Peacock Room (1876-77) by James Whistler

Peacock Room - James Whistler - 1876-77

Artwork Information

TitlePeacock Room
ArtistJames Whistler
Dimensions369.5 x 141 cm

About Peacock Room

James McNeill Whistler’s Peacock Room is a stunning example of Gilded Age grandeur. Originally designed to showcase Frederick Richards Leyland’s Chinese blue-and-white porcelain collection, the room reflects the tension between the artist and his patron. Whistler painted two fighting peacocks in the room to represent himself and Leyland, titled “Art and Money: or, The Story of the Room.” Despite their differences, they both contributed to creating an extraordinary work of art.

Whistler transformed the space from a porcelain cabinet into a complete work of art by covering it with peacock patterns and monumental blue and gold peacock paintings. The richness and harmony of blues and greens found throughout the room convey a sense of luxury that epitomizes Gilded Age opulence. The gilded walnut shelves that were added give off feelings of sophistication which aided in making this unique work second-to-none.

Moreover, The Peacock Room embodies Charles Lang Freer’s belief that “all works of art go together, whatever their period.” The room merges cultures through its display of objects from different regions; it intersects with the history of collecting Asian ceramics in the West. With its spectacular color scheme represented throughout its entirety with magnificence characterized by Whistler’s creativity sparks curiosity in collectors who appreciate different perspectives due to its overall beauty within detailed parts involved like colors used painstakingly throughout each shelf uniformly placed pieces highlighting details suitable for up-close inspection thereby giving an exceptional viewing experience no matter what your background knowledge may be.

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