Allegory of Youth, ca. 1680
Oil on canvas.
In its undulating rhythms, multi-colored modeling, and softly modulated light, this painting exemplifies Piola’s mature style. This picture of a young woman and an aged winged man holding an hourglass and scythe suggests a common Baroque allegory, Time revealing Truth. In fact, the explicit vanity of the woman, and the futile gesture of the little boy, as well as the frailty of the proffered flower, shift the meaning to the fleeting nature of physical beauty.