Object Image

The Calumny of Apelles

This allegory of injustice is based on a written description of a lost painting by the ancient Greek artist Apelles (active about 300s BC). An enthroned judge with large ears is flanked by Suspicion and blindfolded Ignorance. He extends a hand to Calumny (Slander), who, helped by Envy, drags a young man by the hair into court. This youth lifts his hands in supplication, protesting his innocence to Truth and Time, who descend on a cloud to reveal Calumny's lies and vindicate the wrongly accused. Deceit stands behind Calumny with a large net, while Repentance casts an apologetic glance toward Truth from beside the window. This subject was popular with Renaissance artists for its moral content and...

37.3 x 32.3cm
Image and text: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 2023

Where you'll find this

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Permanent collection