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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Announcement: The essays “My boy” and “Baek Na-Kyum’s childhood” have been updated.
I have already examined Baek Na-Kyum’s white headband in different essays (f. ex. “the significance of the white headband” or “Baek Na-Kyum’s origins” or “Coming Of Age” or “Baek Na-Kyum’s childhood”). Hence anyone could come to the conclusion that there is nothing left about this topic. Yet once again another detail caught my attention which led me to new thoughts.
1. Yoon Seungho’s action
Everything started from this panel. (Chapter 53) Yoon Seungho was about to remove the white headband. Why? In my opinion, he was under the influence of his subconscious/unconscious. However, the main lead couldn’t remove it because of Min’s intervention. (chapter 53) Striking is that the presence of the white headband could be seen as a justification for Yoon Seungho to treat the protagonist as his servant later. This is no coincidence that during that night, he was offered to the guests. (chapter 54) Nevertheless, observe that after that night, the aristocrat never took away the white headband from Baek Na-Kyum. When the latter woke up, it was still on the artist’s head. Why? (chapter 55) In addition, the artist’s hair was not even in disarray contrary to chapter 38 or chapter 89 . This shows that during that night, Yoon Seungho had kept his distance from the artist. He had not dared to touch his hair and face out of self-loathing. He was full of remorse and felt dirty.
On the other hand, a few hours later, Baek Na-Kyum was no longer wearing the white bandana. (chapter 55) How did this happen? Why was it removed? Since Yoon Seungho was ill, the latter couldn’t be the one behind this. Here, I would like the manhwaphiles to keep in their mind the following rules:
- The painter’s fate mirrors Yoon Seungho’s.
- There’s always a reflection within the same chapter.
- The previous episode will be reflected in the next, yet there will be little changes.
- Chapters from previous seasons will be reflected in the next.
2. Chapter 55 revisited
That’s how I always came up with new interpretations and perceptions. But let’s return our attention to Baek Na-Kyum’s white headband in chapter 55. As you can imagine, it is related to Kim. How so? Let’s not forget that when Yoon Seungho had confessed to the painter in the morning, the door was open. This means that anyone could hear the lord’s words. (chapter 55) Observe that the artist had remained under the lord’s hanbok all the time. In this panel, you could see that the door was still wide open. This means that Kim could hear his master’s confession addressed to the painter. I have two evidences for this theory. First, in chapter 37, the butler had not even closed the door, hence he could spy on the conversation between the Yoons. (chapter 37). Therefore a similar situation has to take place in season 2. This corresponds to rule 4. Secondly, in the same chapter, the painter had heard the butler’s description about the main lead’s illness. (chapter 55) And note that in this scene the door was even close! This represents rule 2. The only difference between Baek Na-Kyum and Kim was that the former didn’t listen to their exchange of words on purpose. To sum up, Kim had spied on the couple on purpose. And if you read my analyses about chapter 56, you are all aware that the main lead had anticipated the painter’s desertion. Why? It is because his semi-confession was full of reproaches, pain, rage and brutality. He was showing his ugly side to the painter. (chapter 55) in order to push him away. He had murderous and suicidal thoughts. (chapter 55) In Yoon Seungho’s mind, anyone hearing such words would get upset and scared.
The lord could only appear as a selfish and violent madman.
And that’s how Kim thought as well. The latter could only jump to the conclusion that Baek Na-Kyum wouldn’t desire to remain by Yoon Seungho’s side, especially after hearing this reproach: (chapter 55) It was, as if the noble was saying that he would go crazy, each time he would see Baek Na-Kyum’s face. The irony is that Yoon Seungho was just describing his racing heart “My emotions swing wildly this way and that”, and he had difficulties to express himself properly. He had problems to distinguish his mind from his heart, for he had been denying the existence of emotions all this time. Simultaneously, his beating heart was also connected to his past anxieties and wounds which were all linked to his abandonment issues. He was longing for love. In other words, Yoon Seungho was facing the same problem than Baek Na-Kyum’s. He couldn’t differentiate fear from love. (chapter 41) (chapter 68), as both were strongly connected to each other due to their abandonment issues. This means that once the butler heard the lord’s confession, he envisioned that the artist would leave the mansion. But he could never make such a suggestion directly, because his betrayal would be detected. Hence he had to push Baek Na-Kyum to remove the headband from his head. The moment he had no white bandana, he could be considered as a free man. But how could he manipulate the young man? By simply removing the lord’s headband!! 😮 That’s the reason why Yoon Seungho had no headband in this episode! Since in chapter 53 the removal of the headband was influenced by the subconscious, it was the opposite in chapter 55! This was a conscious choice, Kim’s decision. And now, you comprehend why the protagonist was dressed like this! (chapter 55) The painter was encouraged to imitate his lover. The butler could justify his action by saying that it was for the lord’s best interest. He was sick, and it was much more comfortable and easier to treat him. However, this was actually a transgression, for Kim had acted on his own volition. Don’t forget that the topknot was considered as a very intimate part, the symbol for the phallus, for it is connected to “adulthood and manhood”. Yet Kim had never received the lord’s authorization. From my point of view, Kim imagined that while he was away fetching the doctor, the painter would leave the domain. The irony is that the painter was following the butler’s past advice. (chapter 52) He had remained by his side as a dutiful and concerned domestic. Observe what the butler was carrying in the courtyard: the bucket! And that’s the moment the painter was encouraged to act like a servant, hence right after the readers could witness the return of the white headband. (chapter 52) As you can see, episode 55 was a reflection of chapter 52. This is no coincidence that in chapter 55, the painter was seen carrying the item as well. (chapter 55) Yet, I detected a contrast. The bucket of water was necessary in chapter 55, for the main lead was suffering from a fever. (chapter 55) And this confirms my interpretation about the butler. In the courtyard, he was faking diligence. (chapter 52) Why was he walking away from the bathroom? This is not the way to the kitchen either, and observe that the foot prints are not coming from the well, but from the bathroom. He might have been wearing his white headband, but in verity he is not living like a dedicated domestic. That’s the reason why I am more than ever convinced that Kim was the one behind the vanishing of the painter’s white headband and his motivation was to incite the painter to abandon Yoon Seungho. I discovered two proofs for this theory. It is related to rule 2. Since the valet Kim had asked the painter in the bedchamber to take care of the lord,. (chapter 55) the negative reflection would be that the butler had not requested his assistance in the past. Hence the author showed the bucket in this image.. The painter had acted on his own accord before. (chapter 55) Then in the physician’s office, the lord pushed the main lead’s hand away. He had not given his permission to approach him and remove the hat. (chapter 58) (chapter 58) The painter had been imitating the butler’s past action with the same intention. However, as you can see, this gesture was perceived as a wrongdoing. And in the same episode, what did we see? The bucket!! (chapter 58) This time, it was Kim who had vanished from the physician’s home. He had used the water to explain his departure from the room. According to me, he had met No-Name during that night. This can only reinforce my perception that Kim had been hoping that the painter would vanish during the lord’s illness. This corresponds to rule 3. But the final evidence for this is the lord’s departure of the mansion in chapter 56!! (chapter 56) During their conversation, the lord was still without his headband. This explicates why Kim was caught by surprise, when he discovered his master’s disappearance. (chapter 56) It is because he had not put his headband himself. How could Yoon Seungho leave the mansion without his headband and hat? Yoon Seungho had prepared himself. (chapter 56) Simultaneously, I would like to remind the manhwaworms of the following situation. The valet had pulled his master from his sleep by changing the position of the lights. Hence it was still during the night. (chapter 56) The chandelier was no longer by the lord’s bedside. So when Yoon Seungho interrogated Kim about the artist’s whereabouts, we should perceive the valet’s answer under a different perspective. (chapter 56) He was NOT telling the truth! How is it possible, since we saw the painter having a dream in the study? Simply, because the valet was assuming that once Baek Na-Kyum had been sent away, he would seize the opportunity to desert the propriety. Kim had envisioned that the artist would run away during that night. In his mind, he had not escaped during the day, for he had not the opportunity. But in the middle of the night, it was a different story. Moreover, in the past, the artist had left the domain during the night too. (chapter 46) And the evidence for this interpretation is the drop of sweat on the valet’s cheek. (chapter 56) The symbol for deception in Painter Of The Night. That’s the reason why he made the following suggestion: “Shall I fetch him?” If he had gone there, and “discovered” the painter’s vanishing, he would appear as innocent. He had taken care of Yoon Seungho during the night, hence he had not been able to pay attention to the artist’s moves. This explicates why Kim never mentioned that the artist had taken care of his lover during that night. If he had done this, the lord wouldn’t have fallen so easily into the scheme the next time (The kidnapping and attempted murder). To conclude, the disappearance of the painter’s white bandana exposed more about the valet’s personality. His knowledge is based on his past experiences and observations, but more importantly Yoon Seungho’s mentality is reflecting the valet’s. Yoon Seungho thought that his confession would scare the painter away, and this is what the butler thought either. But he was proven wrong. This is not surprising that at the end, he had to become proactive himself. [For more read the essay No matter what … the painter must vanish] ] In addition, the readers can grasp how the butler made the huge mistake to believe that the painter was dead in season 3. Since the lord was convinced that Baek Na-Kyum was dead, it was the same for the butler. But by removing the lord’s headband, the butler never realized that he brought the painter closer to Yoon Seungho. In his bed, he no longer appeared as a noble, but as a simple and weak man. (chapter 55) Each intervention from Kim had the opposite effect. Why? It is because the painter is suffering from abandonment issues. By hearing that the lord wished affection and admiration from him, the painter could only be moved. How could he abandon someone who longs for attachment, when he was longing for the same? This explicates why the painter could perceive the lord’s despair and pain behind the “ugly side”. Moreover, chapter 55 represents another proof that Kim has always spied on his master, and this for his own sake. In season 1, he was bold enough to leave the door open, in chapter 55, he could take the opportunity, for the lord had opened the door himself. If he had been caught, he could justify his presence that he had seen the door open. And now, you are probably thinking that there is nothing more to say. However, you are wrong!!
3. Yoon Seungho’s third eye
Remember that my starting point was this: (chapter 53) Why felt the lord compelled to remove the painter’s white headband? In my first essay about this item (“the significance of the white head-band”), I had demonstrated that the bandana was representing a hindrance to the lord’s biggest desire: to caress the painter’s head. He loved his hair. However, I believe that there exists another reason for this. It is because the protagonist definitely met Baek Na-Kyum in his childhood and remembers him without the headband!! However, this memory has been deeply repressed, as it is related to his own traumatic past. That’s the reason why he is influenced by his subconscious. First, we have this scene where Yoon Seungho got dragged away, while the painter was crying. (chapter 68) Here he was not wearing the headband. (chapter 68) During a live stream, the author revealed that the painter was present, when Yoon Seungho arrived with his father and Kim. So both definitely saw each other. Striking is that in this scene, the scholar never wiped the artist’s tears, a gesture that Yoon Seungho has always done right from the start. (chapter 1) Jung In-Hun just embraced him and took him away from the gibang. In my eyes, Yoon Seungho’s unconscious has internalized their past encounter and he remembers him as a young boy dressed like a noble!! Note that during that night, he was even wearing good clothes, while in season 1, he had no white shirt and white pants. (chapter 1) He was dressed like a low-born which stands in opposition to chapter 68, 87 and 94. (chapter 94) And this observation made me question this. Where does Baek Na-Kyum’s passion for drawing and painting come from? Observe that in his memories, the painter is never seen drawing!! (chapter 94) He is not even accompanied with a brush and paper. He is not drawing in the sand. Moreover, when he mentions the scholar, he only talks about his emotions, (chapter 94) yet at no moment, he brings up painting again. On the other hand, painting is his passion, he felt terrible, when he had to renounce on his fascination for drawing. (chapter 75) That’s the reason why I am suspecting that Yoon Seungho could have played an influence on Baek Na-Kyum in the past. All these scenes (chapter 94) are not random in my opinion. They are all strongly intertwined with Yoon Seungho’s destiny. It is possible that during the same day, the painter saw Yoon Seungho, and here he was seen wearing a scarf and lined clothes which reminds me of this wardrobe. (chapter 94) This is important, because Heena has such a biased view about nobles. They are all violent and filthy liars!
So imagine her reaction, when she saw that Yoon Seungho showed an interest in her brother. She could only object to their relationship. And this would explain why little by little, Baek Na-Kyum fell into disgrace. First, he lost his braid, then at the end he was dressed up like a domestic. This was reflected by his clothes. As time passed on, he would resemble more and more to a servant.
But let’s return our attention to the night of the fake sexual lessons.
What if Yoon Seungho had asked her about her brother (chapter 68), and the rumor about the main lead’s sexuality was already circulating? However, the adults misunderstood the situation. The two children just wished to play. This would explain why Yoon Seungho showed his cheerful side to the painter later. He loved playing pranks… and Baek Na-Kyum has a similar disposition. He loves playing. This is perceptible, when you take into consideration of the author’s drawings created for stans. Baek Na-Kyum is seen playing with snow, (chapter 46), Thanks to Yoon Seungho, he could play and even laugh. This shows that both children couldn’t play like others in the past.. They were forced to become adults very early on. They had to become responsible for the adults (noonas, the Yoons and Kim!).
Another reason for the parents’ intervention could also be political. The elders (Heena, father Lee and Jung In-Hun), they were opposed to this relationship. Why? According to me, the painter is related to the king.
Besides, why would the noonas from the dream say this? (chapter 87) As you can see, I sense that the protagonists already had a relationship in the past, but due to the intervention of adults, they forgot it. Moreover, the story keeps going in circle. Thus I don’t think that this is no coincidence that Yoon Seungho would give the painter his shirt! (chapter 39) Baek Na-Kyum was dressed similarly in the past. (chapter 68) And it is the same with the scarf. (chapter 74) (chapter 94) In my eyes, the clothes and the hair from the painter have one purpose: to trigger the protagonist’s memories! And it is the same with Yoon Seungho’s hair (the braid). Both have forgotten their common past. And now, you comprehend why Heena tried to convince her brother that he had developed a strong attachment to the scholar. (chapter 68) It was to divert his attention and to ensure that he wouldn’t remember Yoon Seungho. But there’s another reason why I believe that the painter’s affection for Jung In-Hun was not that deep in the beginning. It is because of this panel. (chapter 1) This image represents the learned sir’s memory. In this episode, the main lead is always wearing the pink shirt with the headband! However, like I could demonstrate it, the painter was not wearing it in his childhood. This exposed the teacher’s distorted memory. What caught my attention is that the man portrayed the main figure as someone obsessed with sex. He implied that he would only paint erotic pictures of sodomy. (chapter 1) However, in this image, the artist was much older. According to me, he had painted, because he had been forced to. At the same time, he insinuated that this was the artist’s favorite topic since his childhood. But by describing Baek Na-Kyum like this, he was occulting the true origins for the painter’s passion. Why would he love drawing in the first place? In my opinion, it is related to Yoon Seungho’s passion as well.
To conclude, I come to the same conclusion than certain readers. Baek Na-Kyum met Yoon Seungho as a child, and the latter was in reality the one who incited the main lead to paint. This explicates why Jung In-Hun was connected to the moon and not the day. (chapter 94) Furthermore, he is not even connected to painting. Here, the boy was seen walking in the street alone. (chapter 94) Don’t you find it weird? So he could have met Yoon Seungho during the same day, and no one noticed his absence, for the noonas were either sleeping or busy. This shows how destructive prejudices and fears can be! They definitely ruined two innocent and pure children. 😭
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