December 11, 2012

Truth and Mercy

Happened across the painting above (via Tumblr) titled Truth and Mercy by Pompeo Batoni. A Google search reveals varying impressions:
Batoni had no qualms about reveling in female beauty....[including] in religious subjects such as a pair of allegories based on Psalm 84:11: "Mercy and truth have kissed." In Truth and Mercy, Truth again goes above and beyond the call of duty in making revelations, while Peace and Justice exhibits more restraint.
--from Pompeo Batoni: Prince of Painters in Eighteenth-Century Rome by Edgar Peters Bowron, Peter Björn Kerber

A blogger named Ernest wrote:
..The Truth versus Mercy is a totally different allegory. The Truth is holding firm and up a more material symbol, a tragic shiny face. From his attitude we feel the Truth is very important and self-centered. The kneeling Mercy appears as if she is one with the viewer, she demands compassion. The material, more earthly Truth, cruel and unforgiving, is facing us and the Mercy’s humble request. Is judging more important than forgiving? The viewer is involved, a mature person may decide different than a young one.

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