I’ve Just Seen a Face I Can’t Forget

I was browsing through Philadelphia crime reports and came across this image in the header of a press release issued by the city’s district attorney:

(Click to enlarge)

The contents of the press release are unimportant. What I’m interested in is the little face peering from between the breasts of Lady Justice.

Who is that creature, and why does he appear in such intimate propinquity with the bosom of the damsel of blind justice?

Is he an angel? A demon? Maybe a homunculus growing from his hostess’s breastbone?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Readers who have any idea of what we may be looking at here are invited to leave suggestions in the comments. Speculation is fine, but I’m hoping someone who is local to Philly may have a first-hand acquaintance with this statue, which is probably in the courthouse.

My greatest concern, of course, is that the little imp may be sexually harassing Lady Justice. We can’t have that, now, can we?

10 thoughts on “I’ve Just Seen a Face I Can’t Forget

  1. “Who is that creature, and why does he appear in such intimate propinquity with the bosom of the damsel of blind justice? Is he an angel? A demon? Maybe a homunculus growing from his hostess’s breastbone? Inquiring minds want to know.”

    Looks like the face of BLACK Lunatic Madness (BLM), which explains alot.

  2. the head of Gorgon Medusa, a terrifiing monster that turns everyone who looks at her into stone, is worn on the breastplates on classical statues for protection, mainly on the breastplate of the goddess Athena, but it was worn in the same manner by Alexander the Great and others…

    It’s just an usual “cassisist” statue made in “antiquity style” IMHO

  3. the face is that of an attorney, who has entered into the “Heart” of Justice, and it’s been just-is for the past 250 years.

  4. I could not find any reference online regarding that particular symbol. No other photographic examples, no descriptions.

  5. I am going to take a stab at speculation, since I have no primary source to consult. This depiction is rare, but not singularly unique. If you look closely you will discern that what you are seeing is a pendant hanging around the Lady’s neck. I am going to guess, and this is strictly a guess based on the totality of the symbology presented by Lady Justice, that this is a supposed image of Dike, or Dice, who was the Greek goddess of Justice.

    “Dike stands as a formidable foe against deception and falsehoods. She is the guardian of truth and integrity, ensuring that justice is administered fairly and without bias. Dike’s role involves protecting the rights of individuals and maintaining order within the judicial system.”

    Her most notable description was, “In the artistic depiction known as the ‘Cipselo Chest’, Dike is portrayed as a beautiful goddess. She is depicted with one hand dragging Adicia, the embodiment of wrongdoing, and in the other hand, she holds a staff to strike her.
    This imagery symbolizes Dike’s role as a righteous judge and enforcer of justice.”

    (As an aside most of these pendant images appear to have long flowing hair, not snakes, which would lend weight to the concept of a beautiful goddess.)

    Dike was the arch enemy of Injustice and, though among the most beautiful and seemingly delicate of Olympus’s inhabitants, she absolutely had the will and where-with-all to deal with injustice when she encountered it. Since the blindfold for Lady Justice came into vogue during the 16th Century perhaps some sculptors thought it necessary to signal, again through classical symbology, to miscreants that even though the Lady couldn’t see them they shouldn’t think she’s a chump. They’re still under the gaze of divine justice, which was also in Dike’s wheelhouse. Sort of a psycho-judicial ‘play stupid games; you will win stupid prizes’ type of threat. Remember her job description above. Her rules of “truth and integrity” would apply not just to those on trial, but to witnesses, lawyers, and judges as well.

    I know that using one source for quotes weakens my argument but it is the most clear, concise, and easy to understand that I have readily at hand.

    My second surmise, if permitted, would be the Archangel Raguel; but that would disrupt the Classical continuity of the art.

    Those are my thoughts on the subject, as humble and fumbling as they may be.

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