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The Peacock (Portrait of a Woman)

Alfred Henry Maurer, American, 1868 - 1932

Made in France, Europe

c. 1902

Oil on canvas

36 1/16 x 32 3/8 inches (91.6 x 82.2 cm) Framed: 46 5/8 × 43 1/4 × 3 3/4 inches (118.4 × 109.9 × 9.5 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the W. P. Wilstach Fund, 1903

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Painted in Paris, The Peacock displays Alfred Henry Maurer's transition from academic realism toward a more modernist style in both pattern and palette. Bold brushstrokes and bright colors accentuate the woman's dress and direct attention toward Maurer's medium as well as his subject. The woman's colorful attire and preoccupation with her appearance suit the plumage and pruning of the bird for which the painting is titled. The contrast between her clothing and the relative modesty of her home suggests that her aspirations do not match her means.