Painter Of The Night: Corruption versus Purification (second version)

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. As for the psychology of colors, I used this website: https://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/color-blue.html

In my former analysis, I associated father Yoon to corruption due to the color of his clothes. Khaki is a synonym for dead water and rotting and in the chapter 57, the readers discovers how the young protagonist’s heart got poisoned by his vicious and cruel father. Sure, we just get glimpses of the main lead’s past but it is enough to establish the father’s responsibility and ruthlessness.

In my opinion, his corruption starts with the visit to the doctor. The father is determined that his son is ill, although the physician can’t confirm the sickness. In fact, he can’t make a real diagnosis. These panels are important for two reasons. First, we detect the physician’s reservation. He expresses his doubts about the illness: “It seems”, “he said strange things” and “he looked alert and his complexion was rosy”. Furthermore, it becomes more obvious that the doctor is repeating what father Yoon told him: “since a very young age”. However, we know for sure that the physician only met the young man, when he was a teenager so the expression “since a very young age” indicates that he is relying on the father’s information. According to the latter, the protagonist was ill very early on but fact is that there is no diagnosis confirmed by any doctor.

What caught my attention is the huge contrast between the doctor’s saying and father’s words: Note that Yoon Seungho has a very good reputation, yet the doctor had never heard any rumor about his illness. That’s why I come to the conclusion that father Yoon had decided to use medicine on his son because of his jealousy. The reason for this statement? This is no coincidence that his good reputation is mentioned altogether with his illness. Father Yoon couldn’t bear the thought that his son’s notoriety was exciding his own.

Notice that when the father describes the illness, the physician recommends a visit to a shaman, but the father refuses. He keeps saying that Yoon Seungho is sick. In other words, the protagonist’s relative acts as if he was a doctor and he knows exactly the diagnosis. Yet the words “he said strange things” expressed by the doctor outlines the incompetence of the noble with “dragon eyes”. He uses technical words without knowing the true meaning. With this, I conclude that father Yoon’s real knowledge is superficial and he is actually overestimating his intelligence. The lack of knowledge didn’t get unnoticed by the expert. In reality, the noble with the khaki robe is just picking up the medicine for his son and needs the doctor’s collaboration. Here, it is important to point out that after this visit, the father never went to this physician again. The latter only became Yoon Seungho’s personal doctor again, after the latter had been abandoned by his own father. Let’s not forget that the physician only visits Yoon Seungho after the topknot incident. Valet Kim must have decided to ask for his help remembering their first visit and how good and qualified the doctor was. The latter took his time and talked a long time with the father, like we can witness in this panel. The father had to sit down indicating that the doctor didn’t fulfil his wish right away. He had to persuade the expert. Unfortunately, despite his doubts, he did follow the father’s wish. So when the doctor visits the lord for the second time, he is able to diagnose that the young aristocrat is really sick. Here, he can observe the symptoms. As a conclusion, despite his doubts about the mysterious illness diagnosed by the father, he did prescribe the medicine and kept giving it to valet Kim. Strictly speaking, he has still not questioned the real use of that medicine because after his second visit, the patient was indeed unwell. It’s important to note that until now, Yoon Seungho has kept drinking this medicine, ordered by his own father. Valet Kim was the one taking care of it all this time. Yet this has nothing to do with insomnia, since Baek Na-Kyum asks if his “usual medicine” is related to his sleeping problems and the doctor denies it. He replies that he has been taking it since his youth and back then, insomnia was never brought up. All this indicates that the corruption is still effective due to the drug. No one has ever questioned the true purpose for that medicine, neither Yoon Seungho nor valet Kim nor the physician. That’s the reason why he is still agitated in my perspective.

In my opinion, since the father couldn’t force his son to fake any illness, he used “sodomy” as an excuse for his son’s sickness, although he never mentioned that explicitly. Yet, his description of the sickness “illness of the spirit”, “contagious illness” are all related to homosexuality. I think, he must have come up with this idea, when he saw the interaction between Lee Jihwa and Yoon Seungho. The father must have realized that his son’s friend was attracted to his eldest son and he saw the perfect opportunity to separate Yoon Seungho from Jihwa under the pretense of an illness and isolate his son. By using the drug and his reclusion, he made sure that his son’s reputation would no longer overshadow his own notoriety. By banning him from leaving home, he hoped, Yoon Seungho would lose people’s attention, while he would get more support. I have the impression, he used this “illness” to submit his son too. However, I doubt that this was enough. At some point, he must have realized his lack of influence and power as he was a very ambitious man. I am quite sure that he must have dreamed of achieving greatness. There is another clue for this interpretation. Let’s not forget that Jung In-Hun did the same to the painter. He used “sodomy” as an excuse in order to pressure the artist to stop painting. It was immoral and filthy according to him. The low noble must have known that Baek Na-Kyum’s publications got famous among nobles, when he was asked to become the commoner’s guardian. Yet within one year, the painter stopped publishing due to the vow forced by the coercive persuasion. So this is how Baek Na-Kyum’s perversion started and here, the administration of the drug marks the beginning of the educated protagonist’s corruption.

The most upsetting is that valet Kim never questioned Yoon Seungho’s father’s decision and action behind this visit. He imagined that this was for the sake of the boy. Who would suspect a father drugging his son due to jealousy? Valet Kim has always liked the boy and this close relationship is visible in this chapter. He keeps company to the boy and the latter looks at him with such a tenderness and affection. This explains why the loyal butler remained by his young master’s side and why he accepted the mood swings later. He knows deep down the lord’s true personality. And since the corruption started with the drug administrated by valet Kim, this would explain why the lord has still mood swings in the end. This is not just caused by his trauma. There’s a combination of both in my opinion. However, by interacting with the painter, the lord’s heart and mind improved a lot, but his transformation and purification have not been completed yet, unlike with the low-born. The latter is no longer thinking about his former teacher, has dropped for good Jung In-Hun’s doctrine and is using his own mind and eyes, while he observes his lover. We could say, the painter’s thoughts are always revolving around the lord

(his dreams,

when he takes care of him,

when he is separated from him

when he masturbates etc). Jung In-Hun’s influence and shadow has disappeared for real. Like I wrote once, the lord has been the cure for Baek Na-Kyum, so is the painter for lord’s. The artist will be the one who purifies the main lead. And now, I come to the second part of this essay: purification.

What caught my attention in the chapter 57 is the final scene and especially the final panel. For the first time after the lord’s confession, Yoon Seungho is looking at the painter’s gaze. He is no longer avoiding his eyes showing that he has regained some confidence. He no longer fears his eyes. he has gathered enough courage to face his lover. He would like to read the painter’s thoughts and emotions, as he knows about his transparency. Furthermore, both protagonists are quite close and this hasn’t happened since the chapter 54.

The other important detail is that the artist took the initiative to approach the noble, creating another precedence. We should remember that in the chapter 52, he did it because he was criticized by the butler and in the chapter 55, he was asked to take care of him by the loyal domestic. Sure, in the last case, the main lead would have done it on his own, as bringing the bucket of water was his own choice before. Nonetheless, I sense another progression as Kim never gave him any precise order here. While looking at the young master, he recognizes that the hat must cause some discomfort to the aristocrat hence he wants to remove it. However, we could say that he is just looking for an excuse to approach the master as he keeps starring at him. Hence we have two pictures about Yoon Seungho’s handsome face from his perspective.

Striking is that when he is looking at his lover and perceives the hat as a source of discomfort, we can detect the presence of two important items full of symbolism: A mirror on the left and a white candle on the right. This was noticed by my chingu @user4792569. This signifies that Baek Na-Kyum is no longer represented by the yellow candle on a candlestick, a symbol for frigidity and selfishness. Here, the manhwalovers can conclude, the artist has finally truly returned to his old self. He’s pure and selfless which is reflected by his behavior. As for the mirror, my interpretation is the following: the mirror just symbolizes the painter’s function. His face will serve as mirror for the noble in the next chapter. Yoon Seungho will be able to see his own reflection: he is worthy to be loved. The readers should keep in mind that the main lead still fears his own image. This would be a new version of the chapter 31 and this time, Yoon Seungho would be the one who gets liberated. Another possibility is that the painter truly uses the mirror to show the lord his true image. But honestly, I have more doubt about this probability.

In this scene, he observes his lover, prepares the bed and finally approaches very close to him. All this reveals how dedicated he is towards Yoon Seungho. That’s the reason why we have a white candle behind the painter. This is not surprising that he keeps thinking about the love confession in his dream, disclosing that he is no longer repressing his desires and unconscious. He is truly free. Surprising is that his knees are even touching the master’s robe, reminding us of the scene in the chapter 55, where he first kept a certain distance from the lord’s bed but at the end, his feet touched the sick man’s cover.

While he tries to remove the hat, he is stopped by Yoon Seungho as the latter fears hands next to his head, a repercussion of the “incident with the top knot”. Until now, no one has ever been allowed to touch his head, except his loyal assistant. And this is relevant as it announces the transition, slowly the painter will replace valet Kim. I anticipate that Baek Na-Kyum will be permitted to touch his hat, displaying the increasing of trust between the two protagonist. When the lord grabs the low-born’s hand, it is just an instinctive gesture but what is different now is his reaction. He’s not pushing away the painter, like he did in the chapter 4, a good connection made by another follower, @kei_tsukishima.

[As you can observe, my essays have now such an influence on my readers that the latter are able to notice and interpret details. This can only make me happy, it feels like my work as teacher is very successful. The analyses have affected so many people that they are now capable of helping me, that’s why I hope, people will decide to contribute with observations to my essays]

But now let’s focus on the hat again. The huge contrast between the lord’s attitude in the chapter 4 and 57 mirrors the evolution of their relationship. The aristocrat trusts much more the artist. Striking is that the hat played a huge role in another chapter. Can you guess which one? It’s the chapter 39. Here, the hat announces the arrival of the first romantic and tender kiss between the two main characters. Back then, the painter didn’t hide his pleasure and reciprocated the kisses making the lord so happy. That’s why I believe that in the next chapter we will witness a kiss, as the hat will be the trigger for the kiss. And since I’ve made a connection between the chapter 39 and 57, I also think that this chapter should be judged as a new version of the chapter 39:

  1. We have a visit to downtown. Kim and the painter went together and they are joined later by the lord. Here, the butler had to leave the low-born’s side in order to fetch his sick master. (tailor-doctor)
  2. The painter is wearing the clothes from the tailor. Like back then, he is no longer wearing the white headband. In other words, he has accepted his position as Seungho’s lover.
  3. We have a person who is trying to recover from an illness.
  4. The valet leaves Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho together and remains by the side of the owner of the house.
  5. The way Yoon Seungho is dressed is similar. Back then, he wore a pink inner robe (a man in love) covered with a black robe indicating that he was denying and hiding his feelings. Furthermore, we shouldn’t forget that in the chapter 39, the main character was suffering from jealousy, he didn’t like how the tailor was touching his lover. However, since he is wearing two robes in blue the choice of color is relevant. This is no coincidence that we have a rather pale blue which means creativity and the freedom to break free, a sign for liberation. Furthermore, if we look up at dark blue, this is what we discover:

Dark blue is the color of conservatism and responsibility. Although it appears to be cool, calm and collected, it is the color of the non-emotional worrier with repressed feelings, the pessimist and the hypocrite. Dark blue can be compassionate but has trouble showing it as its emotions run deep. Dark blue is a serious masculine color representing knowledge, power, and integrity, and is used quite often in the corporate world.

As the manhwalovers can sense, the lord’s mood and confidence have improved again. He’s compassionate but still fears to reveal his feelings. We can make another connection to the chapter 39, the recurrence of the topic “responsibility”. While in the chapter 39/40, Yoon Seungho kept saying that he would assume his responsibility for the painter, we have a switch of roles. The artist is now the one taking responsibility for the noble. He’s prepared the bed, wants to remove the lord’s hat, he would like him to lie down and rest properly.

That’s why I am quite certain that in the next chapter, we’ll have a new version of the chapter 40. The purification can only work if the painter is caring, selfless and gentle towards Yoon Seungho and since all the conditions are met, the manhwaphiles can prepare their hearts. They will witness how Yoon Seungho gets cured by Baek Na-Kyum’s love. Actually, the idea of purification came to my mind the moment I saw this picture:

The colors of the bed contrast so much to the lord’s bed. I had already explained that yellow was related to sand and as such referring to a fight arena and red to blood and death. Here, while the blue reminds me of water, I link white to purity. The bed might look less comfortable and more simple, yet I consider its simplicity as a positive feature. And this is what I found about Sky blue:

Sky Blue: One of the calmest colors, sky blue inspires selfless love and fidelity. It is non-threatening and promotes a helpful nature that can overcome all obstacles. It is the universal healer. quoted from https://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/color-blue.html

As you can observe, blue is associated to healing and liberation. We have so many different blues in this chamber that it is now important to quote the positive aspects of blue:

loyalty, trust and integrity, tactful, reliability and responsibility, conservatism and perseverance, caring and concern, idealistic and orderly, authority, devotion and contemplation, peaceful and calm.” quoted from https://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/color-blue.html

Hence I believe something important will occur in the next chapter: the renewal of the wedding night. I have to admit that when I saw this panel, I couldn’t help myself connecting it to the k-drama Dong Yi. In the k-drama, inspired by a true story, King Sukjong falls in love with a low-born named Dong Yi and the latter becomes a famous concubine, she even gets the rank of sook-bin . The irony is that in the k-drama the king has his first night with Dong Yi in a simple home, which is very similar to the room, where the two protagonists are.

But there are other elements why I think that we are about to witness a renewal of their wedding night. First, let’s not forget that during that fateful night, the color of the room was also blue , just like the night was light blue. They used a blue robe as bed. And we had also the presence of white as well in during their Wedding night: the white candles and the paper in the background and the white bottle. Back then, the painter was under the influence of alcohol, yet the lord once commented that the low-born was delirious, another reference to the lord’s actual sickness. Notice that in the final panel there is no distance between them, the painter doesn’t need to stand on tiptoes. They are now equal which is an indication that their relationship can work for real now. Consequently I am expecting a confession. Let’s not forget that the painter has just dreamed about a confession coming from Yoon Seungho and like I am pointed out before, his visions always became a realit. Consequently, I am quite sure, his wish will become true.

But when I read the chapter for the first time, I connected it to purification and to the chapter 40, the romantic date. Yet since Yoon Seungho is sick, I doubted that he would have sex with the painter. Furthermore, we had a masturbation at the tailor shop, so my initial thought was that there would be only foreplay. But by analyzing the scene more closely, I couldn’t help myself connecting to the Wedding night because of the bed and Dong Yi so that I somehow forgot my initial thoughts: they can’t have sex as Seungho is too sick. However, this morning, I had a revelation. The renewal of their wedding night doesn’t mean, there will be sex as such. Quite the opposite, it will be something very pure: deep love.

Let’s not forget that when the lord went to the painter’s room in the chapter 19, he really hoped to have sex with the painter but what he received was a love confession. The pure kiss led to a passionate one and the lord thought, he could finally taste the painter. Remember what I wrote: he went for sex but discovered love, when Baek Na-Kyum hugged him, declared one more time that he liked him. The artist even added how happy he was. He couldn’t believe, that this was real, it was so beautiful that it felt like a dream. Therefore we should expect a renewal of this scene: a hug, the reference to a dream and a love confession. The manhwalovers are well aware that Baek Na-Kyum had a dream and loved to be confessed. I have the impression that the painter will change his words: From “it feels like a dream” it will become “my dream has come true”. Back then, he was doubting if all this was true therefore I am expecting that this time, there will be no insecurity from his part. He will accept it as a reality which will make him happy. And he will shed tears of happiness again. That’s why I am even more convinced that the next chapter will be a renewal of their wedding night but quite different. After kissing, hugging and even caressing each other, they will share the same bed and this time, I have the impression that Baek Na-Kyum will be the one hugging his lover as the latter’s the sick one who needs comfort and care.

The purification had already started in the chapter 20/21 but the problem was that back then we had the presence of a third person. Now, the shadow of the scholar has vanished for good and the lord has already rejected his friend Jihwa. He made things clear, he wouldn’t accept his love. Simultaneously, thanks to his friend’s love declaration, he discovered that it was still possible for him to be loved, since Jihwa would accept him despite his flaws. As you can see, I believe that Jihwa’s behavior did help his friend in the end. And let’s not forget the presence of a witness during their first night, valet Kim. It’s definitely possible that he interrupts them and has to leave quickly. We could have another whisper “close the door” or he just closes the door silently.

As a conclusion, since the readers witness the start of Yoon Seungho’s corruption in the chapter 57, it’s not surprising that the final scene announces the beginning of his purification. The lord will finally get what he has been hoping all along: feeling loved by the painter, being admired as someone respectful and trustworthy. In other words, the next chapter will be a new version of the chapter 40 and 20/21. And this is definitely needed as the enemies are gathering around them. We have the appearance of the lord Song, father Yoon and the planned assassination ordered by Jihwa, incited by Min. Only their love for each other can help them to overcome adversity.

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 tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

10 thoughts on “Painter Of The Night: Corruption versus Purification (second version)

  1. Oh I liked this one so much especially the end 🤣 your theory was so dreamy I really hope this will happen but I also think SH is sick he can’t even stand ! So I think first maybe he will sleep and then their night will be in the chapter after don’t you think so ?
    I really like how sweet and caring Nakyum is here . He’s being so soft after all the event Seungho had gone thought the days he really need NK to be tender and here is is .
    Also their height difference is so huge there .
    The artist look so tiny like that and the lord looks really manly and dominant leaning like that.
    I like how he looked at him with straightforward and gained confidence it’s such a good thing .
    💕✨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First, I thought, we would only have a masturbation but honestly with the bed/the clothes etc… I couldn’t help myself thinking that we will have something similar to their first night. Sure, the lord is sick but I am quite sure that his curiosity/desire to see the painter’s gaze will be a huge motivator. And this time, Baek Na-Kyum could be the one making love to Yoon Seungho.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Just imagining Seungho having this warmth give me the chills (is happiness ) I’m waiting this day when he feel the artist love and tenderness he’s just a huge bear who need that 🤣🥺just thinking of his face at that moment is overwhelming

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m so glad I came across your blog! Your analyses is really impressive 😀 but I’m a bit confused about the relationship between Seungho and his father. Because shouldn’t a father feel happy that his son is living up to his expectations as “one of the brightest in the region” rather than feel jealous of his accomplishments to the point that he has him confined to the house? I always assumed that his dad banished him out of disappointment in how his son turned out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, a father should feel happy with such a son. However, let’s not forget that I perceived Jung In-Hun as someone suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder which means, he can’t bear not being admired. From my point of view, father Yoon is similar. You know, being a father doesn’t signify that the latter loves his children automatically. This is just a myth, just like it’s a legend that being a mother means being a good mother. No, for me, it was clear that the father was a selfish, ruthless and double-faced man. I wrote this very early on and Byeonduck retweeted or liked these analyses, implying that I had truly perceived the father’s personality.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I can’t wait to see the next chapter! I feel like there will be a tender kids too (hopefully! 🤞)

    Thank you for your analysis. I like to read them and to think deeply about the story and all the narration choices of Byeonduck, which are quite smart.
    I wonder what drug the father use and the effects it has on Seungho… Should he stop talking it? Is their really an illness or is it “just” homophobia ?
    And talking about drugs, is it me or Kim asked the doctor for some strength drug for Nakyum at one point?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think the new chapter is the new version of chapter 37/38 as Yoon Seungho is supposed to meet someone from his past, in chapter 37, it was his brother, in chapter 57 it was Lord Song. Both encounters were sent to Seungho by letter, though Jihwa was behind the newest one. The second reason is that Yoon Seungho grabbed Na Kyum in a similar fashion; I would have to wait until the next chapter to confirm.

    Liked by 1 person

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