The Truth revealed by Time, Bernini

The Truth revealed by Time, Bernini
The Truth revealed by Time, Bernini

The Truth revealed by Time is one of the most outstanding sculptural works made by the Baroque artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini. In reality, the set has not been one of Bernini's most popular or well-known works among the general public, however we are facing one of his most intimate and original works by this baroque genius, since the piece was not commissioned by anyone or he had to submit to the demands of any client, rather the opposite: Bernini made the sculpture for himself at a delicate moment when his career seemed truncated and financial problems plagued him.


In the mid-seventeenth century Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598 – 1680) pwas going through one of the most complicated moments of his life; the one who had been one of his greatest protectors, Pope Urban VIII had been replaced in the papacy by Innocent X (1644 – 1655). The new bishop of Rome relegated Bernini from his position as chief architect of the papacy in favor of one of his greatest rivals, fellow Baroque artist Francesco Borromini. Although during the pontificate of Urban VIII the baroque sculptor had enjoyed great prestige with the most important commissions and even working for the works of Saint Peter in the Vatican, Innocent X entrusted most of his projects to Borromini who until then had had to settle for minor orders

To therelegation of the artist to the background was added to the decision of the new pontiff to demolish one of the towers that Bernini had designed for the Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican, a fact that plunged Bernini into a deep malaise.

In this context the artist began to make a sculptural group that he would title as The truth revealed by time, in it Bernini interpreted the situation as a direct attack on his person and, as the artist sculpted the work, the he left on the door of his house so that everyone could see the inscription on it and in which the artist denounced his situation.

This was a large marble sculpture almost three meters high that Bernini worked on between 1645 and 1652. The sculpture group devised by the artist was never completed, the initial idea was show the truth in the lower part of the composition while time, which should be located in the upper part, arrived as if it were a whirlwind and stripped the truth with great violence. In reality, the sculpture of Time was never finished, so in the sculptural group we only find a woman sitting on a piece of clothing and whose clothes have been violently snatched while in her hands a sun is observed symbolizing authentic truth.

For a long time the sculpture was in the hands of the artist's family and descendants, however, it is currently in the collection of the Borghese Gallery in Rome, Italy.

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