A dark interior view is shown with a deep recessed space. At the end of the space is a window; the recessed space is full of reflected light and a woman is seen framed against the bright view out the window. Closer to the viewer, the foreground is filled with domestic objects: furniture on hte left with vases stored on top; a wall rack with plates stored on the right and other objects with basins or pots below the plates.
Based on a watercolor, this etching employs sharp juxtapositions of light and dark to create a sense of mystery; this dramatic use of light recalls Dutch 17th century prints, which were very popular at the time and which Whistler admired. "The Kitchen" became one of the most popular and sought after plates from the "French Set."
Inscribed in pencil, verso, l.l.: 1. Inscribed in pencil verso, l.r.: Bedroom, Shrimp Fisherman's House, Biloxi, Miss. 1945 Stamped and numbered in pencil, verso, l.l.: Walker Evans XII (in box) 3 (in box) #5.
Inscribed in red ink on tape on spine: "SWEDEN/GERMANY/FRANCE"; in black ink of first leaf, u.r. corner: "Charles L Luck"; below, in graphite: "B402/No. 4" Each image is identified in handwritten inscription in black ink on mount
Two male peacocks in profile face one another at the center. The work has a strong vertical axis, accented by several larger domed and carbochon glass elements. The peacocks stand upon a curling vine-like design of tan tesserae upon a deep blue field of tesserae interspersed with round malachite-colored pieces of glass. The areas behind the peacocks consists of round white and hexagonal tesserae that move from deep blue to a pale tan/green color. At the central vertical axis are several abstract pieces of opaque brown, orange and blue glass.
This mosaic, which was located in the entrance hall of the Havemeyer house, is a tour de force of mosaic composition. Tiffany plays with the tensions of two and three dimensions in this work. The overall design is one of profuse linear richness mirrored on either side of a central vertical axis, much as you would find in a heraldic arrangement of animals in a coat-of-arms. However, against the insistent flat and curvilinear patterns erupt three-dimensional pieces of glass (domed and carbachon) that break the two-dimensional plane of the work. In addition, the bodies of the peacocks are composed of wavy, three-dimensional glass that evoke the mass of the birds' bodies. The richness of coloration and complexity of glass patterns and motifs in this mosaic demonstrate Tiffany's skills at their height.