Platemark: 33.3 x 23 cm (13 1/8 x 9 1/16 in.)
Gift of Mrs. Ralph King 1943.178
Catalogue raisonné: Meder 72b
According to the Latin poem that inspired this engraving, Nemesis, the Greek goddess of retribution, had the “power to crush the arrogant minds and triumphs of men and to confound their too ambitious plans.” Ready to dispense judgment, Nemesis hovers formidably above the clouds that separate her from the insignificant town below. As in the poem, here Nemesis has her traditional attributes—a bridle for punishment and a goblet for reward—but Dürer conflated her with Fortuna, the goddess of fortune, who balances on a sphere to symbolize the unpredictable, topsy-turvy nature of fate.
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