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/
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I am quite sure that you all know the saying: “Things always come in threes”. Striking is that this idiom exists in many other languages:
- French: “Jamais deux sans trois”
- German: “Aller guten Dinge sind drei”
- Spanish: “No hay dos sin tres”
Moreover, the human being is even composed by three parts: the body, the mind/spirit and the soul/heart. All this proves that the number “3” is indeed associated to completion and perfection. I am quite certain that you are now wondering about the connection between the magical and mystical number three and the title “the bride”. The answer is quite simple: we had three bridal carries in season 2, which the manhwaphiles could witness.
1. The first bridal carry
The first bridal carry occurred in chapter 45 Back then, the identity of the “bride” was unknown. However, there were two witnesses: the wandering merchant and the servant Deok-Jae. (chapter 45) The former mentioned this event to others so that a rumor started among the town folks. They were all wondering if Yoon Seungho was engaged due to the bridal carry. Since no marriage had happened, but simultaneously he showed great care in that person, they definitely perceived that the latter in his arm meant a lot to the master. They could judge that the noble was in love. At the same time, they were pleased, because they had realized that the black sheep of the Yoons seemed to have calmed down. Many painterofthenight-lovers couldn’t help smiling, when the entertainer praised the fiancée for her good sexual technics, (chapter 45) because the truth was that Yoon Seungho was so dissatisfied with the painter’s tricks. (chapter 45) And with such a contrast, it becomes obvious how strong and deep the noble’s affection for the artist already was. While the commoner’s comment diminished Yoon Seungho’s love for Baek Na-Kyum, as it was reduced to sensuality and seduction, the lord’s attitude clearly displayed that Yoon Seungho was expecting something else, but he had no idea what exactly. Striking is that the low-born was also clueless that the aristocrat had carried him like that, for he had fallen asleep. The fact that the wealthy man used his own hanbok to carry the commoner to the bathroom illustrated how caring Yoon Seungho was, but no one told him about this. Furthermore, this gesture outlined that the protagonist was taking great of the painter’s body. He shouldn’t get cold and he should get cleaned immediately, underlining that the first sex marathon had left a huge trauma on him. This incident (the bridal carry) was never mentioned within the mansion for two reasons. The domestic Deok-Jae had no interest in telling it to others, as he was filled with jealousy and still hoped that Baek Na-KYum would lose the lord’s favor. As for Kim, when he discovered that the incident had reached the ears of the inhabitants, he seized the opportunity to hide the fiancée’s identity in order to limit the damages. On the surface, it looked like he was protecting the couple’s interest, whereas in reality he feared a scandal. But more importantly, he wanted, just like Deok-Jae, this situation to be just temporary. Therefore he could only reduce the painter’s status: he was neither a bride nor a fiancée, at best a favored servant. (chapter 45) That way, if the low-born was to disappear, no one would connect Baek Na-Kyum to the bridal carry. All the men were convinced that it was a woman due to the smooth legs. (chapter 45) Since the painter had been kept in the dark about the noble’s action, he couldn’t realize the noble’s feelings. The only person pointing out the master’s affection for the commoner was the head-maid. (chapter 46) Since she had been kept in the dark by Deok-Jae and Kim about the bridal carry, she had to mention another conversation to prove her observation. Yet it was definitely less convincing, as it was more related to comfort and respect.
2. The second bridal carry
Then the second bridal carry took place much later in chapter 66: (chapter 66) The manhwalovers will notice the progression. First, the identity of the “bride” is no longer hidden. This time, the lord’s attention is more focused on the head, as his hand covers the painter’s head. In other words, he pays less attention to the artist’s body. The latter is just wearing a shirt and nothing more. The reason for this divergence is simple. Baek Na-Kyum had just a flashback, a panic attack indicating that his spirit or mind was troubled. Yoon Seungho had recognized that the painter was injured mentally. Just like in the past, there’s a witness, but this time, it is the noble Min. Why only one witness? If you compare it to the first scene, you’ll note that Black Heart replaces the merchant and the servant Deok-Jae. The Joker is lusting after the low-born due to the smooth legs (a new version of this panel: chapter 45) and he is definitely jealous of the main lead, similar to Deok-Jae. This made me realize why The Joker revealed Jihwa’s abduction right after. Imagine, if people got aware of this incident, then The Joker wouldn’t be able to taste the artist. Every one would know about Baek Na-Kyum and his importance to Yoon Seungho. He was no longer a low-born, but the lord’s official wife and partner. If he were to disappear, no one would be able to escape punishment. Therefore he needed to separate the couple… since the artist was in a poor condition (chapter 66). He could only assume that the painter wished to disappear, for he had been abducted and Yoon Seungho had failed to protect him. Later, Kim could report to him what Yoon Seungho had done to the painter in the shed, so that Min’s belief that Baek Na-Kyum would leave the mansion could only increased. Both imagined that the commoner would desert the lord’s mansion. Both hoped that Baek Na-Kyum would reject the “marriage”, although he was already chosen as the lord’s bride. As you can observe, the bridal carry plays a huge importance, it definitely symbolizes marriage, even if it is between two men. And this led me to the theory that Min had already envisioned the next scheme. The conspirators had no time… especially if other servants noticed the bridal carry too. Let’s not forget that before Min stood in front of the master’s bedchamber, other domestics were standing there: Kim, the maid and another servant. (chapter 66) It is definitely possible that they looked at their lord’s action from faraway. If so, this would signify that the news about Baek Na-Kyum as the lord’s bride has finally reached the ears of the staff.
3. The third bridal carry
In the third bridal carry, there is another huge difference. This time the painter is awake and his mind is no longer troubled. (chapter 71) This signifies that now the artist is well aware of the signification of that action. That’s why he is definitely moved. He is blushing and letting his head rest on the protagonist’s shoulder. (chapter 71) He stares at the lord’s shoulder so intensively in order to confirm that this is real. More striking is that the painter’s nose is on the lord’s shirt implying that the commoner is smelling the lord’s fragrance. Furthermore, the painter senses the warmth from the master’s body, just like he hears Yoon Seungho’s footsteps on the wooden floor. To sum up, Baek Na-Kyum is using all his senses that he is not dreaming. Gradually, he is accepting it as reality, hence he can only blush. (chapter 71) What caught my attention is that the lord carries the painter closer to his chest, while the artist is hugging the noble too. In other words, their hearts are close to each other. Hence this bridal carry is associated to the heart. While the first one represented the body, the second the spirit, now the last one is related to the soul. To sum up, the third bridal carry symbolizes the official marriage. Both have chosen each other. And now, here is the question: where are the witnesses? So far, Byeonduck didn’t draw any witness. Nevertheless, we have to imagine that there exist witnesses. Since Kim was always present during the three kowtows (for that read my analysis called The five candles), I believe that he definitely observed the scene in the shadow, especially after comparing this panel (chapter 71) to this one: (chapter 33). Back then, the butler was worried that Baek Na-Kyum would reveal his complicity in the escape. However, this time Kim is concerned for another reason: the painter is no longer a favored servant, but now the bride and as such Yoon Seungho’s official partner. But if the readers compare the two previous bridal carries, they’ll remember that there were more than just one testifier… although in the second case, it was just implied. Thus I think that there could be another witness. In the first version of this essay, I had imagined that the Joker could have been present: In chapter 44, he saw how the painter walked to the study. Secondly, he was present during the second love session: . (chapter 60) However, I was wrong here. Then it occurred to me that if there was a second witness, then it could have been the new version of Deok-Jae. He had been following the guest (chapter 66), when Min entered the propriety. And according to social norms, he should have followed the noble. So he could have seen the painter’s legs from a certain distance. And this also would explicate why the domestic had such eyes, when he approached the bedchamber in season 3. (chapter 80) He was interested in the painter. And there is another evidence that there are always two witnesses of that bridal carry, the love session in the gibang. (chapter 96) The noona was joined shortly after by Min who could now hear their love session. (chapter 96)
4. The meaning behind the bridal carry
And that’s how I discovered two important aspects: timing and consent.
- Chapter 45: It happened after the sex session, and the painter had returned. This means that he had accepted Yoon Seungho as his partner.
- Chapter 66: One might say that it occurred after the sex session. Yet, people shouldn’t forget that they were sleeping in the bed, when Heena caused a ruckus. (chapter 65) This means that the painter was now the official partner of the protagonist. Nonetheless, the lord tied his bride so that the latter wouldn’t leave. The bridal carry was connected to forced marriage.
- Chapter 71: The bridal carry took place before the love session, and the painter had agreed to it. He had accepted the main lead’s advances.
- Chapter 78: Before the love session, though their intimacy began in delay. Note that the bride was the one who determined, when they should be intimate. However, they got interrupted. Then the consumption was quite painful, though the painter had masturbated before and as such prepared himself. (chapter 81) For me, this is an allusion to Yoon Seungho’s rape in his youth.
- Chapter 96: The wedding night got interrupted by Heena. This time, the bridal carry was strongly associated to sex.
- Chapter 102: This happened after the sexual assault. The lord was acting like in chapter 66. He was full of regret and tenderness. We could say that he was acting like a knight protecting his bride. Here, again the bridal carry is intertwined with death and pain. Don’t forget his words in the bath: (chapter 70)
Another huge difference between the two first bridal carries is the importance of the caresses. Yoon Seungho had sex before the bridal carry in both scenes. But more importantly, neither in the first case nor in the second he spent his time entangled, kissing and fondling. He was either teaching sexual lessons or claiming the painter as his belonging. In the third Wedding night, the chronology is respected. We have first the bridal carry, then the shower of caresses and kisses.
Through this examination, I realized that the bridal carry must have played a huge role in Yoon Seungho’s past. Either he experienced it, but he could never witness it (chapter 45, 66) or he has repressed it. Another possibility is that the bridal carry represents the biggest wish of the main lead. Back then, he wished that the pedophile had carried him like that. If only the “pedophile”had treated him that way… The manhwaphiles should keep in their mind that the bridal carry symbolizes marriage. The groom is supposed to bring his bride to the nuptial room, and according to me, the lord was raped in his own bedroom (the stranger in the night). And if this is true, there could be no bridal carry. Besides, the manhwaphiles should remember that the bridal carry in Painter Of The Night is strongly intertwined with sorrow and regret. Thus I had the following idea. Yoon Seungho would have forgiven the sexual abuser, if the latter had done it at some point, because this meant that he didn’t fear to be seen together. Hence we have the constant presence of witnesses during these scenes. I had already said that the bloody marriage was fake, for it was never official. Moreover, the bridal carry indicates that the man is taking his responsibility. But if the pedophile let others carry Yoon Seungho (chapter 77) and clean up his mess… no wonder why Yoon Seungho came to resent the man. He left the young master totally unprotected, exposed to all forms of abuse. And the man might have wondered why Yoon Seungho was so difficult to tame… Therefore he could never entirely trust the main lead. Consequently I view the gesture as the symbol of bravery, care, responsibility and strength. From my point of view, the main lead must have recognized that he was “married” much too young to the pedophile. During his conversation with Bongyong, the lord indicated that age mattered. He still had time. (chapter 78) They shouldn’t get married too young, and in my opinion, he was speaking out of experience.
As a conclusion, in season 2, I noticed 3 bridal carries. We could say that the first bridal carry symbolized the union of the bodies, the second of the spirit and the last one, the marriage of the souls. But since the story is going in circle, this signifies that in each season, we had them, but we couldn’t see all of them. Why? It is because Yoon Seungho never realized what he was doing. In chapter 45, he was like in trance. (chapter 45) Then in many occasions, the painter didn’t discover that Yoon Seungho had carried him like that, for he was either sleeping or unconscious. Hence the lord had to do it over and over again, until both realized the existence of the bridal carry and its significance. And it only happened in season 3: (chapter 78) Here, both were conscious. Thus I am deducing that Kim could have realized the lord’s biggest desire (embrace and bridal carry), but Kim chose to remain silent. He never divulged this information to lord Song. According to me, the latter kept sending beautiful clothes as a sign of contrition and support. This proves one more time that ignorance is not a blessing.
At the same time, the teacher’s embraces in chapter 68 and 70 clearly revealed that the scholar was treating Baek Na-Kyum like a child: (chapter 68) (chapter 70). The learned sir acted like a father and with the recollection of the piggyback, Baek Na-Kyum recognized the true value of this carry. He was never loved, like the commoner desired, the young man just viewed him as a child. He was innocent and pure and couldn’t realize the true nature of the scholar’s feelings: trivial and fleeting emotions, which turned into indifference, when the artist became an adult. That’s the reason why the artist is no longer upset… he judges this event in a different light. Back then, he was only a child for Jung In-Hun. This scene represents Baek Na-Kyum’s loss of innocence. He is now a mature man who makes decisions on his own. He is no longer idealizing Jung In-Hun, and the bridal carry reflects this maturity. (chapter 71) Baek Na-Kyum is not seeking warmth and affection out of despair or pain, he is finally able to detect the lord’s affection in each situation: in the bathroom and on his way to the bedchamber. Baek Na-Kyum was slowly accepting his position as Yoon Seungho’s bride, though I have to add that here, the painter was not thinking about marriage yet. During that scene, the couple was rekindling. It was make-up sex. Hence he could only blush. (chapter 71) I can imagine that his heart must be racing as well. Then in season 3, the painter is now seen carried fully naked in front of his sister. (chapter 96) He has no idea that she witnessed their union, but she already knew the true nature of their relationship. However, till the end of season 3, neither Yoon Seungho nor Baek Na-Kyum were even envisioning marriage, this topic was brought up by Bongyong, the witness of the first bridal carry. This is relevant, because we have to judge these bridal carries as a gesture influenced by the main lead’s subconscious. Deep down, he wished to make the painter his bride, but he had never realized it. However, this dream will become a reality, like Byeonduck implied it with this panel: Thus expect new bridal carries in season 4, but some of them will be connected to death, pain and sorrow. 😥 (chapter 66) (chapter 102).
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