossiping, but also he truly would like to impress the painter, to seduce him. He knows from experience that being too direct in his seduction, like showing up naked in front of the painter (see the chapter 15), this will scare off the low-born. So for the first time, he wants to leave a good impression on the uke, unlike in the past.

At the end of the season, the lord is wearing warmer color like pink or burgundy displaying his transformation. Only at the end, he is no longer wearing any black clothes so that we can say that he has given up on protecting his feelings and creating a barrier between himself and the outside world. That’s why I conclude that he has started to live for real as he feels emotions. Green and blue are rather cold colors, especially blue which explicates why they were often seen in the beginning. It might be associated to royalty and power, yet the latter mean nothing, when there is no love and warmth. Now, you can imagine that there will be a third part about the clothes, since I haven’t been able to treat Jihwa and the low noble teacher.

Feel free to comment or to give any suggestion for an analysis (topic, manhwas). If you enjoyed reading it, either retweet it or push the button “like” so that this writing doesn’t become pointless. Thanks for the support.

I’ll update the analysis about Min because since April 2020, I discovered so many elements about him that I need to change many things in the essay. Besides, this is the analysis that people read the least which shows that there was something lacking.

One thought on “Painter Of The Night: The significance of clothes (part 2)

  1. I’m glad you and I came to the same conclusion (although I was a bit slower) with regards to the different meanings behind the outfits. SH is the most varied of the bunch. I would love an updated clothing focused analysis with season 2!

    Liked by 1 person

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