Allegorical sculpture

Allegorical sculpture are sculptures of personifications of abstract ideas as in allegory.[1] Common in the western world, for example, are statues of Lady Justice representing justice, traditionally holding scales and a sword, and the statues of Prudence, representing Truth by holding a mirror and squeezing a serpent.[2]

Baroque allegorical figures of Lady Justice, Prudence, fame and glory, on the façade of the 18th century Castellania, in Valletta

This approach of using the human form and its posture, gesture, clothing and props to wordlessly convey social values and themes. It may be seen in funerary art as early as 1580. They were used on Renaissance monuments when patron saints became unacceptable. Particularly popular were the four cardinal virtues and the three Christian virtues, but others such as fame, victory, hope and time are also represented. The use of allegorical sculpture was fully developed under the École des Beaux-Arts. It is sometimes associated with Victorian art, and is commonly found in works dating from around 1900.

Notable allegorical sculpturesEdit


  1. ^ "Literary Terms and Definitions A".
  2. ^ Thake, Conrad (16 May 2008). "The Architectural legacy of Grand Master Pinto (2)". The Malta Independent. Archived from the original on 1 August 2016.
  3. ^ Denaro, Victor F. (1958). "Houses in Merchants Street, Valletta" (PDF). Melita Historica. 2 (3): 159–161. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 April 2016.
  4. ^ Attard, Christian (2013). "The sad end of Maestro Gianni". Treasures of Malta (56): 47–51.
  5. ^ Lederer, Joseph, photographs by Arley Bondarin, ‘’All Around Town: A Walking Guide to Outdoor Sculpture in New York City’’, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1975 p. 86