Peacock Mosaic from entrance hall of the Henry O. Havemeyer house, New York

Due to copyright restrictions, access to this image is restricted to certain sizes outside the University of Michigan.
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.
Louis Comfort Tiffany
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.
University purchase 1930, transferred to the Museum of Art, 1986.146.9
Thursday, March 22, 2018