Nemesis was the Greek goddess of divine retribution, and Albrecht Dürer combined her identity here with Fortuna, the Roman goddess of victory or fortune, displayed as a winged figure on Roman coins. The implied movement of Nemesis' drapery and the clouds at her feet add to the charged energy of Dürer's depiction of the goddess balanced precariously on the sphere of uncertain fortune. She bears the cup of reward for the deserving and a bridle to restrain the headstrong. In her figure, Dürer sought to reconcile the classical rules for harmoniously balanced human proportions and the northern European Gothic preference for height, protruding abdomens and high waists.


  • Title: Nemesis (The Great Fortune)
  • Creator: Albrecht Dürer
  • Date Created: 1501 - 1502
  • Physical Dimensions: w227.08 x h330.2 in (Plate)
  • Type: Prints
  • Rights: Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust
  • Medium: Engraving, II/II
  • Culture: German

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