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 bet, you must be surprised that I am writing a second part about Jihwa’s confession, when the first part was so long and it really looked like I had exhausted the topic. However, while rereading the manhwa again in order to discover new details, I found another scene that was very similar to Jihwa’s confession.
It’s actually the scene in the chapter 5, where Baek Na-Kyum approaches the lord asking for his forgiveness with the hope that the latter will be willing to return the poem from Jung In-Hun. Observe the parallels between the two scenes:
- We have a piece of paper which forces one of the main leads to meet the other character.
- The color of Yoon Seungho’s robes is very similar: he is wearing dark blue in both scenes. And you know that there’s no coincidence in this manhwa. Blue is associated to care, trust, loyalty, and peace of mind.
- Besides, we have two persons speaking about forgiveness
- The two conversations deal with Yoon Seungho’s image as man consumed by lust
- Their positions are very similar. While in the chapter 5, the main lead sits smoking and looking out of the window, the painter is begging on his knees. Then in the chapter 57, Jihwa is also on his knees, while the lord is sitting too as he can no longer stand due to his illness. Both beg the lord in the end. Striking is that everything is indeed related to love. The manhwaphiles should remember that the plagiarized poem deals with love. The scholar faked his affection for the painter with his poetry.
- Both scenes are involving Yoon Seungho’s childhood friend. In the first season, Jihwa had to suffer from the painter’s lip service, in the episode 57 the second lead plays now an active role because he is at the forefront. This time, he confesses. However, the real similarity is the following. Jihwa used the letter in order to get his friend’s attention. As a conclusion, in both scenes, the lord’s attention on his sex partner plays a huge role.
- Another parallel is the rejection. Because of the low-born’s indirect reproach, the lord can’t stop thinking about Baek Na-Kyum’s words hence he is unable to focus on Jihwa who is sent away at the end. In other words, the ex-lover’s advances are jilted which really upsets the red-haired aristocrat. In the chapter 57, the manhwaphiles don’t witness the rejection personally, we hear about this through the butler’s testimony. And this occurs again, when the aristocrat confesses to his friend. The latter’s mind is focused on the painter again.
- This leads to the next analogy. In both cases, Jihwa is left behind after the rejection. In the chapter 5, the lord leaves his bedchamber and in the newest episode, he leaves with his loyal assistant to go to the doctor’s office.
After listing many parallels between these two episodes, the readers can detect that the author could only have done it on purpose. For me, this analogy gives another explication why Jihwa ends up rejected. And now, I’ll elaborate this reasoning.
Notice in the chapter 5 that although Yoon Seungho forgives the painter, he doesn’t return the poem. Why? Let’s not forget the painter’s real intention behind his concession. The low-born desired the noble to change his mind. He imagined that if he expressed his apology, then this would move Seungho’s heart so that the latter would give back the poem. We could say, we have another allusion of “change of heart”. However, his apology was just a lip service which the noble could sense. The irony in this scene is that while the low-born denies that he views the master as a man consumed by lust, he is actually saying the opposite which triggers something in the aristocrat. He’s hurt and annoyed due to the artist’s words. Now, you might wonder about the reason for his annoyance as the day before, the painter had reproached him to be a man obsessed with sex. In my opinion, there are two reasons for the change of attitude. The painter had disqualified him for judging the quality of the poem as he was not educated, due to his busy sex life. And notice that in the chapter 5, he only repeats the part “consumed by lust” but the allusion to his education is reduced to “what not”. Therefore this leads me to the observation that Baek Na-Kyum’s lip service did cause a change of heart but not a change of mind!! For the first time, Yoon Seungho is confronted with his negative image by someone so honest and direct. This reveals that no one has an idea how literate he is. The day before, he was upset when he heard these words but he just dismissed it, thinking that the painter had no idea about his true personality. But the moment the painter refers to the incident, he is omitting the part about his intelligence and education. And this is important because the artist is the only one who gives a true reflection to the protagonist, while Jihwa is not complaining at all.
Let’s not forget that till the chapter 49, he only views himself as a spirit. So in his mind, he was only a mind full of knowledge hence he didn’t need to show himself entirely. However, it is a different story, when someone so genuine reminds him that he has been fooling around with men and has never revealed his brilliance. And this is very important because despite his lip service, Baek Na-Kyum forces the lord to change, to confront himself with his own image. So despite the painter’s selfishness in his apology and lie (he wants to receive his treasure), there’s genuineness which is also visible later. He argues, when the lord refuses to return the poem with the justification that he won’t change his mind. He needs to paint for him in exchange for the poem. While the red-haired noble complained about Seungho’s change of heart, in the past he actually desired a change of heart as well. He couldn’t bear the thought, his lover was having sex with other men. As you can detect, the change of heart occurred back then which affected Jihwa so much. At the same time, it also outlines Jihwa’s lack of sincerity. He might long for the lord yet he was never satisfied with the lord. First, he was fooling around and now he is focusing his attention and care on the artist. Both were confronting the protagonist with his bad reflection, yet their intentions and approach were different. First, the painter never intended to hurt the noble with his lip service. Secondly, he somehow admitted his wrongdoing hence he expressed his apology. Striking is that he’s not blaming the counterpart. There are no reproach expressed here. His apology might be insincere, yet he admits to be in the wrong, whereas the red-haired noble is reprimanding his friend and never questioning his actions. That’s why he is the one forgiving and not apologizing. Now, you understand why he’s blaming his childhood friend. He had to hurt him because he had changed, because he had neglected him, because he was a man consumed by sex etc. Despite a certain selfishness and insincerity visible in the painter (chapter 5), the later is still showing a certain respect towards Yoon Seungho and is even willing to take responsibility for his behavior. But at no moment, we can observe this with Jihwa. In my opinion, that’s the reason why Baek Na-Kyum could provoke a change of heart in the lord so that the latter could no longer focus on sex.
What caught my attention is that although Jihwa is always physically close to his childhood friend (see above and here ), he is so far away from him mentally. And this stands in opposition to Baek Na-Kyum who was physically far away from the lord, yet there’s a certain closeness due to their exchange of words. As you can perceive, Jihwa didn’t pay attention to the lord’s words in the chapter 5. When the latter revealed that he had been described as a man consumed by lust, the sex partner got upset because the noble was not focusing on him and he was left behind. During that night, Jihwa could have talked to Yoon Seungho but he didn’t deny anything, he just complained that Yoon Seungho wasn’t paying attention to him. And this distance between Jihwa and Seungho becomes more visible in the chapter 57, when you compare the drawings between Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho in the chapter 5. Notice that Byeonduck always zoomed on both faces, underlining that there was a real conversation, while it’s not the case with Jihwa. It’s a very long monologue. All the panels represent the red-haired aristocrat’s perspective and thoughts and the zoom on his face symbolizes the climax of his speech. Everything revolves around him that’s why we don’t see Yoon Seungho all this time. In my opinion, the mind’s eye of Jihwa is not looking at the friend at all. He might star at him at the end, yet for me he is more speaking about himself and his feelings than exchanging thoughts with his ex-lover. And that’s the reason why Yoon Seungho could only reject his friend. He has never really tried to open up to his childhood friend. There is no real conversation. Observe that when the lord refused to return the poem, Baek Na-Kyum started to argue with him but accepted the lord’s words at the end. In the chapter 57, Jihwa is not giving a chance to Yoon Seungho to give an explanation to his bad behavior, since he states that he knows everything.
Since in the chapter 5, Jihwa was sent away, we could say that the outcome in the chapter 57 is not a surprise. The weirdest thing is that the chapter 58 actually confirms my observation. The same question, yet there is no longer a physical gap between them. Now, the lord is even holding the painter’s hand, instead of holding the pipe. And observe that they talk to each other in this scene again. There’s another real conversation. And this is the other reason why the protagonist could only fall in love with the artist. The latter was the only one talking to him, even when he hated himand he expressed his feelings. He argued with him showing that he was noting his presence as a spirit, a mind and he wasn’t just a man obsessed with sex. Consequently, Jihwa could only fail as he never exchange his true thoughts and feelings. Even when they had sex, they would talk to each other with a certain honesty. And this was not the case with Jihwa. Besides, by only having sex with him and not sharing his mind, he contributed to Seungho’s mental isolation and loneliness. Seungho was first attracted by the painter’s works, hence there was a mental connection between them before their first meeting. And from the moment they were together, they kept talking to each other, while it was never the case with Jihwa. He was not listening to his friend’s words, even when the latter warned him or reminded him that he didn’t know him that well. It was, as if his words meant nothing. This is not surprising that Yoon Seungho could only consider himself as a spirit using his body to get revenge on the double-faced nobles. This explains why the main lead can’t distinguish Jihwa from Min in the end. Both are treating him the same way. Both assume, they know him so well and can do anything to him, justifying their actions with this excuse. As a conclusion, this manhwa reveals that love can only work if there’s a real communication and attraction is not the main component.
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2 thoughts on “Painter Of The Night: Jihwa’s confession – part 2”
I’ve been reading your analysis of this story and it’s been really interesting. Your take on Seungho’s personality and reasoning for his behaviour in many cases makes sense , but that still does not excuse his behaviour towards Nakyum who he’s at one point raped, abused and physically threatened. This is due to the fact that he has all the power and uses it to his advantage, but the problem is you can not make someone love you regardless of your position and this is what haunts Seungho because he wants Nakyums love despite how he has treated him previously ,also the fact that he took Nakyum’s virginity is of great importance to him and therefore he doesn’t want no one else to have him even though Seungho himself has had numerous sexual encounters with different men whether they were meaningful or not!
Nakyum is powerless in this situation as he has no where to go that’s why he continues to stay with Seungho.
I do think that this relationships Bonders on more of a Stockholm syndrome type of relationship Because Nakyum has accepted his life and just goes along with things and sees it as normal that’s why he starts developing feelings for Seungho and willingly in my opinion has sex with him.
After reading chapter 58 it’s obvious that Seungho is in love with Nakyum and wants him body and soul whether Nakyum actually does love him back remains to be seen. Anyway thanks for sharing your views I really enjoy reading them.
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I have a different take on this. IF he had a Stockholm Syndrome, then he wouldn’t be able to criticize Seungho which he did in multiple occasions. Even in the chapter 55, he says that noone would do that to the person he loves. He yelled at him many times (25, 26, 41). Stockholm Syndrome means, you have no longer critical thinking. For me, BNK really suffers from Stockholm Syndrome but with JIH!! JIH brainwashed him with torture (mental, physical and emotional abuse) that’s why he follows JIH’s request although he senses the scholar’s betrayal.
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