This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/painter 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: https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/table-of-contents-painter-of-the-night/
Now, you might be wondering why I chose to focus on the sun and the moon, when the chapter is about Yoon Seungho and his past. In fact, it should be in the center of that examination. It is because for me, this picture mirrors Seungho’s situation symbolically and already announces his final transformation. But in order to understand why I came to this interpretation, you have to read or remember the essay called “Drawings and emotions, part 3”. Back then, I discovered a link between the moon and the house.
“In my opinion, the artist is the “earth” as the house symbolizes the painter. That’s why we have Jung In-Hun as the sun, since the Earth rotates around the sun. Since the sun abandoned the Earth, the painter’s heart is frozen. For Yoon Seungho is the moon, the painter was never able to notice it as it is not so visible during the day. We all know that the moon is a satellite of the Earth. Now, the painter is able to see that there is another planet circulating around him. Yoon Seungho has caught his attention, therefore he is no longer looking at the sun. In reality, Jung In-Hun is a fake sun, while Baek Na-Kyum thought, he was looking at the real sun… it was a fake source of warmth, an illusion”.
As you can observe, I came to the observation that Byeonduck’s drawings of the sky (sun, moon) and of the building are full of symbolism. Since I connected Seungho to the moon and the painter to the Earth, it signifies that I saw in the planets a representation of the characters from Painter Of The Night. That’s why the moment I saw this image, I couldn’t help myself thinking of three planets. On the other hand, it is clear that these bubbles are actually created by the reflection of the sun through glass. Strangely, the 3 balls of glass and light give the beholder the impression that they are merging as each of them cover the part of the next bubble. Because these blue balls reminded me of planets and Yoon Seungho is sneezing in that picture, I began associating them to the lord and came up with this interpretation. The first bubble represents the conscious (mind) and the last one the unconscious (heart) and now they are joining his body (the biggest bubble) and gets reunited. In other words, the lord is really coming back to life and this explains why in the next scene he confides to the painter. Note that the sun is hidden by the clouds in this picture therefore this star is not showing its true warmth and power. From my point of view, the aristocrat is on the verge of becoming a sun.
As he is returning to life, he is no longer a zombie, a creature of the night. His sneezing is a sign that his body is alive, even if it is suffering. Since back then, he saw himself as a spirit, he never got ill. He might have been suffering from insomnia, depression and anxiety but he was never physically sick, because his mind was so convinced that he was just a ghost and he had no real body. Therefore I see this event as a good sign. Yoon Seungho is getting cold and on the verge of getting sick proving that his body is alive. He allows his body to finally show his vulnerability and weakness. Living as a spirit explicates why in the past he needed aphrodisiacs in order to get aroused and when he discovered the painter’s publications, he needed them as well. However, I believe that the erotic books had an impact on his heart and his unconscious, while the medicine only influenced directly his body. However, he couldn’t tell the difference. And this interpretation explains why we have the following drawing We have to imagine that the lord was the one opening the door so that the fresh air would enter the room, since we hear the sound of steps. It looks like the bubbles are entering the lord’s chamber and notice the change of colors. first, the number has increased there are 5 and the colors are different. One is red and the other white and glowing. Two are very small and the last one is even vanishing. From my perspective, the white one represents the lord’s mind, while the small blue one is the unconscious. As for the red, I would say that it symbolizes the lord’s wound and trauma which is still fresh, while the transparent bubble disappearing could embody father Yoon’s shadow. Little by little, the agony caused by his father’s abandonment and betrayal is diminishing.
The fact that the lord opened the door has a huge signification, he is finally opening up to the painter. We saw how the lord slowly turned into a different man so his trauma didn’t disappear but his condition did improve thanks to the painter. At the same time, his mind is working (hence the glowing bubble) waiting for the low-born’s wake up. From my point of view, the lord must have pondered the whole night, while the painter was sleeping. However, he couldn’t wait any longer hence he opened the door. With the coldness, he hoped, the painter would sense it and wake up. Notice that as soon as the painter speaks, he starts talking. So he has been waiting for this moment, but since he sensed his condition worsening, he had to speed up the procedure. This explains why he left the door open. The opened door symbolizes the noble’s confession. He is now revealing himself to the painter and let’s not forget my association of the door to the painter. Finally, he is letting the artist enter into his mind and heart for real.
The reason for his years of misery is finally revealed. He was hiding all this time a big secret which was burdening his heart and mind. This is no coincidence that the lord finally confides to the painter during the day. He is slowly showing his true nature. He was always a sun but due to his traumatic past, he could never unveil his true personality. That’s why I consider the noble’s illness as a positive sign. Finally, his body has acknowledged that he’s a human too and no longer a spirit.
Since I explained that Yoon Seungho is related to the moon and now the sun, it is important to remember the connection between Baek Na-Kyum, the house and Earth. And in this chapter, we have a drawing focusing on a part of the house too. (chapter 55) For the first time, Byeonduck chose the chimney and not just the roof or the walls. In my opinion, the change indicates the transformation of Baek Na-Kyum. The chimney is a metaphor for warmth and love. In French, the word “foyer” has two meanings: home and fireplace. As you can see, French relate home with the fireplace. And this is no coincidence. For Baek Na-Kyum, the mansion is slowly turning into a real home, where he can feel warmth and love. Simultaneously, we could say that the artist has become the fireplace for the lord, where he can finally feel loved and accepted. Since I have started analyzing this manhwa very carefully, I have no doubt that these two drawings convey much more than giving the info: the servants are preparing the medicine for their master during the day. Furthermore, this kind of picture doesn’t seem to contribute to the story itself. So why paint such drawings? It is because they serve another purpose: a metaphor for the next scene. Notice that shortly after this panel, we see Baek Na-Kyum bringing a bucket of water. He wants to take care of Yoon Seungho himself. He must have been acting on his own accord as Kim doesn’t pay attention to him. Kim is not even looking at what the artist brought indicating that Kim had no expectation from him. Imagine, now the artist is willing to help and makes decisions on his own. Besides, he doesn’t feel out of place, when the physician is giving his recommendation or criticizing the lord for his bad behavior leading his illness to worsen. The painter feels as if it was his place to take care of his lover. He is the one giving the warmth and care to his lover, paying attention to his every move. The chimney signaled the painter’s future behavior.
Striking is that the third part of the chapter is also introduced with the picture of the sky. This is the moon again which I had already associated to the powerful but sick aristocrat. What caught my attention is that for the first time, the stars are visible in the sky. The moon is more glowing as well and seems to get closer. If you compare it to the former image with the moon night , you can observe that the moon seems to be even closer than before. This reflects the improvement of the relationship between the painter and Yoon Seungho. Since the chimney symbolizes the artist, it is normal that this time, we don’t see the roof or the walls of the mansion. The chimney is closer to the sky and stands above the roof of the mansion. In other words, Baek Na-Kyum has not only become closer to the lord but also he is thinking only about the main character. We have to imagine, the commoner as the chimney is starring at the moon. It was if his gaze was directed at the moon, since it is almost in the center of the drawing. With the stars next to the moon, the sky looks beautiful. I would say, this picture mirrors the painter’s thoughts. He is able to perceive the beauty in the main lead. That’s why we have this intimate interaction between the lord and the painter after this drawing. The low-born keeps pondering about the lord’s feelings for him. Are they real or not? He enjoys gazing at him as well, like we can observe in the following drawing. As you can see, the pictures about the sky were important as they displayed what was going to happen. They announce the change in the sick main lead’s and the painter’s attitude. Baek Na-Kyum is no longer a servant but the fireplace of that mansion. That’s why the white headband disappears again.
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