Mosaico del Pavone presso la Südhalle di Aquileia | Foto: © Gianluca Baronchelli
The magnificent mosaic fragment depicting a peacock, now on the wall in the Südhalle museum, once adorned the apse of the long passage (or narthex) between this and the basilica. The peacock – a symbol of immortality and thus an allegory of the resurrection – is depicted front-on, tail fanned. Judiciously used glass-paste tesserae (in blue, turquoise, etc.) lend the bird a splendid polychromatic quality. The recent restorations have shown that the tesserae in the eye of the tail must have been covered by a very thin gold film to enrich the mosaic’s beauty still further.