The Origin of Lady Justice

December 15th, 2010

Interesting piece from the New York Times, looking at Judith Resnik and Dennis Curts’s new book “Representing Justice”

As the Yale Law School professors Judith Resnik and Dennis Curtis show in an unusual new book just out,“Representing Justice” — an academic treatise on threats to the modern judiciary that doubles as an obsessive’s tour of Western art through the lens of the law — Lady Justice’sfamiliar blindfold did not become an accessory until well into the 17th century. And even then it was uncommon because of the profoundly negative connotations blindfolds carried for medieval and Renaissance audiences, who viewed them as emblems not of impartiality but of deception (hence the early use of the word hoodwink as a noun, meaning a blindfold or hood).