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Aimé-Jules Dalou

The Unacknowledged Truth or The Broken Mirror


Aimé-Jules Dalou
Paris 1838 – Paris 1902


The Unacknowledged Truth or The Broken Mirror


First model, 1890s; first edition, 1902 (cast after 1918)




14.3 x 8.8 x 12.8 cm


Cast Susse Frères, Paris


Gift of Philippe and Michèle Stora, inv. 2012.211


Western Art

This exquisite edition of The Unacknowledged Truth, also known as The Broken Mirror, belongs to a series of sensuous female nudes the sculptor executed near the end of his life, in the 1890s. The model’s voluptuous curves are especially evocative of the work of Rubens, as well as of Jordaens and other Flemish artists, which exerted an influence on Dalou following his trip to Flanders in 1875. This nude, seated on a rock, hiding her face, weeping, was modelled after the artist’s wife, as the bun on the nape of neck recalls the hairstyle favoured by Madame Dalou. This sculptor’s works are notable for the fineness of their execution. Their naturalistic modelling is particularly accomplished, never yielding to vulgarity, the classicism of their poses contributing to the ennoblement of the works. This allegory of Truth is perhaps related to the Dreyfus affair. It has been claimed that the model of this sculpture was made to provide support for the family of Captain Dreyfus, unjustly accused of high treason in 1894 and only exonerated in 1906, but there is no proof for that contention.

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