Roman Bronze Fortuna

Roman Bronze Fortuna

An ancient Roman bronze statuette of Fortuna, the goddess of fortune. She stands draped with an abundant cornucopia in her left hand, a kalathos on her head, and the rudder of a ship in her right hand.

Ca. 1st - 2nd century AD.
Height: 9 1/2 in. (24 cm).

Fors Fortuna was an Italian goddess, the bringer of fertility and increase. In classical times her worship was overlaid with that of Minerva and Egyptian Isis, and linked to the Greek goddess Tyche, daughter of Zeus, who presided originally over all happenings, good and bad, but later was reverenced as Luck or Chance. Since Tyche was significant to risky undertakings like sailing, she was often depicted with a ship's rudder in her hand. While Tyche could signify good (secunda) or bad (adversa) chance, depending on the context, the Romans personified Fortuna as the goddess of luck, happy fate, and good fortune.

Formerly in the Boris Mussienko collection, Upper Marlboro, Maryland; William Froelich collection, New York, 1982.

Inv#: 6396


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