天下无双品 · 人间第一花
Unequalled Under Heaven and First Among Flowers:
The Palace Museum Peony Exhibition
Hailed as ‘king of flowers’, the peony has been deeply loved by the people of China for more than a thousand years.
At first known for its medicinal properties, by the Tang dynasty (618～907) the peony had already become an object of admiration, viewed by inhabitants of the capital every spring. By the Ming (1368～1644) and Qing (1644～1911) dynasties, many came to see the peony as China’s ‘national flower’. Symbolizing happiness, fortune and wealth, the peony has been a rich theme for painting and craftwork.
Among the many places where peonies are grown, Luoyang has been the most famous in China and worldwide. The Yongzheng Emperor (r. 1723～1735) of the Qing dynasty declared the peonies of Luoyang to be ‘unequalled under heaven and the first among flowers’. This spring, as peonies come into bloom in Luoyang, the Palace Museum has selected peony-related works from its collection and now presents them to you.
We hope that you enjoy the Chinese peony culture while bathing in the gentle breeze and admiring the vibrancy of spring.
The Palace Museum
Luoyang Municipal Government