The Pleasures of the Peony in Chinese Art Regarding the Floral Temptress in the Song Dynasty
Hammers, Roslyn - Hong Kong University

2012-03-27 7:05 PM
Ann Arbor, MI - University of Michigan - Museum of Art Stern Auditorium
Duration: 01:20:00

This talk by U-M History of Art alumna and Hong Kong University professor Roslyn Hammers presents the various facets of the Song-dynasty peony. The appreciation of the peony has an extensive history in Chinese art and literature. The temptations of the flower, long associated with feminine seductiveness, compelled poets to write poems extolling its sensuous charms. For most aficionados, the voluptuous peony was celebrated in paintings, praised in poetry, and acclaimed in botanical studies. For others, however, the floral beauty was regarded with some forbearance, as a subject too seductive for proper scholarly attention or artistic expression. This presentation explores varying facets of the Song-dynasty peony as presented in paintings, poetry, and prose in order to reclaim the complexities it evoked as well as to consider the anxieties the peony inspired.

Introduction by Robert Grese, Director of the Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum

Sponsored by University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum, the Confucius Institute at the University of Michigan, University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan History of Art, and University of Michigan Museum of Art.


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