The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
Home > On-line Edition > Transcription/Database Record

the on-line edition

System Number: 02847
Date: [9 February 1877][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Charles Augustus Howell[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler LB 12/19/2
Document Type: PD[3]


The Peacock is taken as a means of carrying out this arrangement.

A pattern, invented from the Eye of the Peacock, is seen in the ceiling spreading from the lamps. Between them is a pattern devised from the breast-feathers.

These two patterns are repeated throughout the room.

In the cove, the Eye will be seen running along beneath the small breast-work or throat-feathers.

On the lowest shelf the Eye is again seen, and on the shelf above - these patterns are combined: the Eye, the Breast-feathers, and the Throat.

Beginning again from the blue floor, on the dado is the breast-work, BLUE ON GOLD, while above, on the Blue wall, the pattern is reversed, GOLD ON BLUE.

Above the breast-work on the dado the Eye is again found, also reversed, that is GOLD ON BLUE, as hitherto BLUE ON GOLD.

The arrangement is completed by the Blue Peacocks on the Gold shutters, and finally the Gold Peacocks on the Blue wall.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [9 February 1877]
Printed for distribution at the Press View held at 49 Princes Gate on 9 February 1877. This was done without the knowledge or approval of the owner of the room, Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892), ship-owner and art collector [more]. See Whistler, James McNeill, Harmony in Blue and Gold. The Peacock Room, London, 1877 [GM, A.1].

2.  Charles Augustus Howell
Charles Augustus ('Owl') Howell (1840? - d.1890), entrepreneur [more]. This copy of the pamphlet was kept by Howell in an album, later retrieved by JW.

3.  PD
Designed by JW and printed on one side of a cream wove folded sheet. Note that the usual practice in this edition of giving printed documents in capital letters has not been used here, in order to preserve the appearance of the text as printed.

Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room (YMSM 178).