Example 9: Allegorical painting

Work Record
Class [controlled]: • paintings  • European art
*Work Type >[link]:> • painting
*Title:> Allegory of Fortune  Title Type:> repository
*Creator Display:> Dosso Dossi (Italian, ca. 1486-1542)
*Role> [link]: painter  [link]: Dossi, Dosso
*Creation Date:> ca. 1530  [controlled]:Earliest:> 1525  • Latest:> 1535
*Subject >[links]:>  • allegory  • human figures • nudes  • prosperity  • transience  • luck  • misfortune  • cornucopia  • bubble  • Isabella d’Este (Italian noblewoman, 1473-1539)
Culture >[link]:> Italian
*Current Location> [link]:> J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles, California, USA)  • ID:> 89.PA.32
*Measurements:> 178 x 216.5 cm (70 x 85 1/4 inches)
[controlled]: Value:> 178 Unit:> cm Type:> height  |  • Value:> 216.5 Unit:> cm Type:> width
*Materials and Techniques:>  oil on canvas
Material >[links]:> • oil paint  • canvas  Technique> [links]: • painting
Description:> While the painting’s precise meaning remains a mystery, Dosso’s message seems to be that prosperity in life is transitory and dependent on luck. The nude woman represents Fortune, or Lady Luck. She holds a cornucopia, flaunting the bounty that she could bring, but sits on a bubble because her favors are often fleeting. The billowing drapery is a reminder that she is changeable like the wind. Her single shoe symbolizes her ability to bring not only fortune but also misfortune. The man on the left personifies chance. He looks over at Fortune and holds up a stack of lottery tickets, which he is about to place inside a golden urn, a timely reference to the civic lotteries that had just become popular in Italy. The tickets may also refer to the painting’s probable patron, Isabella d’Este, Marchioness of Mantua. One of her emblems was a bundle of lots, denoting her personal experience with fluctuating fortune.
Description Source> [link]:> J. Paul Getty Museum online. www.getty.edu Page:> accessed 15 October 2006

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