“Justice Lifts the Nations”

Paul Robert painted Justice Lifts the Nations in 1905, in defiance of the trend of the times. The Swiss supreme court justices were suppressing the old Reformation view of law by the new modernism. Robert wanted to remind them that the place which the Reformation gave to the Bible provided a basis not only for morals but for law. The mural

is on the stairway in the old Supreme Court Building in Lausanne where the judges had to pass each time before going to try a case. Robert pictured many types of legal cases in the foreground and the judges in their black robes standing behind the judges’ bench. The problem is neatly posed: How shall the judges judge? On what basis shall they proceed so that their judgment will not be arbitrary? Above them Robert painted Justice standing unblindfolded, with her sword pointed not vertically upward but downward toward a book, and on the book is written The Law of God…. Down in the foreground of the large mural the artist depicts many sorts of litigation—the wife against the husband, the architect against the builder, and so on. How are the judges going to judge between them? ‘This is the way we judge in a Reformation country,’ says Paul Robert. He has portrayed Justice pointing with her sword to a book upon which are the words, ‘The Law of God.’ For Reformation man there was a basis for law. Modern man has not only thrown away Christian theology; he has thrown away the possibility of what our forefathers had as a basis for morality and law.” — Francis A. Schaeffer.