Cardinal Virtues

The Cardinal Virtues of Fortitude, Prudence and Temperance are represented as three women, and the Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity are represented as cherubs.

On the left, Fortitude wears a helmut, and keeps a lion and an oak branch by her side. The oak tree is featured prominently on the Della Rovere family crest, Pope Julius II's family. The cherub Charity shakes acorns from the oak branch.

In the center, Prudence, shown with two faces, looks in a mirror to see truth clearly, while behind her, the cherub Hope holds a flaming torch.

On the right, Temperance, holds reins in her hand, while the cherub Faith points at the sky.

 
 

header image: School of Athens, detail
Raphael, 1510

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