Transparency in the handling of public affairs constitutes an intrinsic legal, moral and political project, proving itself to be a requirement well ahead of actual laws and recent academic literature. Transparency as a concept engenders a particular fascination that often prevents any inquiry into its meaning or any examination of its content. Transparency established its legitimacy in Europe during the second half of the eighteenth century. It was at this particular point in time that it diverged from previous theories of the state, which were until then upheld by the idea of secrecy; both the birth of contemporary states and their development were underpinned by the practice of secrecy. The appeal that the notion of transparency held during the second half of the eighteenth century was founded on several representations, each of which reflects its different connotations.