Animal: A Beastly Compendium
The Peacock, Bad counsel by ANONYMOUS This large sheet from 1535-40 must be part of a collection on the theme of wisdom and folly symbolised by birds. The Prints Department holds two others, featuring a passerine bird advocating lust and a cockerel as a good governor. Here, the peacock encourages the behaviour of a rich tyrant who has no desire to be loved. Judging from their format, ornamental quality and the poor state of their reverse sides, they were likely to
have been used as wallpaper.
Edited extract from Animal: A Beastly
Compendium by Rémi Mathis and Valérie Sueur-hermel. Published by
Bloomsbury Visual Arts. RRP £30. Treasures from the prints and photographs department at the Bibliotheque Nationale de France