Aug 24, 2006

Forteza (from the Tarocchi, series B: Cosmic Principles & Virtues, #36)

Forteza (from the Tarocchi, series B: Cosmic Principles & Virtues, #36)

before 1467

Part of a set. See all set records

Master of the E-Series Tarocchi

(Italian, 15th century)

Engraving, hand-colored with gold

Dudley P. Allen Fund 1924.432.36

Catalogue raisonné: Hind E.I. 36a



This engraving is part of the group marked with the letter “B,” and named Cosmic Principles and the Virtues, which comprises the three Universal principles (Light, Time, and Space) alongside the three theological virtues (Faith, Hope, and Charity) and the four cardinal ones (Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude, and Justice). The latter were regarded as the basic Christian principles required for a virtuous life.

Here, Forteza (Fortitude) is represented as a full-length female figure in profile, wearing a lion’s skin on her head and a lion armor. She holds a broken column with her left hand. This gesture alludes to the biblical figure of Samson, who toppled a building, killed his captors, and ultimately himself. Fortitude as a personification of strength is flanked by a lion, her symbol that appears behind her.

See also
PR - Engraving
Type of artwork: 
Credit line: 
Dudley P. Allen Fund

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