Symphony in White: Thank you The Style Saloniste

Many thanks to prolific interior design author Diane Dorrans Saeks for mentioning Porcelains and Peacocks in SAN FRANCISCO MAGAZINE, The Talk. Ms. Saeks who also writes the wonderfully esoteric blog The Style Saloniste ( recently penned the column Design blogs for people who don’t read Dwell in which she notes her favorite style blogs in the Bay Area. You can find her recommendations in the July issue of the magazine or on line at In lieu of the white flowers that Ms. Saeks favors I offer the image of Symphony in White No. 2: The Little White Girl by American artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834 -1903). The subject of the painting was Joanna Hiffernan (1843-after 1903), an Irish model who was romantically involved with Whistler. Hiffernan also posed for French Realist Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) in the painting Portrait of Jo (La belle Irlandaise). Whistler’s early work was influenced by his friendship with Courbet as can be seen in his self-portrait, Portrait of Whistler with Hat. It is believed that Hiffernan was the model for Courbet's erotic L’Origine du monde (The Origin of the World) ending the friendship between the two painters.