The peacock was believed by the ancients to have flesh that does not decay after death, and thus became a symbol of immortality.
This symbolism was adopted into Christianity, and the peacock appears in many early Christian mosaics and paintings.
Because of the way a peacock struts and displays its feathers, the peacock is sometimes a symbol of human vanity.
The peacock is used in church decorations in the Easter season.
- "birds, symbolic." Peter and Linda Murray, Oxford Dictionary of Christian Art (2004).
- Patricia S. Klein, Worship Without Words: The Signs and Symbols of Our Faith (2000).
- Symbols in Christian Art and Architecture by Walter E. Gast. Top illustration of peacock by Mr. Gast.