Jessica Artman [RA 2015] : Allegory of Knowledge and Wisdom, 2021.


SAL record control number: 103154 ;

Record level: Item ;

Record type: Movable work ;


Work title: Allegory of Knowledge and Wisdom  [from artist] ;

Alternate work titles:
2021 : Allegory of Knowledge and Wisdom  [from artist] ;

Work date: 2021  [from artist] ;

Work creator: Jessica Artman [RA 2015] ;

Work medium: Oil on panel ;
Work dimensions: 23-3/4 x 21-1/2 inches [framed] ;

Inscribed / signed front: 


SAL category: Oil ;
SAL sub-category: Allegory ; genre ;

Archives of American Art subjects:

Description of work:
Given the nature of the location of the two panels, I felt allegories depicting Knowledge and Truth were best fitting. They will be positioned as such: Knowledge on the right panel, and Truth on the left. My concept for these two allegories is made clear in the statement, “In the pursuit of knowledge you find truth. Each panel is a multi figural design lending its self to the relationship between the two notions of knowledge and truth.

In the Panel of Knowledge, a young semi draped woman is seated gazing into a book that is being held by a small putti or child. He has a counter part that is also engaged in the pursuit of knowledge through drawing on the ground. They are set in a landscape with elements of architectural artifacts. This is an attempt to bring to light that humanities are man made and their creation of literature, art and architecture our attempts to finding truth.

Above this small scene is an angel who represents time, ie Father Time. He is positioned in order to balance the composition from top to bottom as well as connect both a circle or infinite design to the adjacent panel of Truth. Father time holds an important role in this story; without him the journey to Truth is impossible.

The panel of Truth, shows the same characters but in a new role. Where the once figure of knowledge was seated in pursuit of truth, She stands proudly hold a book (or mirror historically speaking) as father time rests at her feet. Through the passage of time we are able to reflect on our the knowledge we have gained, bringing us to various levels of truths. Above the figure of truth the original Putti are now playing in the sky, as they too have done their job of aiding knowledge on her journey. I found this idea of play very important in that the more knowledge you acquire, the more free you are to use it.

Compositionally, I am aiming to balance the two panels with 4 figures, who’s respected groupings mirror each other. By repositioning the putti from the lower left panel of Knowledge to the upper right panel of Truth, as well as Father Time moving from the upper left panel of Knowledge to the lower right panel of Truth, an infinite symbol can be traced in their compositional arrangement. This is a play on the various levels of truth we come to at different stages of our life. I believe the pursuit of knowledge to be ongoing and the presence of truth to be an individually recognized experience.

The panel of Truth is devoid of symbols or references to the humanities. My idea here is that Nature is the original inspiration of truth. The figure group is set in a landscape who’a horizon is shared with the pursuit of knowledge.

2021 Jessica Artman [RA 2015], the artist .

Exhibition history:
2021 SCNY Allegory today : the library commission November 8-19.

References / citations:



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Record birth date:
July 4, 2021

Last updated: November 2, 2021 at 13:03 pm