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Chapter 31 Part 2 - The Mysterious Art Museum

A street artist's life changed when he ended up at a mysterious art museum. DBT,Korean,Novel,Translation,Art,Artist,Slice of life,Poor to Rich,Mystery

Monica's eyes widened in surprise.

"I heard rumors you spent billions on commissioning portrait artists."

"Hmm, probably."

"How many did you have painted to hear such figures?"

"About fifty?"

"Wow! And not a single one among those many paintings pleased her?"


"Hah... Will Jung-hoon do well?"


Minyoung pauses at Monica's question, then smiles.

"The moment I saw your portrait, I immediately thought of my mother. I thought someone who could paint like that could surely embrace the darkness in my mother's heart."

Minyoung and Monica simultaneously recall the portrait painted by Jung-hoon.

A painting that embraces the heart.

A painting that seduces.

A painting that shows a happy future one wishes for.

That was Jung-hoon's painting.

Monica has faith in Jung-hoon, but she is also uneasy. His career as an artist so far has been modest.

Monica looks worried, then clears her expression and lifts her glass.

"Whether it's a success or failure, make sure you pay him properly for the painting. I looked into it, and his family is struggling. He's a talented artist. Make sure he doesn’t have his wings clipped."

Minyoung nods with a smile.

"I'm a businesswoman, Monica. The value of the painting depends on Mr. Ban's skill. I'm not going to decide its worth. Whether he has talent or not is for my mother to judge."

"Phew, okay, got it. Let's just drink."


"Ah... This is driving me crazy."

Leaving the mansion, I return to my basement studio, frustratedly scattering sketches of the portrait I saw in the afternoon of Mrs. Kang.

If they were standard portraits costing twenty-five thousand Won each, the quality would have been sufficient, but they still don't satisfy me.

Before meeting teacher, I might have been content with this level. No, if I hadn't met him, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity.

"A painting that seduces the heart."

Information is lacking.

Portrait painting is sensitive.

As it’s based on a client's request, it must be painted to their satisfaction, and no matter how well done, it’s pointless if the client isn't satisfied.

There's no high expectation for street portrait artists, so I've been able to get by, but wouldn’t a wealthy lady be dissatisfied with such paintings?

I need to know more about Mrs. Kang.

As I try to recall and sketch her face, I eventually stand up, brushing off my seat.

It’s a waste of time to continue this.

I feel like I need to get some fresh air to stop this.

Walking aimlessly, I find myself unconsciously heading towards that odd art gallery. Sighing, I then consider the thought that changing exhibitions doesn’t mean changing dreams.

I quicken my pace, hoping this theory proves true, wishing for even a small hint from anyone.

I soon arrive at the quiet, almost empty gallery.

Peeking at the current Gustav Klimt exhibition, I stand dumbfounded in front of the kiosk.

"Twenty thousand Won?"

It was five thousand Won until recently. Ah, that was an opening event.

A month ago, I would have hesitated at that price, but now I can afford it. I pay without hesitation and head downstairs.

The faint music behind the soundproof walls grows louder.

Instead of the familiar Dvořák, Ludwig van Beethoven's "Chorus" plays.

It’s a fitting choice for Klimt's exhibition, inspired by Beethoven’s music to create the internal mural 'Beethoven Frieze' at the Secession Building.

Pushing the heavy door with my shoulder, I enter the basement exhibition hall, which is bathed in gold.


Gold, gold everywhere!

True to the exhibition called 'Gold in Motion', Klimt's display was a celebration of gold.

Descending the stairs, I couldn’t take my eyes off the giant golden painting projected on the wall in front.

Klimt's masterpiece, The Kiss.

A man and woman embracing and kissing, a flat yet incredibly beautiful painting. This painting of lovers kissing precariously at the edge of a cliff is one of the most loved in the world.

Sitting on the usual rock sofa in the center of the exhibition hall, I crossed my legs, rested my chin on my hand, and murmured,


An artist about whose personal life nothing is known.

He didn’t write an autobiography, only a few of his letters survived, and he famously never provided explanations for his paintings.

When someone asked him why he made no effort to make himself known, he is said to have replied,

"If you want to know me, look at and feel my paintings."

Should this be called remarkable confidence?

Perhaps it’s justified. While many artists are not recognized in their lifetimes, Klimt amassed enormous wealth while he was still alive.

Many artists have left numerous self-portraits, but Klimt was different.

He left only two self-portraits. One was a small depiction of himself seated in the audience, a part of his 'Romeo and Juliet' painting for the ceiling of a theater in Vienna. The other was a scribble-like drawing on a small piece of paper, done with a pen.

Fortunately, because of the black-and-white photography technology available during his time, his appearance has been passed down to later generations.

I thought of Klimt in his later years and smiled slightly.

"He looked a bit like Heihachi from Tekken."

Chuckling to myself, I recalled his hairstyle from his old age.

A funny hairstyle with no hair in the middle and the hair on both temples sticking up to the sky. Plus, he often wore baggy clothes that made him look like a monk, giving him an appearance similar to a video game character.

I briefly indulged in this imagination of Klimt before shaking my head.

"Is this really the time for such thoughts?"

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