Wisteria Dining Room Murals, 1910–14
Lucien Lévy–Dhurmer (French, 1865–1953)
Oil on canvas
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1966 (66.244.3–6)
Lévy-Dhurmer himself executed the atmospheric wall paintings for the Wisteria Dining Room. Painted in the pointillist style, the murals depict herons and peacocks standing in wisteria-laden landscapes. Conceived as an integral part of the decoration, not only do they continue the floral theme of the room, but their palette also counter-balances the effect of natural light: since the room faced east, more light would have naturally fallen onto the north wall. Accordingly, the southernmost painting (to the left, as the viewer looks into the room through the former window embrasures) was rendered in bright, warm tones to make up for a lack of direct sunlight, while the northernmost painting (to the right), which would have received more direct sunlight, is rendered in darker, bluer tones. The tones of the two paintings on the fireplace wall fall somewhere in between.