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Peonies on Table


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The Sarah Bernhardt peony was introduced in 1906 by the French breeder Monsieur Lemoine and named after Sarah Bernhardt, a French actress who slept in a peony filled coffin as preparation for a role.

Considered to be the most famous actress of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Bernhardt was not just recognized for her intense performances that left her often passing out at the end of each show, but also for her eccentric, flamboyant and scandalous lifestyle. Her international stardom, numerous affairs and entourage of exotic animals, which included a cheetah, a wolf, a boa-constrictor, and an alligator named Ali-Gaga (before it’s untimely death of being fed too much milk and champagne) saw her name appear in one publication after another everyday throughout her 60 year career.

Dimensions101 × 76 cm


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