Fortuna in a Niche, Albrecht Dürer (German, Nuremberg 1471–1528 Nuremberg), Pen and greenish brown ink

Fortuna in a Niche

Albrecht Dürer (German, Nuremberg 1471–1528 Nuremberg)
Pen and greenish brown ink
12 13/16 x 4 11/16 in. (32.5 x 11.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
Not on view
This female nude, thought to represent an allegory of Fortune, reflects Albrecht Dürer’s lifelong exploration of the ideal human form based on geometric principles. His study of human proportions—a central aspect of Renaissance culture—culminated in a treatise dedicated to the subject. The German master was introduced to the notion of the ideal proportions of beauty during his first trip to Venice in 1495, around the time he made this drawing. While the goddess Fortuna is usually depicted blindfolded and draped, here she has an unabashed gaze and an air of self-assurance.
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.