Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Fortuna in a Niche

Artist:
Albrecht Dürer (German, Nuremberg 1471–1528 Nuremberg)
Date:
1498
Medium:
Pen and greenish brown ink
Dimensions:
12 13/16 x 4 11/16 in. (32.5 x 11.9 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.861
Not on view
This female nude, thought to represent an allegory of Fortune, seems to hover between the real and ideal. Although certain idiosyncrasies of the anatomy suggest its derivation from a life study, it could conceivably represent Durer’s efforts to create a perfect female body based on his perception of ideal proportions. The goddess Fortuna normally appears blindfolded and draped, at least with a thin veil. Durer has given his Fortuna a coquettish self-assurance, an unabashed gaze. The female as symbol of favor and misfortune becomes Fate personified.
Inscription: Inscribed at the bottom in the same ink as the drawing: 1498 / AD (monogram) in pen and brown ink. Verso, inscribed J (?) in graphite (19th century handwriting); at lower left, inscribed G. 342 in graphite (20th century handwriting).

Marking: Watermark: crown with cross and suspended triangle (similar to the one found in paer used in Nuremberg in 1493 (Piccard-Online,no. 51601).
Prince Heinrich (Henryk) Lubomirski (1777-1850), Przeworsk; moved to the "Lubomirski Museum," Ossolinski Nationalinstitut, Lviv, after 1868; confiscated by the German occupation forces on 2 July 1941 and removed to Germany; United States Army, 1945-48; Prince Georg Lubomirski; [Schaeffer Galleries, New York]. Acquired by Robert Lehman in 1952.
Stijn Alsteens, Freyda Spira, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Dürer and Beyond: Central European Drawings Before 1700 in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., New York and New Haven, 2012, pp. 17-19, no. 7.



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