Image credit: Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

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Traditionally depicted with a sword and scales, Justice appears here in an outdoor setting, before an archway with a sculptural decoration of a herm on the right. The decorative details (such as the jewels in her hair and the ornate sword hilt) are in marked contrast to the figure's severe profile. This painting, together with 'Charity', 'Faith', 'Fortitude', 'Temperance' and 'Prudence', is from a series of the seven Virtues (Hope is missing), probably painted by a North European artist working in England. Groups of Virtues, or of the Liberal Arts, were popular elements in the decoration of libraries. The allegorical figures derive from the 'Iconologia' of Cesare Ripa with variations from other print sources.

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford





late 17th C


oil on canvas


H 123 x W 102 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Acquired, 1845

Work type



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Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

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