An Alphabet of Allegorical Sculpture - J is for Justice

J is for Justice, and allegorical statues of Justice are found across the land. As well as featuring on court houses, they are found on a variety of municipal buildings, and as accompanying figures to the statues of great statesmen who were seen as particularly linked to the improvement of the law. Even the Queen Victoria Memorial has a figure of Justice.

Justice is almost always female (a rare allegorical figure of Justice as a young boy is shown on this page), and although, like nearly all allegorical females, may be youthful, is also sometimes depicted as a more mature figure. Her attributes are the scales and the sword, sometimes just the one, but usually both. The two figures at the top of this page are typical of the type. As shown in the full figure to the left, Justice is often emplaced at the summit of a building, high up above us, pronouncing judgement down upon us. If made of stone, her sword and scales may be made of stone too, or if too fine, then as bronze accoutrements to the stone figure, as shown in the figures below.

Justice with accoutrements of stone, bronze or both.

The sword may be sheathed or drawn (Delivering Justice), and the scales may be held out (Balancing Justice), or simply grasped, or lying on the ground. A rare example with the sword replaced by a spear is on this page. Another attribute which may be seen is the book or, rarely, scroll of law. Justice may be clear sighted, or, more usually, wear a blindfold (Blind Justice). She often wears a helm or helmet, or may be cowled and with a heavy cloak, or sometimes wear a crown (Righteous Justice), as on the summit figure of Justice on the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey. She may wear armour or chain mail to give a particularly martial aspect. She may carry a shield (Justice Defending). She may stand upon or even uphold a sphere to represent the world. Justice is generally cloaked, and usually fully clothed, though semidraped (see the example on this page or even nude figures of Justice are possible.

Justice with chain mail, helm and drawn sword.

On those occasions where Justice is part of a group, she may be accompanied by some figure representing destitution or poverty or a helpless infant, thus in need of justice. This is the case in the Victoria Memorial group, see this page. On the Piccadilly page is a particularly fine Justice figure, accompanied by Foresight and Savings, on an insurance company building. In a last example below, in Fleet Street, dating from 1913, we see Justice accompanied by I think, Peace and Prosperity, with a cornucopia of money and fruits deriving from application of Justice.

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