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Collection

Peacock, c. A.D. 400

Syrian


In Early Christian art, the peacock traditionally symbolizes immortality. This symbolism derives from the ancient Greek belief that the flesh of the peacock did not decay after death. The peacock’s habit of strutting and displaying the beauty of its feathers symbolized worldly pride and vanity. Additionally, the eye-shape pattern of the peacock’s feathers represented the “all-seeing” eye of God and, in some interpretations, the Church.

Provenance

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

purchased by Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth, 1972.

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