Oil painting: The Mask of Truth by Michele Rocca (c.1670 – c.1751), c.1720

Key information

Museum number

A310

Object

Oil painting: The Mask of Truth by Michele Rocca (c.1670 – c.1751), c.1720

Gallery label

The Mask of Truth
Michele Rocca (about 1670 – about 1751)
Oil on canvas, c.1720

The stone Bocca della Verità (‘Mouth of Truth’) in Rome is said to bite the hands off liars. This eighteenth-century Roman painting shows the moment of suspense as an unfaithful wife outwits this public lie detector. Her lover pretends to be mad and rushes up to kiss her as she is led towards the statue. When asked if any man has kissed her other than her husband she answers ‘none but that madman just now’. She escapes with her hand and reputation intact.

A310
Gift of Professor Wickstead, 1924

On display?

Yes
image a310-rocca-bocca

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