Vividly drawn with looping lines in black chalk, and sinuously reworked with Tiepolo’s luminous technique in pen, ink and washes, this allegorical couple represents a classic in the artist’s iconographic repertory. Bathed by light and sustained on a cloud by two putti, the young naked allegory of Truth and the elderly Time are interlaced in a sensual embrace. The subject was intensively studied by the artist in a group of drawings acquired in 1937 by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (inv. nos. 37.165.19, 23, 31 and 42, J. Bean and W. Griswold, 18th Century Italian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1990, nos. 206-11, ill.) and in a sheet in The Morgan Library, New York (inv. IV, 101). A circular oil sketch for a ceiling decoration, formerly in Basel (collection of Baron von Hirsch) represents the closest comparison to our drawing: according to Antonio Morassi it was made in preparation for the ceiling of the Palazzo Barbarigo, Venice, and therefore dates to the early 1740s (A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings by G.B. Tiepolo, London 1962, no. 323, ill.). Despite the moralizing tone of the painted subject, in his drawing Tiepolo emphasized the figures’ sensuality, particularly explicit in the pose of Truth touching Time’s leg.