"Morando" Painted Folding Screen (Peonies)

A screen painted with peony flowers, symbolizing wealth and honour, for ceremonial use.

Painting of Peonies on Four-panel Folding Screen (19th century~Early 20th century)National Palace Museum of Korea

This painted screen featuring "morando" (peonies) would be used for ceremonies such as palace banquets, marriages, and other ceremonies held by the Joseon Dynasty's royal family.

Two types of images feature on "morando" screens: the first is peonies with uniquely shaped rocks in front of them, and the other is peonies without any rocks.

As this was a decorative piece for the royal court, the flowers on the "morando" are spread as largely and flamboyantly as the canvas allows.

The peonies are drawn in a flat and figurative style, in very vivid colors.

This may be because its decorative use in the palace's ceremonies was considered more important than depicting the flower as realistically as possible.

The peony was known as the "King of all Flowers," and it symbolized wealth and honor.

That is why the peony was selected as decoration for the royal court and the "morando" screen was used in royal ceremonies: it reflected the desire for the dynasty to be prosperous and peaceful.

Credits: Story

Kyungjee Park, National Palace Museum of Korea

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