Peacock

Front Cover
Reaktion Books, 2006 M11 30 - 192 pages
Breathtakingly beautiful and exotic, the peacock inspires devotion among both artists and bird lovers. Its iridescent plumage, when fully displayed, is a delight to behold.

The bird itself, as Christine E. Jackson notes in Peacock, appears to enjoy its audience, preening and strutting about within a few feet of humans. It is not surprising, then, that these vain birds and their distinctive feathers have been the prized possessions of kings for nearly three thousand years. Jackson here explores the peacock’s beauty—and its apparent attitude—through fairy tales, fables, and superstitions in both Eastern and Western cultures. Peacock takes stock of the bird as it appears within art, from the earliest mosaics to medieval illuminated manuscripts to modern graphics, with a special emphasis on the peacock’s symbolic value in the nineteenth-century arts and crafts and art nouveau movements. Jackson further details the peacock’s colorful presence in hats, clothing, and even sports equipment.

A sweeping combination of social and natural history, Peacock is the first book to bring together all the shimmering, colorful facets of these magnificent birds.

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Peacock book

User Review  - Karen K. - Overstock.com

I wanted to know more about these majestic birds and maybe raise them. It gave my very interesting insight to these extraordinary birds. Read full review

eautiful and Informative

User Review  - jules5555 - Overstock.com

Peacock prints and feathers both decorate my house but I never understood their historical cultural and spiritual significance until I read this book. Its an easy read but informative enough to be satisfying. The pictures are beautiful. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
7
Natural History
15
Unnatural History
43
The Blue Indian Peacock at Home
61
The Blue Indian Peacock Goes West
86
The Green Peacock in the East
125
Artefacts and Architecture
148
Timeline
174
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Christine E. Jackson is the author of many books, including Bird Paintings: The Eighteenth Century, Sarah Stone: Natural Curiosities from the New Worlds, Dictionary of Bird Artists of the World, and Sir William Jardine: A Life in Natural History.

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