The Peacock Room in Blue and White

May 18, 2019 – Indefinitely

Freer Gallery of Art
Jefferson Drive and 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC

Peacock Room, Gallery 12 Floor Plan

The Peacock Room in Blue and White fills the room’s shelving with blue-and-white Chinese porcelains, inspired by room’s appearance in 1876 when it was the dining room of Frederick Leyland, a shipping magnate in London. With the sinuous patterns and brilliant blue and white colors of Leyland’s Kangxi ware in mind, Whistler, a proponent of aesthetic harmony, painted over the room in a flurry of blue and gold. The intricate blue, green, and gold patterns invoke the plumage of the peacock, creating a tonal counterpoint to the bolder patterns and colors of the porcelains.