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Time unveiling Truth

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You are viewing image NG6454

Jean-François DETROY , 1679 - 1752

Time unveiling Truth


Date: 1733
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 203 x 208 cm
Acquisition credit: Bought, 1979

The winged figure of Time, holding a scythe in the sky, reveals Truth, his daughter, who unmasks an old woman personifying Fraud. The four Cardinal Virtues kneel in tribute at Truth's feet. Fortitude rests by a lion which symbolises her courage, while Justice carries a sword and scales which refer to her power and impartiality. Further back Temperance carries a pitcher of water which signifies abstinence, and Prudence carries a snake, an allusion to her wisdom. In the top right-hand corner is a building which recalls the Pantheon in Rome.

The original patron is not known. The subject was not uncommon in painting, and Time and Fraud appear in similar roles in Bronzino's 16th-century 'Allegory with Venus and Cupid'.

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