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Collection

Peacock and a Flower, c. A.D. 400

Syrian


Early Christian art based much of its iconography on the metaphorical use of symbols derived from both the Old Testament and Near Eastern and Greco-Roman pagan sources. In ancient Greece, the peacock represented immortality and thus was adopted by early Christians as symbolic of eternal life. As part of a larger floor mosaic, a peacock with a floral motif could also allude to the bounty of God’s creation as part of a paradisiacal scene.

Provenance

(Elie Borowski (1913-2003), Basel, Switzerland);

purchased by Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth, 1972.

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