Painter Of The Night: “Baek Na-Kyum’s confessions” (part 4) (second version)

This is where you can read the manhwa. But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes. If you want to read more essays, here is the link to the table of contents: 

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In the third part I listed all the common points between the two scenes, where Baek Na-Kyum confessed to Yoon Seungho.The first one first happened (chapter 19) in episode 19/20 and the second in chapter 49. . (chapter 48) Then I had started contrasting both scenes, nonetheless I was not able to examine all points. That’s what I wanted to do in the 4th part. However, at some point, I had a revelation. The confession in chapter 49 represents the painter’s evolution, and it could also be compared to the confession in chapters 41/42. Because there was a confession back then as well. Yet, in that scene the painter could barely speak, he could only admit this: (chapter 48) All this led me to the following observation. We had the artist’s many confessions. Hence I am listing the common denominators that are always present during the three different scenes.

  1. The noble’s visit in the painter’s study
  2. Yoon Seungho acting as someone else (41/42: client, later as a servant as he does what the painter asks him)
  3. The painter’s confession
  4. Their kisses
  5. Seungho’s surprised gaze (41/42: when he sees the inauguration painting)
  6. The two hugs
  7. The prostitution/brothel
  8. The painter’s tears
  9. Baek Na-Kyum’s position on the floor
  10. Seungho’s rough actions (41/42: the slap, grabbing the hair)
  11. Seungho’s comments
  12. The presence of Jung In-Hun as a shadow
  13. The painter’s emotional heartache
  14. The mixture of love and sex session

Since I had already compared the scene 41/42 with the first confession (19/20/21), I won’t do it again, yet my main point is the following. Byeonduck used all the same ingredients in all three scenes but change some details, thereby the manhwalovers could observe a huge progression in the relationship between Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho. The small switches reflect the slow transformation of both protagonists.

Now, compare the way the lord was kissed in chapter 19 with the latest episode. While Baek Na-Kyum had to stand on tiptoes in order to be able to kiss the powerful aristocrat,

Chapter 19

in episode 49, he just needs to catch his lover’s head as he is already sitting on his lap. The opposition of the two gestures illustrates the diminution of the social and emotional gap between the two main characters. Note that despite standing on tiptoe, the artist’s head was still below the aristocrat’s head. (chapter 19), whereas his head in the episode 49 exceeds that of Yoon Seungho. During their first real kiss, the difference reflected the huge social divergence, however what changed later more was the emotional state of the noble. Now, he is the one looking up at (chapter 49) the painter. The former is literally admiring his lover, pining on him but he doesn’t express it.

Chapter 49

His eyes and gestures are revealing his thoughts and emotions. The huge distance between them reflects how much the lord cherishes him. Notice that he doesn’t stop Baek Na-Kyum at all. (chapter 49) Now, they have switched the position, the aristocrat is the worshiper and Baek Na-Kyum is his object of affection. So in this scene, I would even say that we have the first lord’s confession but he is not voicing it. But because the artist has been deaf and blind for so long, he can’t witness this with his own eyes and ears. That’s why he doesn’t catch the true meaning of the noble’s saying. That’s why he could only doubt the protagonist’s genuineness in the hug and warmth and pushed the man away. Strictly speaking, the aristocrat is once again rejected, although he has finally truly behaved like a man in love.

The noble’s words and hug are quite telling, he is so deeply in love with Baek Na-Kyum. He truly wants to comfort his lover, the best he can. Imagine that with his own words (chapter 49) he is apologizing to the artist. He might not use the word “apology”, unlike in the chapter 20, nonetheless his wording unveils regret and heartache. During their wedding night, the aristocrat did apologize for taking the painter’s virginity, nevertheless his excuse didn’t sound genuine. In the chapter 49, Seungho acts the opposite. He doesn’t mention the word “apology”, yet he feels regret. He is sorry for making his lover cry. He admits that he is responsible for this, as each time they had such an encounter, he cried.

But back then, he wept due to Jung In-Hun’s rejection and later out of happiness. (chapter 21) In chapter 41/42, he cried due to the scholar too. So why would he mention “whenever”? Which occasions was he referring to? And now be ready for the next revelation. From my point of view, Yoon Seungho must be including the scene at the pavilion and the rape. I am positive that the lord wasn’t just remembering the scene, when he slapped the low-born or threatened him. Imagine, the lord is actually apologizing for all the pain he caused to his lover, he is expressing his atonement. And now, if the manhwaphiles recall the scene with the forced sex, they will also notice that there is a repeat of chapter 20/21. Besides, the readers witness a confession there too. (chapter 25) The painter admitted for the first time that he loved a man and his confession was addressed to the teacher, his “learned sir”. We have a long kiss (chapter 25), the attempt of a hug, the tears, the rough actions, , the painter lying on the ground (chapter 25), the lord’s comments (chapter 25) and the commoner’s agony either. And this confirms that the lord did attempt to recreate the wonderful night he had with him, but could only fail, because the painter couldn’t recognize him as his partner. His “love” was for someone else. Therefore, I stipulate that this manhwa contains not just three but actually four confessions of the painter. In other words, my title “Baek Na-Kyum’s confessions” was indeed so point on. Yet, each confession diverges from the others, as the artist’s emotional state differs each time. However, all of them mirror the painter’s heartache. No wonder, if the lord blamed himself for the low-born’s tears. Indirectly, he was apologizing to him, as he recognized that he was wounding him. He was the reason why the artist would cry.

Striking is that in the chapter 49, the lord is expressing his remorse in front of the painter, but the latter didn’t notice it because he could only feel Yoon Seungho’s warmth. (chapter 49) Due to this, he didn’t realize the consequence of the noble’s statement. The latter was already lowering himself without being too obvious. Now, you can better grasp why the lord wasn’t pleased, when he heard that Baek Na-Kyum was just admitting that he was attracted to him physically and there was nothing more. (chapter 49) The man had just humbled himself, yet this was totally ignored. I would even add that the artist’s words even devalued the noble’s words and actions even more. Like I mentioned it before, the low-born somehow treats the aristocrat as a tool for his own pleasure. We have an indirect rejection as the artist refuses to give him his heart.

Now, I would like to focus on the hugs because they mirror Baek Na-Kyum’s growing influence on the protagonist and Yoon Seungho’s flourishing love for the commoner. If you really pay attention, you’ll notice how little by little the artist gains importance in the noble’s mind and heart. Let’s take a look at the first hug. (chapter 20) The low-born’s head is much lower, and there is a certain distance between both bodies due to the way the low-born’s hands and head are placed. Here, the lord is even complaining about the painter’s lack of experience and reaction. Now, if you look at the hug in chapter 42, you’ll note here that the low-born’s head is higher and they are physically much closer but there still exists some distance. Even the lord’s behavior is different. His gestures oozes warmth, love and despair. His affection has truly gone deeper and with this huge hug, the manhwalovers can detect that the painter is indeed his first priority, while it was not the case before. His own selfish desires mattered more (20-21/25) back then. And now, we should look at the hug in the chapter 49. There is no distance between them, the gap has totally disappeared. The low-born’s head still exceeds that of Yoon Seungho confirming that the noble’s mindset hasn’t changed. He is still determined to put the artist first. The master might have been rejected, yet this is only partially true. The artist’s gestures (the kiss and hugs) reveal that he feels much more than he is aware of.

Another difference are the kisses. The first one was full of innocence and inexperience. Yet, there was warmth and affection. The lord responded to it with passion and lust. Then during the scene in chapter 41, Baek Na-Kyum initiates the kiss again. Here, the kiss is lacking of emotions. (chapter 41)

Chapter 41

The kiss is again full of innocence accompanied with pain and resignation. That’s the reason why the noble doesn’t respond to the kiss. He even complains about the nature of this gesture. In this scene, the master’s comment outlines his longing for a passionate kiss. And now, in chapter 49, the kisses contain both passion and experience. (chapter 49) There is lust and love mixed together. Therefore the lord can’t restrain himself from accepting the kisses. This is exactly what he was longing for. So Yoon Seungho made a huge progress, little by little he was getting closer to his goal. The painter was slowly opening his heart to the rich noble.

As you could see in this short essay, I determined that we had the noble’s confession through his gestures and words. But so far, he had not reflected on the true motivation behind his actions. Since the artist was not recognizing his growing affection for Yoon Seungho, it was the same for the main lead. However, I realized that the painter’s multiple confessions have always been the driving force that pushed the lord to change. Each time, there was a confession, both got affected in the end. But it only happened, because Yoon Seungho was always there to confront and to console the artist. This is no coincidence that by acting so, he was winning more and more in his battle to obtain the low-born’s affection. He had already gained a place in Baek Na-Kyum’s mind, like he admitted to himself in the chapter 47.

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8 thoughts on “Painter Of The Night: “Baek Na-Kyum’s confessions” (part 4) (second version)

    1. Yo opino que el pintor si se lo propusiera, podría manipular al amo a su antojo, pero solo pensaba en el mediocre ese de profesor. Ojalá de ahora en adelante el amo deje el orgullo y el rencor y admita abiertamente que se ha enamorado del pintor. Y que el pintor deje de idolatrar a alguien que jamás se preocupó por él.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He has stopped idolizing his learned sir. So Yoon Seungho just needs to show his lover his true personality. In my opinion, this is not a question of pride, why Yoon Seungho hasn’t confessed it yet. First, the lord has never confessed before, I also doubt that he has even realized what he is feeling right now. He is also inexperienced, when it comes to love. In the chapter 50, he is even analyzing his own feelings and find these strange, showing his lack of perception, when it comes to his own emotions. Remember that this man lived for many years like a zombie or dormant volcano so he never felt the need to question his emotions. That’s why he had mood swings. For me, fear is the reason why he is not entirely showing himself to the painter.


  1. Hello, as a reader of Painter of the night, I’m much enjoying reading your articles about it, for they show us the many levels of it! 🙂 Also, I was wondering for a suggestion on this topic: what are your thoughts about Seungho’s hair? See, he took Nakyum’s headband (and Nakyum remains without it), and Jihwa himself has moments when his hair is down, but Seungho’s had just one single scene when is hair is truly showed. I believe this add to your theory about his past trauma, also, tells a lot about his character, never showing his forehead (his real self, real thoughts?), and keeping proudly his topknot!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, his topknot is his weakness so he will never show his hair down to people, only the person he trusts the most. Right now, it is valet Kim but at some point, Baek Na-Kyum will have the honor to see Seungho’s loose hair

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your analysis is so good. I came upon your work by random, and I’m so glad I did. After I read an episode release, my next go to is your blog analysis. It makes me look at the story in a different light. It’s amazing how much you notice, and it also makes me appreciate the author and how much detail/thought went into the scenes and story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot for the compliment. And that’s one of the purposes of this blog. People should perceive this manhwa and others in a different light. They have more to offer than just smut scenes.


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