Parrot spiritual, esoteric meaning, cultural and also in art.In ancient Indian mythology, the parrot was a symbol of the moon. Parrots in ancient times were kept by kings, poets sang. Like birds in flocks, they sought close contact with humans. When strangers appeared, they let it be known with loud screams, so the free-living parrots were kept as watchdogs.
In Rome, only the rich could have them. They kept the birds in lovely cages. The price of a parrot often exceeded the price of a slave. But little by little more and more of these birds began to be imported to Rome and they stopped being a living jewel. They even started eating parrots.
Another tradition originated in Rome, which converted to Christianity. Here, parrots were a symbol of nobility and expensive gifts. The ability of these birds to mimic human voices was amazing at first, but then we got used to it. They began to transfer human traits to the parrots: mechanical repetition of what was heard, empty chatter, etc. “Parrot” is now far from being a flattering review of one person.
Interestingly, parrots have even been found on European coats of arms. For example, the coat of arms of the city of Zwönitz in the Erzgebirge (Germany) represents Kramer’s parrot. This is due to the monastery, which used to belong to the city. As early as the Middle Ages, monks liked to raise parrots (Stephan, 1994).
The long-tailed parrot is related to the rest of the parrot family by its ability to pronounce words.
The messenger, the mediator between the human being and the other world, is a symbolism that is clearly derived from the ability of this bird to imitate human speech. For the same reason, parrots were associated with prophecy.
It symbolizes imitation, repetition without understanding.
As a bird imported from India, it was already known in ancient times and was protected as a speech mimic. Callimachus (300-240 BC) saw it as a symbol of a mindless chattering orator; one of Aesop’s fables describes this bird as a rival to the weasel.
According to the first Christian physiologists, the parrot speaks like a man, to which the teaching of St. Basil: “Imitate, man, the voice of the apostles who praised God, and praise yourself too. Imitate the way of life of the righteous, and you will be worthy to reach their shining thrones. “
In the medieval Bestiary, the parrot is considered stubborn. He is so stubborn that you have to whip him with an iron bar to induce him to study.
Konrad von Würzburg believed that their feathers did not get wet in the rain and is therefore a symbol of Mary, who remained intact due to hereditary sin. If this bird was represented in the images of paradise, then it was assumed that it was learning to pronounce the name of Eve. her inverted “Ave” is the greeting of the angel of the annunciation Gabriel to Mary, the sinless opposite of the progenitor Eve.
The beak of the parrot was considered an amulet that protected from fever and demons.
In China, the southern parrot (ying-wu) was a symbol of a kind and talkative public woman, but also an attribute of the good goddess Kuan-yin (Japanese Kannon), with a pearl in its beak.
In China, it means to shine, warning unfaithful wives.
In Chinese folk tales, parrots inform their husbands about the infidelity of their wives. As an idle charlatan, “parrot” is a Chinese slang term for bar girls.
In Hinduism, a parrot is an attribute of the god of love Kama. A prophetic and rain-bearing bird.
in India and Central America, it was considered that they could cause rain.
Similar qualities were attributed to the parrot in pre-Columbian America.
Maurice Buisson, in The Secret of Scheherazade (Paris, 1961), comments on Tutiname, the Persian translation of Nahshabi’s Parrot Book. He concludes that the long-tailed parrot serves as a symbol of the messenger, along with a raven, and also as a symbol of the soul (Egyptian ba), like other birds. In the 13th century Persian poet Farid Ud-Din Attar’s “Council of the Birds”, a parrot is busy searching for the water of immortality.
For artists of the Gothic, Early Renaissance, and High Renaissance, birds were part of a rich visual symbolism. In a society with limited literacy, allegorical images were vital to the spiritual enlightenment and education of the common people.
For many centuries, artists have assigned special roles to images of parrots on their canvases. First of all, this is due to the extraordinary characteristics of parrots – their spectacularly colored plumage and their ability to mimic human speech. What hidden meaning did this bird have?
Since the Middle Ages, the parrot has represented the attribute of the birth of Christ by the Virgin Mary or acted as a witness to the Fall. It has also been presented as a pet by wealthy families. This bird was most noticeable in Dutch scenes of everyday life.
The parrot often appears in still lifes and portraits, sometimes posing as or replacing people, playing the role of a woman’s beloved or poking fun at the nonsense of human behavior.
The genre of still life began its development at the end of the 16th century with scenes from everyday life and the market. Parrots often appear in still lifes as a symbol of luxury, on the one hand, and as the only living element among “dead” objects, on the other. The inclusion of parrots with still lifes is also interesting because it connects parrots with the material world, wealth and commerce.
In portrait paintings
In portraiture, parrots are the most common, being popular pets of the Dutch upper middle class in the 17th century. In portraits of children, they are an attribute of education, and in portraits of adults, they can be a symbol of marital fidelity or emphasize the status of the heroes of the picture.
In the 17th century, the connection between women and caged birds was reflected especially vividly in moralizing paintings (eg, Peter de Hooch’s “Couple with a Parrot” (1668)). The picturesque plumage of parrots is very beautiful and decorative, and this is a key feature to remember when it comes to the idea of a woman.
In this painting, the parrot complements the decorative elements of the artwork and adds an extra touch to the beautiful pieces. The image of a parrot with a woman hints that the woman is as decorative (beautiful) as a parrot, and perhaps even exotic.
It is impossible not to mention Frida Kahlo’s self-portrait with parrots in the stories about parrots in the paintings. The painting was painted in 1941, shortly after the death of Frida Kahlo’s father and at the beginning of her intense physical suffering.
It represents Frida in a traditional Mexican dress, who looks at the viewer. Her own gaze captures her, diverting attention from the details of the image. Despite her vibrant colors, the parrots don’t outshine Kahlo. Instead of belittling her presence, they reinforce her by bringing another dimension to her. Frida becomes even calmer, even more contained, because parrots bring a disheveled mess with them. “Me and the Parrots” is like an oasis of tranquility in Kahlo’s story.
Despite her grief over the loss of her father, her physical and personal suffering, and her painful marriage, she was still able to find a place for peace.
Speaking of parrots in paintings of religious themes, I remember first of all Dürer’s engraving “Adam and Eve”, which represents a parrot in the upper left square of the engraving. In this particular context, the parrot functions as a symbol of the Virgin Mary. Today, the symbolic association may seem strained, but the parrot was thought to be similar to Mary.
Both the parrot and Virgo were associated with typically incredible situations: If a parrot can be taught to speak, then a virgin can become pregnant and give birth. The engraving shows a variety of creatures, including a snake and a parrot. These two animals are the most striking and form an intentional contrast. A snake that brings an apple to Eve is a symbol of sin, while a parrot, diverting its eyes from the same sin, denotes the Virgin Mary and wisdom.