National Palace Museum of Korea

National Palace Museum

EXHIBITIONS& COLLECTIONS

Special Exhibitions


PEONIES The Flowers of Peace and Prosperity

- date : 2021-07-07 ~ 2021-10-31

- place : Special Exhibition Gallery on the 2nd Floor


PEONIES The Flowers of Peace and Prosperity

The National Palace Museum of Korea presents the special exhibition Peonies: Flowers of Peace and Prosperity to introduce the symbolic meanings of peonies by exploring how the Joseon royal court enjoyed and used peonies as both plants and design elements.

In Korea, peonies are widely considered an emblem of wealth and honor. For this reason,they were highly esteemed as garden plants as well as design motifs by the people regardless of class – from royalty to the commons – since the time when they were introduced to Korea during the Three Kingdoms period through the Joseon era. Wishing for abundance and prosperity, the Joseon royal court used the peony designs as much as dragons, phoenixes, and turtles in decorating royal palaces and everyday objects.

Peonies carried other implications beyond worldly wealth and prosperity. They were also used as a motif when sending off a deceased member of the Joseon royal family. Folding screens of peonies were always installed near the bodies of deceased kings or queens and their spirit tablets during royal funeral rites. These folding screens with peonies represented the aspiration that the deceased kings and queens who became ancestral gods would bring eternal peace and prosperity to the royal family.

It is hoped that this exhibition will offer visitors an opportunity to be enchanted by peonies full of wishes for wealth, peace, and prosperity and come to carry the flowers’ symbolic meanings in their hearts.




Ⅰ.Growing and Enjoying Peonies

PEONIES The Flowers of Peace and Prosperity


Ⅱ. Blooming Peonies as Designs

PEONIES The Flowers of Peace and Prosperity


Ⅲ. Peonies Embodying Wishes for a Peaceful Royal Court and a Prosperous Dynasty

PEONIES The Flowers of Peace and Prosperity


Folding Screen with Peonies


PEONIES The Flowers of Peace and Prosperity