Peacock Symbol

Peacock symbol

Peacock in the Catacomb of Priscilla, Rome
Peacock painting in the Catacomb of Priscilla.

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.


  1. "birds, symbolic." Peter and Linda Murray, Oxford Dictionary of Christian Art (2004).
  2. Patricia S. Klein, Worship Without Words: The Signs and Symbols of Our Faith (2000).
  3. Symbols in Christian Art and Architecture by Walter E. Gast. Top illustration of peacock by Mr. Gast.