Title: The Ship of Fortune
Size: 4 1∕2˝ x 6 3∕4˝
This print was commissioned as an illustration for a book by Elias Herckmans, in which he describes the fate of the temple of Janus (1634). Seen here in the background, the temple was closed after the defeat of Mark Anthony, in the left foreground, at the battle of Actium which took place in 31 BC. To help identify the scene, Rembrandt places an enormous two–headed statue of Janus in front of the temple. Herckmans writes that maritime trade will flourish again in time of peace. Rembrandt has represented this concept by the little ship just getting underway. The naked Fortuna, goddess of both prosperity and ruin hoists the sail.
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