Peonies represent beauty, elegance, grace, prosperity, and strength. View a collection of Yuehua’s peony paintings here.

Pink peonies

These flowers have valuable symbolism in Chinese culture.

There is an ancient Chinese legend about peonies that goes:

In ancient China, because of its beauty and elegance, peonies were grown only in the royal gardens of the Emperor. In the Tang Dynasty, a woman named Wu Zhe Tian became the empress. She wanted to see some beautiful peonies but it was during the bitter coldness of winter. She ordered the flowers to blossom in cold weather but the peony refused to yield to her command. Empress Wu was so displeased that she kicked out all peonies from the royal palace. After they were exiled, peonies found a home in Luoyang, a city in the Henan province of China. The peonies flourished in Luoyang’s soil and weather. They grew even more beautiful and prosperous. The peony has always been referred to as the queen of flowers. 

Yuehua Qiao paints peonies because it is the prized flower of her city. She often takes walks in the famed peony gardens of Luoyang with her son. The spirit of the peony inspires Yuehua to be strong and to hold on to hope.