Friday, January 5, 2018

Truth Coming out of the Well (1895)

Jean-Léon Gérôme: Truth Coming out of the Well, 
Armed with a Whip to Punish Mankind

Monday morning usually greets the world like the woman in this painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme.  The figure of truth emerges from a well holding a scourge with which to shame and punish humankind.  The image makes literal reference to a saying by the ancient Greek philosopher Democritus (ca. 460 BC – ca. 370 BC): “Truth lies at the bottom of a well."  Some have interpreted the painting as a reference to the Dreyfus affair, while others discuss the it in the context of a quote by Gérôme that "thanks to photography, Truth has finally left her well.” – [WTF Art History]

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