75 x 108 in. (190.5 x 274.3 cm)
Framed: 99 x 132 in. (251.5 x 335.3 cm)
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
This impressionist-inspired, atmospheric scene commemorates the 1889 inaugural tour of the U.S. Navy’s White Squadron, part of its post–Civil War transition to steel shipbuilding. In Peace (The White Squadron), leading American marine painter Walter Lofthouse Dean depicts the White Squadron leaving the Boston Harbor as it sets out on its tour to Europe. The reflective, white hulls of the squadron guide viewers across the expansive canvas, echoing the motion of the rippling water. Tall billowing masts break up the predominantly horizontal elements in the painting and lead the viewers’ eyes up from the large body of water to the cloud-filled sky. Barely visible along the horizon line is the city of Boston; Dean included the gold-domed Massachusetts State House and Bunker Hill Monument in the background. Peace was first displayed in the Capitol in 1900 in the hearing room of the House Committee on Naval Affairs.