Byeon Sang-byeok (Korea, mid-18th century)
Byeon Sang-byeok was a painter from the late Korean Joseon Dynasty (1392 - 1910). He worked as a portrait painter at the court of King Yeongjo and later as hyeongam, the magistrate of a small province.
Alongside portraits, Byeon also painted beautiful, realistic animal scenes primarily of cats and chickens. The delicate brushwork of this Guksu (master artist) was already legendary during his lifetime and the people nicknamed him Byeon Goyang (Byeon Cat) and Byeon Dak (Byeon Rooster).
In Korean culture cats offer protection from evil spirits.