• Koguryo and Balhae
  • Anak Tomb No. 3
Western Wall of the Western Auxiliary Chamber
TitleWestern Wall of the Western Auxiliary Chamber

The principal portrait of the deceased is featured prominently on the western wall of the western auxiliary chamber. The nobleman can be seen sitting on a wooden platform underneath an extravagant silk pavilion decorated with lotuses. He is surrounded by officials and appears to be conducting government affairs. Notably, the disparity in scale between the nobleman and his attendants is quite extreme, visually indicating each figure's social standing and importance. This type of technique is referred to as 'hierarchical representation of characters' or 'hierarchical scale.' The scale of the other figures appears to be related to the distance from the nobleman in the center. The maid depicted on the left side of the mural is the smallest, indicating that she is of the lowest rank. Curiously, this scene may be representative of the low social status of women in ancient Koguryo.