The allegory of Truth trampling the allegory of Lie

The allegory of Truth trampling the allegory of Lie is a fragment of the tombstone of Cardinal Frederick Hessen von Darmstadt, located in the Saint Elisabeth Chapel.

The tombstone of the chapel’s founder is a high-class Baroque work. It was carved in the workshop of Giovanni Bernini, and modeled after the papal monuments of Urban VIII and Alexander VII. It is made in white and gray-grey marble. The tomb is decorated with putti with attributes of the founder’s clerical dignity, with a skull in the center as a symbol of death.

Above the tombstone is a shield of arms with a sword and a pastoral displayed beside it, which signify the cardinal’s spiritual and secular authority as prince-bishop of Wroclaw and imperial governor in Silesia. In a kneeling position, Cardinal Frederick of Hesse is dressed in a cardinal’s choir suit, a sign of high ecclesiastical dignity and jurisdiction.

On the other hand, the symbol of the bishop’s connection to the diocese he governs is, clearly visible, the bishop’s ring. The two figures on the sides represent : from the left, an allegory of Truth, shown as a woman with a mirror; from the right, Eternity, adorned with a laurel wreath. The work is completed by the Allegory of Truth trampling the allegory of Lying, and the Allegory of Eternity, pensive and uncertain, holding a sheaf of ripe grain and a snake eating its own tail.

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