The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of February 23, 2024

The Calumny of Apelles

The Calumny of Apelles

(Italian, 1520–1582)
(Italian, 1500/04–1557)
Sheet: 37.3 x 32.3 cm (14 11/16 x 12 11/16 in.); Platemark: 36.9 x 31.9 cm (14 1/2 x 12 9/16 in.)
Catalogue raisonné: Lewis & Lewis 27
Location: not on view


This allegory of injustice, popular with Renaissance artists for its moral content, is based on a written description of a lost painting by the ancient Greek artist Apelles. An enthroned judge with large ears is flanked by Suspicion and blindfolded Ignorance. He extends a hand to Calumny (Slander), who, helped by Envy, drags a young man by the hair into court. This youth protests his innocence to Truth and Time, who descend on a cloud to reveal Calumny’s lies and vindicate the accused. Deceit stands behind Calumny with a large net, while Repentance casts an apologetic glance toward Truth from beside the window.
  • [R. E. Lewis, Inc., Larkspur, CA, 1993]; Phillip Sommerville, Toronto; [Susan Schulman Printseller]
  • Main Gallery Rotation (gallery 117): June 3, 2013 - October 7, 2013.
  • {{cite web|title=The Calumny of Apelles|url=false|author=Giorgio Ghisi, Luca Penni|year=1560|access-date=23 February 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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