The naked truth...............


Thulden, Theodor van. 1606-1669.  Time Reveals the Truth. The Allegory. Flanders, 1657. Hermitage

This painting by Theodor van Thulden illustrates an allegory which was popular in the 17th century, "Veritas Filia Temporis" - "Truth is the Daughter of Time," which came from the works of the second-century Roman writer Aulus Gellius. A description which accompanied the preparatory drawing for the painting (Victoria & Albert Museum, London) reveals the artist's intent. Naked Truth, depicted as a young woman, is saved by the winged figure of her aged father - Time. The girl emerges from the profound gloom of a cave in which she was born, and we see hurrying towards her Envy - a figure with snake-like locks of hair, who is carrying a torch in one hand and is placed in the foreground, and Stupidity, who is trying to prevent the victory of Truth. Two chimeras hover over Envy. These are female figures with snake-like tails instead of legs. Van Thulden has depicted the vanquished figure of Hypocrisy at the feet of Father Time with the traditional mask in her hands.