Jar with tiger decoration, Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392–1910), 19th century. Porcelain with underglaze cobalt blue design. 14 3/4 in. (37.5 cm); Diam. of base: 5 13/16 in. (14.8 cm). National Museum of Korea, L.2016.43.10a, b. Photograph courtesy the National Museum of Korea

Tigers appear frequently in nineteenth-century Korean art, including ceramics, lacquer, and painting. Although symbolic of strength and fierceness, the animal is often rendered with a humorous, expressive face, as on this blue-and-white jar. Here, a single tiger sits tamely against a spare backdrop with a pine tree— a popular pairing of beast and plant. Late Joseon imagery of this subject matter, on porcelain and in folk painting, often also features a second auspicious animal, the magpie.