The Ship of Fortune, 1633

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Rembrandt occasionally received requests to illustrate books. This allegorical etching appeared in Elias Herckman's "Der Zee-Vaert Lof," a verse history of seafaring exploits that extended back to Noah and the Ark. The undulating baroque composition is a complex evocation of Augustus's defeat of Marc Antony. Weary of battle, the horse sinks to the ground. The event ushered in an era of peaceful maritime trade. Rembrandt gave himself a cameo role, using his own likeness for the image of Janus, the two-faced god whose temple was closed to mark the arrival of peace in Rome.

The Ship of Fortune
Artist Life
1606 - 1669
Accession Number
Signature in black ink verso, General de Montford (L. 1822); also black stamp verso, Montford (L. 1035).
Catalogue Raisonne
Hind 106 iii/iii; B.111; Mz.256 ii/iii; Holl. III ii/ii; B-B. 33-E ii/ii
Curator Approved

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