Friday, November 19, 2010

Lovely Objects: Peonies

Here we are heading into a world of floral slumber and I'm thinking about peonies. They have such an audacity about them that I admire; they defy the strength of their own stalk, their giant blooms bending over onto lawns and walkways every Spring.

There are many varieties of peonies, no one's sure of the exact number but it ranges from 25 to 40. The flower is named after Paeon, student of the Greek god Asclepius. When Asclepius became jealous of his student, Zeus transformed Paeon into a flower in order to save him. Given Zeus' track record, I'd say there are worst things to be turned into.

Peonies are also a common motif in Chinese art, and are a symbol of prosperity.

Here's a work by a Japanese artist.

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