Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wednesday Search Challenge (1/15/14): What's up with her fingers?

A continuation of our Art History theme from last week... 

There are just some people that make you feel like you haven't really accomplished much of anything.  

One such person is Gian Lorenzo Bernini (also spelled Gianlorenzo or Giovanni Lorenzo).  Born in Naples (1598), died in Rome (1680) at age 81, he was truly a Renaissance man.  

Bernini was an Italian painter, sculptor, architect, playwright, stage set designer, and city planner. He was the leading sculptor of his age, working for a succession of popes, and is credited with more-or-less singlehandedly creating the Baroque style of sculpture. 

I learned all this while wandering through Rome late last year.  But it was in the Villa Borghese that I had my art history shock.  This is a museum (formerly a residence of the Borghese family) in a large park--think Central Park in New York, Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, or Bois de Boulogne in Paris... that kind of park.  It has a great art collection (all collected by the Borghese family), and a truly remarkable collection of statuary.  

Truthfully, I've never been much of a sculpture fan.  They're nice, but they never quite impressed me in the way that painting or even drawing did.  I realize that stone is a difficult medium to work in, but the statues always seemed sort of static, just sort of there, part of the landscape. 

Then I walked into the Villa Borghese and saw the work of Bernini up close.  

I was astonished.  

Here's what I mean... this is a master sculptor.  He cuts rock as though it were infinitely malleable.  His details are astoundingly lifelike.  

Here's his statue of "Apollo and Daphne"which captures the moment that Daphne is being transformed by the gods into a laurel tree to escape Apollo's clutches.  

Notice the remarkable details and the fluidity with which the transforming fingers and hair are being changed into tree limbs and leaves. 

This is a sculptor of immense skill and a deep understanding of his material.  He knows how to hew the living marble.  Here's one more example that just floored me.  Notice how his fingers slightly dig into her flesh and make a slight, lifelike ripple in the skin.  It's hard to believe this is solid rock. 

So it was a huge shock for me when just a bit later in the museum I ran across another famous Bernini sculpture that seemed completely at odds with what the master sculptor could do. 

Look at her left hand.  After seeing "Apollo and Daphne," I couldn't believe that there was some stuff in-between her fingers.  (Look carefully between her index finger and 3rd finger on the left hand.)  It wasn't added later (I looked VERY carefully), it's original stone that was left there by the sculptor.  Here's another, slightly different angle on the same hand.  

For a sculptor of Bernini's talent and power, why do this?  

It took me a while to figure out the answer to this, but perhaps you'll have better luck than I did. 

1.  Why is there webbing left between the fingers of the left hand of this Bernini sculpture? What's going on there?  

That's it, just one question, but a real question that came up as I was looking at this wonderful piece in the Villa Borghese.  I spent some time in the museum book shop trying to find the answer, but ultimately found it online after I returned home.  

For this one, let us know HOW you figured this one out!  What search terms did you try, and what was the insight or observation that let you solve the challenge.  

As I mentioned last week, I'll post the answer on Friday. But will ALSO post something on Thursday.  Stay tuned... and... 

Search on! 


  1. Began by right clicking on your image and doing a Google Image Search from the contextual menu in Chrome.
    This gave me the title of the piece Truth Unveiled by Time

    Armed with artist and title I went over to the Google Cultural Institute just to see if they had any information. I wouldn't say "no" but I would say "not yet" as the collection grows daily.

    Searched [ bernini "truth unveiled by time" commissioned ] because I figured most artworks back then were done under commission.

    And that's how I found Bernini 2013 to answer that my search took me to one of the works that wasn't commissioned but was for Bernini himself. I've probably taken about an hour off and on today reading the fascinating story of The Bell Tower Disaster and how that plays with the Truth Unveiled by Time.

    Currently for an answer I'm going with because it is unfinished.

    I've tried to search for information about artists leaving webbing in fragile appendages or something until near the end so they didn't don't break off. Let me tell you the American that broke the finger off a 600 year old statue really invades the SERP.

    So off I went to a real person, our art teacher. She didn't know either but knows some friends and she is going to ask them.

    Not done yet and searching on.

  2. Good Morning, Dr. Russell, fellow SearchResearchers


    Image with [bernini la verità tessitura ]

    Truth Unveiled by Time Site says: "The figure of Time that was intended for the upper part of the composition was never be executed."

    Image with [bernini truth unveiled by time ]

    Truth Unveiled by Time, Wikipedia In the Spanish version says that Bernini mentions this sculpure on his will. Also says : Time in sculpture was planned as a whirlwind.

    [bernini truth left hand]

    Truth Unveiled: Bernini’s Bell Towers and the Allegory of Truth: Introduction Site shows a Sketch of possible work finished.

    [bernini "Truth Unveiled by Time" unknown facts]

    Historical Dictionary of Baroque Art and Architecture Paul Fréart de Chantelou was told that the statue was intended to be part of a large scheme.

    Sculpture Zoom

    Bernini: His Life and His Rome

    Journal du Voyage du Cavalier Bernin en France

    [La Verita Scoperta dal Tempo mano sinistra]

    La Veritá


    1. Why is there webbing left between the fingers of the left hand of this Bernini sculpture? What's going on there?

    A: The project was only half completed. Father Time was never carved. I need to find more information to answer. Apparently, he intended to carve a V for Veritá there.

  3. Man, it has been a while since I answered one of these challenges (mostly due to a new job, moving 3,000 miles from NH to CA, and minimal spare time).

    The first thing I did was do an image search for [Bernini sculptures] and find the piece in mind. Turns out it is an unfinished work called Truth Unveiled By Time.

    Next, I did some basic searches using the sculpture title and Bernini ["truth unveiled by time" bernini] but nothing came up that mentioned the sort of webbed fingers. I did, however, learn a lot about the sculpture, why it was made, and how it was unfinished. I next did a variety of searches ["truth unveiled by time" bernini hand] ["truth unveiled by time" bernini fingers] ["truth unveiled by time" hand] etc, but with no real luck.

    In my travels, I came across this page ( and saw that a sketch for the sculpture was provided, so my next search was for ["truth unveiled by time" sketch] in the hopes that maybe seeing what Bernini intended for the completed piece would shed some light on the fingers. Nothing.

    I was grasping at straws and threw a search query together that looked like this [bernini truth finger]. Wait, what?! The first hit is a pdf from Columbia University on Bernini struts ( I read the entire document and learned about struts and how Bernini used them when it came to hands. Fascinating sutff!

    At the end of the document was this bit of info about other Bernini sculptures that had finger struts. The paper states:

    In other works, the difference becomes still more stark. The Truth (1646–52), the St. Jerome (1661–3), and the Bust of Clement X (c.1676) all likewise include prominent struts. In these cases, though, the works, like de’ Rossi’s and Cordier’s statues before them, simply look unfinished. What are we to make of this? It is possible that, after a certain point, the sculptor’s studio no longer commanded the talent to turn out the mesmerizingly virtuoso pieces of Bernini's youth. The fact that the struts remain in these works may constitute further evidence that it was Finelli rather than Bernini who put the finishing touches on the Borghese statues, and that Finelli’s departure in 1628 imposed new limits on what the master could do.

  4. OK so I find using the resources (people) around a little more fun than searching on my own, so another teacher passed by and since she is the communication arts teacher I through the challenge to her. Her search suggestion was obvious and brilliant [ unfinished bernini ]

    The sixth row down in an image search I just clicked on a picture that looked really intricate with fingers but maybe with the same webbing between the fingers.

    Even Bernini is Limited by Marble Also click the link on that page to the PDF that he is responding to.

    So now we have a conversation about struts. How do you strut your stuff? ;-)

    1. Fred, Remmij, Drop the Gloves and Dr. Russell. I have been reading your answers noticed something. I found while searching one of the pages that mentions Remmij and Drop the Gloves (Michael Cole). However; I didn´t read it because in the snippet and with Ctrl F didn't match any of the words that I were looking; also, I thought Struts meant something different. Two lessons of this challenge to me: Keep reading and search for more words and concepts not isolated words. I'm sure more lesson will come for me on this challenge.

      Fred, your site: Even Bernini... explains it in a perfect way. Nice finding!

      Did another query [Bernini struts "La Verita"] found site in Italian and can not be translated because it is in pdf and it is big: It looks interesting. Bernini e il trionfo del barocco

  5. only time will unveil the truth of this query… missing Time, non-finito…

    used [Truth Unveiled by Time left hand fingers] to find the following two pdfs that discuss
    Bernini & Giuliano Finelli and the technical use of struts in the carvings…
    your inclusion of "Apollo and Daphne" was instructive.

    Michael Cole
    Jennifer Montagu

    "It also suggests that sculptors who had once
    planned for hands arranged in dramatic poses sometimes lost their nerve,
    deciding that a seemingly ‘‘non-finito’’ statue was preferable to one with
    replaced or added fingers, arms, or legs."

    "In other works, the difference becomes still more stark. The Truth
    (1646–52), the St. Jerome (1661–3), and the Bust of Clement X (c.1676)
    all likewise include prominent struts. In these cases, though, the works,
    like de’ Rossi’s and Cordier’s statues before them, simply look unfinished.
    What are we to make of this? It is possible that, after a certain point, the
    sculptor’s studio no longer commanded the talent to turn out the mesmerizingly
    virtuoso pieces of Bernini’s youth. The fact that the struts
    remain in these works may constitute further evidence that it was Finelli
    rather than Bernini who put the finishing touches on the Borghese statues,
    and that Finelli’s departure in 1628 imposed new limits on what the
    master could do. Equally likely, though, is that Bernini simply lost interest
    in blinding his viewers with skill as he had as a youth. Once Bernini went
    to work for the Pope, his reputation no longer depended on his ability to
    cut marble. With the exception of the rare portrait commission, Bernini
    would position himself as a conceptual artist far more than as a craftsman"

    1. this may have been lost in the shuffle -

      fwiw: made me think of this… also the source of prior sRs quests… and related patrons… a stretch to Bernini, but they may have seen similar things.
      calcaire n'est pas de marbre ...
      "Ex Nihilo" Tympanum
      dcMemorials - note fingers

    2. The National Cathedral tympanum is one of my very favorite sculptures. I remember the first time I saw it, and was stunned. In many ways, the sensuality of the figures reminds of me of Bernini's "St. Teresa in Ecstasy" statue in the Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome. Just fantastic.


    Truth Unveiled by Time

    |Truth Unveiled by Time|
    Bernini's intention was to have the allegorical figure of “Time” being the force removing the drape, thus revealing the naked truth who is of course a naked woman

    |"Truth Unveiled by Time" left hand|

    Bernini and the Bell Towers: Architecture and Politics at the Vatican
    By Sarah McPhee...idea was to represent Time bearing Truth aloft but it was never the model he had made colums, obelisks and which appear to be overturned and destroyed by TIme.

    "Truth Unveiled by Time" drawing seems to show that Time was flying from her left side and pulling off the drape. This was never completed. I suggest the webbing was left there as added support for the Mirror of Truth.

    A thorough analysis is is Lilian H. Zirpolo, “Christina of Sweden’s Patronage of Bernini: The Mirror of Truth Revealed by Time.” Women’s Art Journal. no. 1 (2005): 38-41. The theme of Truth Unveiled by Time is one that appears to have grown in importance to Bernini after the bell tower affair, in his work as well as his personal life. Nowhere is this more apparent than in his will, in which he states that the statue is to remain in the house of his heirs in perpetuity, “‘because, looking at it, all of my descendants will be able to remember that the most beautiful virtue in the world is truth, and that it is necessary to operate with truth because, in the end, it is this that will be revealed by time’

    The sun in her right hand is representing someting like Truth is revealed best in the bright light of day. Truth will be found by the passing of time.

    Easy to find name of the sculpture but more fascinating time to try to decipher the allegory involved.

    Had he finished this sculpture there would have been a mirror in her left hand.

    jon, This was a great project.

    1. interesting speculation about the mirror - there appears to be another piece done by Bernini for Sweden's Queen Christina that went by the same title and was an actual mirror… seems it no longer exists and is known only through a description and drawing by Ncodemus Tessin, Jr, who saw the mirror when visiting the queen's art collection in Rome (drawing in National Museum, Stockholm)

      saucy, non-academic, account of Christina in Rome -
      a girl in Rome
      an academic description: pages 13 - 14, Madison-Lynn Haughie:
      2nd SERP result, this is a WORD Doc
      "Queen Christina wasn't only a patron of the theater, though. She also a great advocate of the fine arts, as exemplified by her commissions to Bernini. None of the works survive, but from Nicodemus Tessin's visit to her home at the Riario palace we know the extent of her patronage . Among the artist's works he saw were a bust of the queen, two paintings, and a sculpted head of a child, a marble bust of Christ, and an elaborate mirror depicting "Truth Revealed by Time". The most important commission received from Christina was the mirror. There is a drawing of it by Bernini at Windsor Castle (Figure 10), and a drawing by Tessin depicting the finished design. But why was this mirror so important? Some scholars suggest that the mirror was a memento mori meant to reveal the gradual decay of beauty and youth. But Christina was not the kind of women who focused on appearances, as she wrote: "There are those who are foolish as to become slaves and martyrs to their clothes and fashion. One is quite unhappy when spending every moment of one's life between a mirror and a comb.” Another theory is that Christina was attempting to help him regain credence after the fiasco over the towers of St. Peter’s. What had happened was that the first tower was built on an underground spring, which caused it to crack and it then had to be demolished. He was criticized rather harshly for his failure and his popularity fell greatly."

  7. Good evening to all the searchers!

    When I don't know exactly what I'm searching, I use the technique I call literal search which consists in typing what I think. So I searched (in french) :
    [sculpture marbre laissé entre doigts] (i.e. sculpture marble left between fingers) which is not the most keyword efficient technique but often gives me a good starting point to perform more narrow searches.

    This time I was rather lucky, in the abstract of the first entry on the SERP was written : "L'exécution d'une statue en marbre ou en pierre comprend : ... Tant que dure le travail, on laisse entre les doigts et pour supporter les membres saillants des ..." the last phrase meaning "as long as the work is in progress, … is left between fingers and in order to bear the salient limbs…" Reading the page gave me all the details about the sculpting technique (drilling, rasping…) and the fact that, in order not to break the very thin parts such as fingers, the artist left the struts until the statue was on location, where he would then remove them unless he thought he'd rather leave the statue in this unfinished but stronger aspect. (Having to replace a broken finger could let people think he was unable to carve it and had to add it after)

    This is a very good start, let's try the same technique in english :

    [sculpture marble left between fingers]

    The 4th result on the SERP is title ; Bernini Struts - Columbia University and links to a pdf file. Looks promising. The file is an article : Bernini Struts by Michael Cole about the struts Bernini used while working. I leave to the curious ones the different hypothesis the author suggests about the "unfinished" look of the masterpiece, including the fact Bernini may even have left the hard work to his assistant Finelli who left before the work was finished and polished. (And indeed the "time part" of the Truth Unveiled by Time was never done) The paper is really fascinating.

    By the way, struts also remain in "Apollo and Daphne" but were hidden in the laurel leaves and stem by the artist : "Possibly for the first time in the history of marble carving, an artist has attempted not to remove devices that were conventionally employed as temporary supports, but rather to make then virtually diappear into the work’s fiction."

  8. I googled - bernini sculptures - and clicked on the images to find that the name of this sculpture is "Truth Unveiled by Time".

    I next googled - "truth unveiled by time" fingers - and found nothing.

    So I then googled - bernini unfinished sculptures fingers - which brought me to This document contained the answer that Bernini employed these struts/supports in his work. Some were cleverly disguised as pieces of the work, but in the case of this sculpture, one can assume that the left hand which contains something odd between the fingers had to be a strut that was simply never removed and was therefore never finished.

  9. Image Search = Truth Unveiled by Time by Bernini

    Query [drawing “truth unveiled by time]
    This article from Bernini mentions that in her right hand is the Sun and her left foot is on a globe of Earth. It says “Her left hand is raised in a gesture of astonishment “. Well that didn’t help.
    Time to reword the question and I wrote this to myself “I know she holds the sun in her right hand and her left foot is on the earth. Her left hand has webbed fingers or maybe called something else. Around the same time he created the Triton Fountain which was the sea god i.e. sea/water/ocean/mermaids etc. I did start thinking mermaid type symbolisms but nothing came up.

    So back to the material used to create the statue and gives details about how fingers were created
    using marble. It does discuss marble on other statues and leads me to think about how was the statue created.
    After a few queries I decided to combine the symbolism and the process of creating the hands because I already know she is holding the sun and standing on earth.

    Query [bernini iconography "truth unveiled by time" creating the hands]

    Fourth result on SERP we have a pdf titled
    The Catafalque of Paul Architecture, Sculpture, Iconography by Arianna Lysandra Packard. Used Control F to find these quotes-

    “This legacy will reveal the truth of his greatness. In other words, these virtues represent the popular seventeenth-century conceit of "Truth unveiled by Time.Veritas (figure 23) is the only fully nude virtue. She looks downwards, across her right
    shoulder and gestures with her right hand. She holds open a large volume with her left hand. A sun diadem sits on her forehead. This is very traditional iconography. For instance, Ripa describes truth as holding a book and a sun. 727 Ripa devotes several pages to alternate views of Verità and Bernini's representation here contains all of the key elements: nudity, the open
    book and the sun.728 In fact Bernini’s Veritas seems very closely related to Ripa’s illustration. and differs only in that the sun appears as a diadem, rather than a held object.727 Ripa, 499-502. "The sun, the source of all light, is also a symbol of truth, which is the friend of light; light chases away the shadows, as truth does in the mind. One arrives at truth by the study of science, of facts, hence Truth holds a book." and a later quote
    “While not a tomb, Bernini's later unfinished sculpture Truth Unveiled by Time should be included in this group. In 1647 he began working on this group, not as a commission but for his "studio e gusto."Truth, also nude, sits resting her left foot on a globe. The book is gone and the sun as migrated from her diadem to her right hand.
    Bernini tackled the theme a third time in a mirror (now lost but known through preparatory drawings) for Queen Christina in which the figure of Father Time pulls drapery back from the face of the mirror to reveal the image of the viewer who stands in for Truth.”

    It makes it clear a book was originally on the left hand but was removed. Why, I don’t know? Did it have to do with the fact that he had experienced a recent failure. His friend, Queen Christine of Sweden seems to be his only supporter at that time. Did he modify it for her? I will come back later.

  10. Followup

    Iconography dictated how ‘virtues’ could be depicted in art. I suppose it was like a guide so that the meanings of commissioned works were carefully drafted so as to not cause misunderstandings. Or perhaps a form of censorship to avoid a scandal. But it is obvious when you read page 31 of this book that Bernini was depicting truth as written by Ripa.

    “with her other hand she clutches an open book and a palm branch”.

    An Introduction to Iconography : Symbols, Allusions and Meaning in the Visual ... By Roelof van Straten

    So I conclude that finding an answer has to include the understanding of iconography. At the same time it seems reasonable that supporting the book may require struts as others found but I find it hard to believe Bernini would leave what amounts to scaffolding on his incomplete statue. It was incomplete because he chose not to add the statue Father Time. Nor do I believe he was incapable of doing finishing work leaving to his assistants which was a conclusion written by Michael Cole.

    1. Second attempt at showing direct link to page 31 of the book “An Introduction to Iconography”. If this doesn’t work Ramon/Remij can you tell me how you are getting this to work? I have now used the link icon on the webpage & copied it from there rather than from the URL box.

      Link to Iconography book

    2. Looks like I have time to add one more piece to the puzzle. I found in Google Scholar [ripa illustrations -jstor] a book containing an illustration of Truth holding the sun and a book. The book is Baroque and Rococo Pictorial Imagery: The 1758-60 Hertel Edition of Ripa's ... By Cesare Ripa. It first discusses the illustration & this time has religious undertones. Truth as originally drawn with text. Finding a reference to the statue with the book in hand has proven most difficult.

      Regarding my Query above I have not included Jstor website [-jstor] because I can only view 3 books in a two week period.

    3. Rosemary - I have had similar difficulty - think the specific image should be this: Christoffel Jegher's Verità woodcut — no luck finding that…
      but you inspired me to try again; used [cesare ripa iconologia online]
      found this - book/sun/palm frond/globe - can't tie it directly to Bernini, but it does represent the iconography used:
      Verita -truth(Japanese site)
      This seems to be a good image resource for Ripa:
      Cæsar Ripa
      got there from here:
      Cesare Ripa Perugino

      also found this, that seemed close too:
      another truth
      delle edizioni dell’Iconologia di Cesare Ripa

    4. I'm slow on the uptake here… looking at the Takami Matsuda and Emiko Yamagishi site it dawned on me that Ripa was dead & gone before the Bernini 'Truth Unveiled by Time' so there would be no direct reference by Ripa about Bernini - which is what I was looking for - only after the fact references by others about the symbols used by Bernini, as previously documented by Ripa… as Fred says, palm to forehead… sooooo, finding an illustration that used Gian's example in Iconologia wouldn't be possible - except in
      latter edits…

      Poking around in the Allegorical World (not to be confused with the Al Goreical World see al-itter, an Inconvenient Truth Unveiled by Time)
      I was reminded of this painter, who was a contemporary of Bernini: Artemisia Gentilesch
      she was great painter and a very interesting personality, well worth taking a look at.

      also thought this was an interesting view of the world, courtesy of Ripa:

      la ricerca su - with a ➳✸❦baroque flourish☙♝☠

    5. I have now seen many images/drawings of truth which are similar in the iconographic details. Here's one that does place both a drawing and the statue on one page. If you follow the links at the bottom you will find more links to drawings of a similar nature. I found it interesting to see that Bernini twenty years later included Truth in another statue of Truth with three other virtues. This site is stepping off point to previous works and similar drawings. It is interesting despite never taken an art history class in my life.
      Query [ripa bernini notes truth]

      Drawing & Statue

    6. Nicely done, Rosemary and Remmij. The iconographic background here is really quite interesting!

  11. Leave it to Rosemary to come up with an outstanding answer. Anne and I did an image search to come up with the name of the sculpture. We then searched using the name of the sculpture Bernini left hand. Later we added the term webbed. We found some of the same articles as noted by others. We also searched google books and came up with this book: Bernini and the Bell Towers: Architecture and Politics at the Vatican. We didn't get the same detail as some others but concluded that this sculpture wasn't finished. Think we learned that even when you think you have a simple answer there is always more digging to be done.

  12. I started with a search for [bernini fingers] and the first result that came back was a pdf talking about the 'struts" left between the fingers as a support while the sculptor did the tricky bits.
    I suspect this result came up first because others have been searching this week, but it was fun anyway.
    Pam, New Zealand

    1. Pam's comment got me wondering. Do search trends affect the search engine results page (SERP)? Do clicked links on the SERP affect the ranking of results? I would guess no because they don't necessarily mean it is "good" result. I mean I could click on lots of links on a SERP and never find what I am looking for. So what was happening behind the scenes that got Pam the hit with [ bernini fingers ] ?

  13. Perhaps she's the mother of the "Man from Atlantis"!


    Firstly I visited the Wikipedia page for Bernini. This lists all the sculptures by him and where they are. You said it was in the Villa Borghese so using Ctrl and F to find all mentions of Borghese. The sculpture is female so that excludes many of the options. I have to click on 3 possibilities until I find that the sculpture is called "Truth Unveiled by Time".

    A search for ["Truth Unveiled by Time" hand] finds a page

    This is an online exhibit curated by students in ARTH 470s: Bernini, at the University of Mary Washington, spring 2013.
    It has a lot of info about Bernini and this sculpture. As a university site it has authority.
    Bernini was blamed for a debacle involving adding bell towers to St Peter's in Rome. He felt that his reputation was unjustly damaged by the project. The "Truth Unveiled by Time" sculpture was his uncommissioned response to this.
    The sculpture is unfinished because he very quickly began to receive commissions again and did not have time to complete it even though he wished to.

    As a double check I searched Google Books for ["Truth Unveiled by Time" Bernini].
    The 2nd book in the list was "BERNINI sculptor and architect" by Daniele Pinton.
    Page 20 of this book describes the sculpture as unfinished because his desire to prove his innocence diminished.

    So I would say this is why the hand is incomplete.

    1. feinir ddoniol — ;)
      Atlantis, Patrick Duffy & Google

      Bernini mae hyn yn agos i chi
      Victoria & Albert, London
      Neptune &Triton, 1620
      N&T, minus trident
      and the Scots have an example:
      Gian_in the UK

    2. … while looking at Fred's Adobe/3-D printing link -
      another case of art speaking across time, with a Welsh tie…
      Catrin o Berain, NMW
      C or K?, the Mother of Wales
      of books and skulls and truths…

  14. Started by searching [Bernini villa borghese] thinking that I would see an image of the sculpture and thus find its name. There was no picture of it on the first page of results, so i decided to do an image search. This brought me to a site called which gave the name of the piece as Truth. Searched [truth bernini]. Found several sites that gave the full name and history of the sculpture, including the Villa Borghese website, Wikipedia, and (an online exhibit by students of an art history class at the University of Mary Washington). All agreed that the sculpture is called Truth Unveiled by Time and that it is unfinished. None mentioned the webbing.
    Next I tried searches on [truth unveiled by time bernini webbing], ['truth unveiled by time' bernini webbing], and [truth unveiled by time bernini hand]. None of those yielded any remotely usable hits. So I tried another tack [why is bernini's truth's hand unfinished] this brought me to an academic paper by art historian Michael Cole of Columbia. He discusses the Apollo and Daphne sculpture, not Truth Unveiled by Time, and claims that the bits of stone between the fingers of the Apollo and Daphne are structurally necessary and undisguised artistically ("struts'). So now I have two possible answers. 1)The sculpture is unfinished. 2)The "webbing" is just "struts" and has no artistic purpose. I am kind of stuck there.

  15. multiple references to multiple Truths can be a bit confusing… even if they are all Giovanni Lorenzo.
    is it a thorn or a strut? what is the truth? there are multiple Truths… and that is true for Bernini and workshop…
    Bernini/Sancta Sedes view of England (Alexander VII tomb)
    the Sun also appears here
    close up
    hard to find images of this revealed Truth…
    De Sylva Chapel, part of the Sant’Isidoro Church near Piazza Barberini in Rome
    just a little side bit involving another Bernini/Sun subject -

    …as there are multiple Ecstasies
    terra cotta study, St. Petersburg
    the location of two of the finer Sphinx examples - maybe the perfect location for a future meet-up? in between the gazes…
    if Mr. Brin and Astro Teller would appear too, it would be a banner occasion… btw, these lads tough it out sans a cushy museum environment like their Tanis cousin.
    like their big relative in Giza. The Paris of the East, Venice of the North, wandering twin of Tampa, on the banks of the other N River (Neva) -
    northern cobras

    very cool tool, Dr.D.R., a fine find -
    alt -

    1. Speaking of truths, Remmij, I tried this challenge using only Spanish like Passager did with French. Until now, I can not found answer or even a good link that can relate to the answer, I even tried with the French words translated to Spanish. Nothing...Yet!

      [Define: Struts] and then translate to Spanish gives: Puntales. Drae definition

      Using translate with documents posted in peer answers gives Espigas. Drae definition

      I think that maybe the word that is meant to this challenge could be different.

      [cómo esculpir marmol]
      Claves de la Escultura

      I'll try to find it!

      How many challenges in searches do you believe the answer is just in English?

    2. don't know the answers to those questions - perhaps Dan will shed some light, especially given the topic
      of his post today…
      looking at your links gave me a chance to look at this work - thanks!
      Juan Martínez Montañés
      San Cristóbal
      interesting juxtaposition to all the Baroque/Rome art I've been seeing…
      Heaven & Hell
      a different approach
      San Cristóbal

  16. [truth thorn england bernini alexander VII] >
    backstory Henry VIII
    wikipaintings - beta, also a neat tool/german
    a contemporary artist that may have a comparable sweeping vision?
    wiki Kiefer

  17. I am going to revise my previous comment to this. I found via IMAGES a much better image of this sculpture:

    It clearly shows what I now know as struts between fingers of BOTH hands.

    So I humbly propose that this 'webbing' is a structural element not an allegorical allusion.


    1. Agree with you, Jon.

      Looking your fantastic image, searched [Truth unveiled by time thing material between fingers] don´t know why I didn´t try this before!

      Material Identities Book: Bernini Struts. Book says that Bernini left Struts there on purpose; to remind the viewer about the transformation.

    2. good detail photo, Jon - had not really noted the strut from the thumb to the torso… and the right hand and the rays of the Sun disc - he must have really had concerns about breakage during transport given that he wasn't sure of the pieces final disposition? Good supporting book find Ramón, but the content seems to be from the Cole piece… see page 55?

    3. Yes, Remmij you are right; information comes from Cole. What I liked was that in just one query found the answer -of course at that moment, I new it already- and with my previous searches I had to do more than one query.

  18. Haven't read the other comments yet. I suspected that the marble let between the fingers was to keep them from breaking, and typed the words "bernini sculpture fingers support" but with no quotes. About halfway down the list of results was the result I clicked on first: Even Bernini is Limited by Marble because the snippets Google showed me seemed the most relevant. It points out the masked supports in Daphne's hands, and reminds me of the term "struts" to refer to them. It also links to a PDF article, Michael Cole’s “Bernini’s Struts” which discusses the problem and solutions for keeping fingers from breaking off of sculptures in more detail. Removing struts from fingers came at the end of the process, or not at all if the artist decided the work was too fragile. (Turns out when I looked again that the Cole article was actually the first result for my search).

  19. Interesting timing of this challenge about struts and the role they play in 3D printing. Yesterday Adobe announced Photoshop's update now supports 3D printing that "intelligently" add struts to your 3D printing projects for better support.

    1. interesting cross-link Fred - makes me envision the Revell models of my youth with all the scaffolding, struts and spurs, etc.…
      maybe with this, an edible, tasty version of Truth Unveiled could appear… Time could even be added to create a fully realized - and munchable - "Hershey-Bernini"
      LA Times story
      Ramón might be able to integrate Hershey's Mexican chocolate revitalization program to include printables… to be served on the Google barges…?