The purpose of this study is to apply iconology to discover the symbolic system of imaginary animals focused on four representative auspicious animals in Korean folk paintings. Study methods included literature review of folk paintings, iconological analytics books, and articles. A total of 16 folk paintings of four auspicious animals in the Joseon Dynasty were analyzed using Panofsky`s iconology. The four auspicious animals were Yong(dragon), Bonghwang(the eastern version of the phoenix), Shingoo (divine turtle), and Kirin(one-horned combination of a dragon and horse). According to iconological analysis, Yong is a typical symbol of royal authority, a deity of water as an object of respect with a remarkable talent of transformation, and in iconographical interpretation, represents reverence for transcendent power. Bonhwang is the symbol of a king, sun worship, the emblem of nobility and integrity, and in iconographical interpretation, the psychic bing in the sky. Shingoo is fortune prophecy, longevity and immortality, an envoy of deity, and according to iconographical interpretation, the organic view of the world. Kirin is a divine benign creature, a symbol of talent and honor, mediator between sky and earth, and in iconographical interpretation, an expression of Confucian ideology. This study produced three results. First, the four auspicious animals projected the human hope to overcome human limitations through divine creatures with mythical abilities. Second, they reflected everyday common hopes and values of pursuing fortunes and happiness. Third, the four auspicious animals` iconology was not independent of each other; it seemed to be common to and combined with each other.