The female personification of Justice is represented semi-nude in the center of the image. Her right arm wraps around an ostrich, a symbol of patience, while her left hand confers a laurel crown upon the feminine figure of Truth. Truth is presented to Justice by Time, personified as an old man with wings and an hour-glass on his head. Personfications of the seven Vices are chained below Justice in submission, including the bearded figure of Greed peering at a pile of treasures in the foreground.
Commissioned by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese in 1543, this grand painting was originally installed in the Palazzo Cancelleria in Rome. Although a gifted artist, Giorgio Vasari is best known for authoring The Lives of the Artists (1550, 1568), which extolls the greatness of Italian artists from the middle ages through the 16th century.