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.
Tonight's 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.
Sponsored by U-M Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum, the Confucius Institute at the University of Michigan, U-M Center for Chinese Studies, U-M History of Art, and U-M Museum of Art.
Tuesday, March 27, 7 pm. Free.Reception to follow.