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.
In the first part I explained the role played by the painter’s emotions and unconscious in his inspiration and creativity. Moreover I also outlined the significance of Yoon Seungho in the artist’s work after their first meeting. Due to their mutual attraction, Baek Na-Kyum was able to paint again and demonstrate his talent. We have to imagine that Baek Na-Kyum was totally exposed to physical and emotional abuse for a while as he was supposed to live with the teacher. Jung In-Hun had become his guardian because he had been bribed by the head-gisaeng. Only yesterday I came to realize why the painter could repress the bad memories about his physical abuse: The Stockholm Syndrome. And this is relevant as it explains why the artist adopted such a fear of homosexuality and even talked like the scholar. Furthermore I can even envision that this Stockholm Syndrome must have affected his hands and talent. This even reinforces my opinion about the huge impact of Yoon Seungho on our low-born. Due to his attraction to the lord and the sex session, the repressed sexual desires were unleashed so that his talent was triggered. That’s why he impressed the lord so much in the chapter 2.
However in my introduction from the first part, I had explicated that this manhwa and Art shared two points. I would like to remind that Painter Of The Night has another common denominator with drawings. The story itself is made of pictures hence they also have a huge importance. Now, this will be in the center of the analysis. I actually had this idea for a long time but wasn’t sure until the chapter 46. I saw a confirmation of my theory with the latest episode. The weather and the season correspond to the artist’s state of mind.
When the teacher arrived at the mansion, it was sunny and warm. Nevertheless it started to rain the moment the teacher discovered the existence of the deal between the powerful noble and his former pupil. Imagine the rain followed with thunder represented Baek Na-Kyum’s tears and heartache because of the teacher’s rejection symbolized by the hand. This simple gesture, where the low noble used no strength, was so powerful because of the Stockholm Syndrome. Since the rain embodies the tears and the agony the thunder, I couldn’t restrain myself connecting it to the Surrealism once again as nature is often used as a representative of the unconscious and the state of mind.
“Surrealist imagery is probably the most recognizable element of the movement, yet it is also the most elusive to categorize and define. Each artist relied on their own recurring motifs arisen through their dreams or/and unconscious mind. At its basic, the imagery is outlandish, perplexing, and even uncanny, as it is meant to jolt the viewer out of their comforting assumptions. Nature, however, is the most frequent imagery: Max Ernst was obsessed with birds and had a bird alter ego, Salvador Dalí’s works often include ants or eggs, and Joan Miró relied strongly on vague biomorphic imagery.” https://www.theartstory.org/movement/surrealism/
The weather is a representation of the painter’s emotions and unconscious, however Byeonduck is the creator of these drawings and not the painter himself like in the Surrealism. In this Art movement, the painter attempted to unlock their own unconscious and reveal their dreams and fears unpolluted by society and their conscious mind.
But let’s go back to the season and weather. Then in the chapter 44, we witness a snow fall. It was as if the snow embodied the artist’s tears once again, yet this time the real pain is no longer existing because his heart has turned cold. He feels nothing at all hence he has no problem to ask the butler Kim to throw away the painting. The more fall and winter are approaching, the more the painter’s relationship with Jung In-Hun deteriorates. In the chapter 35, the painter is definitely hurt by the low noble’s gesture, when the latter closes the mansion door right in front of him. This coincides with the fire where the fallen leaves are burnt. The caress on the cheek equivocates to the fire, the last real warm gesture the painter received from his teacher. In the chapter 38, the artist no longer falls for the teacher’s fake stroke thereby he is able to lie to Jung In-Hun. Because of this, I came to the following interpretation. The landscape with the snow embodies Baek Na-Kyum’s actual state of mind and emotions. It was as if his heart was frozen consequently he feels nothing. However, the presence of the snowmen illustrates his innocence and his longing for companionship. He wished deep down that he wasn’t alone and had someone by his side. Yet, the painter has no idea about it. Now, you can understand why I connected Byeonduck’s drawings to the Surrealism. Sure, this is my own interpretation and nothing more. The weather and the seasons are following the same evolution than the painter’s transformation. Little by little, he starts losing his admiration for the scholar which ends with the real separation. He has been so hurt that he is like an empty shell. But there is one difference from the past. This time, Baek Na-Kyum was the one who cut definitely ties with the scholar hence the double-faced man has no idea that he can no longer use the painter as his tool.In the past, the jealous aristocrat could push him away but the painter never resented his admired sir and accepted that the teacher would return to his side without questioning his motivation behind his smiles and strokes. He had been abandoned once, hence he became a drunk. However, the painter had no grudge hence he fell for Yoon Seungho’s lie in the chapter 7. It was the same in the chapter 24, when the scholar took him and pushed him against the wall.So far he had avoided the painter, yet he needed him again. At no moment, the artist rejected the man’s advances (kiss on the hand, his head on his shoulder). The low-born always forgave the low noble.
Yet, after the chapter 44, the artist will refuse to acknowledge his relationship with Jung In-Hun, since he is just a whore and the scholar doesn’t want to be associated with him. Now, the manhwaphiles can comprehend why once I saw the landscape with snow and the snowmen, I recognized it as a confirmation for linking the weather to the painter’s emotions and state of mind. With just the rain, it wasn’t enough.
Since Baek Na-Kyum’s heart is cold and lifeless, his words said to the lord in the chapter 46 have a huge significance now. It was as if the painter was coming back to life, the noble’s warmth has finally reached his heart through his body. Consequently, the spring will announce the beginning of their real relationship, the growing love between our two protagonists.
But the rain and the snow play another role, influenced by Asian and Korean belief. The rain falling on a wedding day is perceived as a good sign for married couples, their relationship will last which coincides with our protagonists’ “Wedding night” hence Byeonduck chose to show the rain falling on the room where the couple was as the final image of the episode 21. Then we have the first falling snow witnessed by Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho. This is quite important as the Korean tradition says that if you watch the first falling snow with your loved one, this is your true love.
That’s it for today. Tomorrow the essay will be a continuation of this analysis. I’ll keep examining Byeonduck’s drawings under a different aspect. Just to let you know: this is the work of 3 hours. Gathering the pictures as illustration takes a long time as much as writing.
Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.