Truth unveiled (1647 A.D.)
Unlike most of Bernini’s sculptural groups in the Galleria Borghese, Truth Unveiled was not executed by the artist as the result of a commission, it was de¬scribed in a letter that the duke of Brac- ciano — Paolo Giordano II Orsini —- sent to Cardinal Mazzarino on 6 July 1647, which is the terminus ante quem for the sculpture. The artist had, in fact, been working on it for about six months, after he had completed Pope Urban VIIPs tomb, which was displayed to the public on 9 February 1647. In reality, according to the biography of Bernini mitten by his son Domenico (1713), he had already decided to sculpt Truth Unveiled after the campanile he had built for St Peter’s had been demolished. The group, which was never finished, was to have included the winged figure of Time, the indefatigable destroyer and the unveiler of Truth.
Larger than life-size, the group was sculpted by the artist for himself, as is confirmed by his will, in which he ex-pressed the wish that it should always remain in the house of the first-born of his descendants. The remarkable size of the figure of Truth was not without al¬legorical significance: it towered above the human frame. After Bernini’s death, the huge block of marble that was to have been used for Time was sold by the family: foreseeing the problems of transport, the sculptor had planned to make the group out of two separate blocks. A number of preparatory draw¬ings revealing Bernini’s thoughts on Veritas filia temporis (Truth, the daugh¬ter of Time) were made for this sculp¬tural group, which was the result of the profound reflection on the part of the artist about himself and his Christian faith. Correggesque elements have been identified in the female figure; indeed, a parallel may be drawn with Correg- gio’s Allegory of Virtue in the Galleria Doria Pamphilj in Rome. The group was kept in the Palazzo Bernini in Via della Mercede, Rome, until 1924, when the sculptor’s heirs loaned it to the Galleria Borghese. Later it was purchased by the Italian State.