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Retired court painter Shin Han-Pyong seeks to settle an old score with the most sought after painter of that time, Kim Hong-Do (Kim Young-Ho). Shin raises his son to surpass Kim Hong-Do, but his son commits suicide over his lack of talent. The father then pushes his daughter Yun-Jeong to disguise herself as her brother and enter the world of court painters.
Now the grown-up Yun-jeong (Kim Gyu-Ri), better known as "Hyewon" - the pen name of Shin Yun-Bok, finally enters the court and learns to paint under the guidance of Kim Hong-Do, who is trusted by by King Jung-Jo.
Kim Hong-Do quickly notices Yun-bok's huge potential as well as his girlish features. Things remain normal until Yun-bok goes out and comes across a playful seller of mirrors, Kang-Mu (Kim Nam-Gil). When their romantic adventure takes off, it is Kim Hong-Do who ends up heartbroken. Kim's jealousy, and his desire to own Yun-Bok physically and emotionally, soars to a perilous level.
Shin Yun-bok, better known by the pen name Hyewon, is a real figure who produced a host of thematically provocative and artistically excellent paintings in the 18th century. However, not one record of the painter still exists. A story about a genius painter who loved his patron’s lover and then lost everything, only to leave a miindo of the lady.
- "A Portrait of a Beauty" is based on the 2007 fictional historical novel "The Painter of the Wind" by Jung-myeong Kee.
- The novel examines the life of 18th century painter Yun-bok Shin. Although highly regarded for his erotic & satrical paintings, there are few documents relating to the painter's life in the present day. Jung-myeong Kee's novel then presents the hypothetical question, "What if Yun-bok Shin was actually a girl dressed in men's clothes?"
- Other titles based on the same story:
- The Painter of Wind (SBS / 2008)
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