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Beham, Hans Sebald (1500-1550)
Fortune and MisfortuneDate: 1541
Movement: Renaissance (Northern)
Location: Charlottesville, VA, USA
Notes: Influenced by the gleaming monumental precision and piety of Durer, Beham gives us two tiny giantesses, who sum up male ambivalence toward the Power of Women. In earthly affairs, all good and bad things come from Fortune. But in Beham we get Fortune, who seems to preside over only good things, and Misfortune, who seems to preside over disaster. These are women who are all-powerful. The attributes of fickleness and seductiveness are clear in Misfortune, who reigns over a melancholy, barren world, with a lobster symbolizing changeableness. Fortune is the queen of prosperity, with a lucky winner riding high on a wheel of fortune and a prosperous ship and city. The Renaissance bet on the good will of this Fortune.
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