Fortune (1495) by Albrecht Durer

Fortune - Albrecht Durer - 1495

Artwork Information

ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Fortune

The artwork “Fortune” is an engraving created by Albrecht Dürer in 1495. It is associated with the Northern Renaissance art movement and is categorized as an allegorical painting, meaning it conveys a deeper symbolic message beyond its literal subject. The engraving is said to be in a private collection.

In this representation, the figure of Fortune is depicted standing on a sphere, which indicates the unstable and changing nature of luck and fortune. The sphere suggests the unpredictability of fate, as it can easily roll in any direction. The figure holds a staff with a flowering plant on top, possibly signifying growth and prosperity. However, the plant’s fragility may also imply the fleeting and delicate nature of good fortune.

The figure is posed with their back to the viewer, glancing sideways, and is depicted nude with flowing hair, which could symbolize openness to change or vulnerability to the whims of chance. The flow of the drapery and the elegance of the posture give the figure a dynamic and somewhat ethereal quality. The use of intricate lines and careful shading demonstrates Dürer’s mastery of the engraving medium, typical of his work during the Northern Renaissance. The monogram “AD” can be seen at the lower center of the engraving, which is the artist’s signature mark.

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