The story of Noah and the great flood include a dove and an olive leaf in Gen 8:11. Although this symbol is often associated with the story of Noah in the Bible, peace is never mentioned in connection with a dove or an olive branch in either the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament. The latter uses the dove as a simile of the Spirit of God that descended on Jesus during his baptism.[Mt 3:16] In their art, the early Christians sometimes portrayed baptism with the dove holding a branch, According to Winckelmann, they often allegorised peace on their sepulchres by the figure of a dove bearing an olive branch in its beak.The symbol of the dove appears in many funerary inscriptions in the Roman catacombs, sometimes accompanied by the words in pace (Latin for "in peace".) For example, in the Catacomb of Callixtus there is a representation of a dove and branch next to a Latin inscrption meaning "Nicella, God’s virgin, who lived for more or less 35 years. She was placed [here] 15 days before the Kalends of May [17th April]. For the well deserving one in peace." In another there is a shallow relief sculpture showing a dove with a branch flying to a figure marked in Greek ΕΙΡΗΝΗ (Eirene, or Peace).
An olive branch held by a dove was used as a peace symbol in 18th century America. A £2 note of North Carolina (1771) depicted the dove and olive with a motto meaning: "Peace restored". Georgia's $40 note of 1778 portrayed the dove and olive and a hand holding a dagger, with a motto meaning "Either war or peace, prepared for both."
A German war loan poster of 1917 (see Gallery below) showed the head of an eagle over a dove of peace in flight, with the text, "Subscribe to the War Loan".
Picasso's lithograph, La Colombe (The Dove), a traditional, realistic picture of a pigeon, was chosen as the emblem for the World Peace Congress in Paris in April 1949. The dove became a symbol for the peace movement and the ideals of the Communist Party and was used in Communist demonstrations of the period. At the 1950 World Peace Congress in Sheffield, Picasso said that his father had taught him to paint doves, concluding, "I stand for life against death; I stand for peace against war." At the 1952 World Peace Congress in Berlin, Picasso's Dove was depicted in a banner above the stage. The dove symbol was used extensively in the post-war peace movement.
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