Skip Navigation

Time Discovering Truth, sketch

Mariano Salvador de Maella

European Art

On View:
In 1765 Maella received an important commission for ceiling decorations for the rooms of the Princess of Asturias in the Palacio Real in Madrid. Giving allegorical form to the famous dictum “Time discovers Truth,” in this study Maella portrays Time as a white-bearded old man. While his wings stand for the swiftness of the passage of time, his long, sharp scythe hints at its inevitable destructive force. Time discovers Truth by lifting her drapery, exposing her nude body. Carrying her destructive torch, Falsehood, who has been banished by Truth and the rays of light flung by two additional putti, gracelessly tumbles away. Hovering nearby like attendants, three putti bear summarily sketched attributes of Time and Truth: an hourglass, a mirror, and a laurel branch. Maella further underscores the progression of Time with personifications of the four seasons in the corner roundels.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
  • Place Made: Spain
  • DATES 1765
    DIMENSIONS 22 × 23 3/4 in. (55.9 × 60.3 cm) frame: 29 1/2 × 30 1/2 × 3 1/4 in. (74.9 × 77.5 × 8.3 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Francis Gottsberger in memory of his wife, Eliza
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Mariano Salvador de Maella (Spanish, 1739–1819). Time Discovering Truth, sketch, 1765. Oil on canvas, 22 × 23 3/4 in. (55.9 × 60.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Francis Gottsberger in memory of his wife, Eliza, 06.86 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 06.86.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 06.86.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
    This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement. You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act. The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals. For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.