This is a lifesize marble sculpture created in the late 1800s by Jules Blanchard (1832-1916), the Italian title 'La Bocca Della Verita' translates to The Mouth of Truth. The sculpture takes reference to the Roman legend that one cannot remove his hand from the mouth of truth if he never lied .
The sculpture is a personified example of the original 'La Bocca della Verità' which is an image, carved from Pavonazzo marble, of a man-like face, located in the portico of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedinin Rome, Italy. The sculpture is thought to be part of a first-century ancient Roman fountain, or perhaps a manhole cover, portraying one of several possible pagan gods, probably Oceanus. Most Romans believe that the 'Bocca' represents the ancient god of the river Tiber.
The most famous characteristic of the Mouth, however, is its role as a lie detector. Starting from the Middle Ages, it was believed that if one told a lie with one's hand in the mouth of the sculpture, it would be bitten off. There was also a medieval legend, wrongly believed to originate with the Roman poet Virgil, of an adulterous empress who managed to deceive her husband in a trial using the Mouth. This is an infrequent subject in medieval and Renaissance art, forming part of the Power of Women literary topos. The piece was placed in the portico of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin in the 17th century. This church is also home to the supposed relics of Saint Valentine.
This object is part of "Scan The World". Scan the World is a non-profit initiative introduced by MyMiniFactory, through which we are creating a digital archive of fully 3D printable sculptures, artworks and landmarks from across the globe for the public to access for free. Scan the World is an open source, community effort, if you have interesting items around you and would like to contribute, email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can help.