Truth out of the well armed with a whip to punish mankind
~ Jean-Léon Gérôme
This striking picture was created by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824 - 1904), a French painter and sculptor who was associated with an artistic style known as Academicism. It depicts Truth emerging out of a well, armed with a martinet to punish mankind, presumably for its wrongdoing and wickedness.
Gérôme explained his work, which he painted in 1896, as an attempt to describe the transparency of an illusion. He welcomed the rise of photography as an alternative to his photographic painting, stating in 1902 shortly before his death, "Thanks to photography, Truth has as last left her well".