Peacock

Syria
5th century
c. A.D. 400
Mosaic
16 3/4 x 20 1/4 in. (42.5 x 51.4 cm)
AP 1972.23
Currently On View
In early Christian art, the peacock symbolized immortality. This peacock might have carried this meaning, or it may have referred to worldly pride and vanity. This schematized image, with black eye, legs, and beak, faces toward the viewer’s right. The head, body, and wings are outlined in black. The body feathers are green while the wing has yellow, white, and dark red tesserae edged in gray. The tail is composed of alternating rows of red and green stones with a center line of white, yellow, and black tesserae.

Provenance

(Elie Borowski [1913-2003], Basel, Switzerland); purchased by Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth, 1972.