- Museum number
Fortitude; a young woman facing right, wearing a helmet and a breastplate in form of lion's heads and carrying a mace and a broken column, with a lion behind; inscribed at lower left: 'B', at lower centre: 'FORTEZA XXXVI' and at lower right: '36'; encircled by a frame of diamonds. c.1465
- Production date
- 1465 (circa)
Height: 179 millimetres
Width: 100 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The print belongs to the first version (called 'E series') of a group of fifty engravings traditionally known as the 'Tarocchi Cards of Mantegna' (for this set see the entry for Hind E.I.1a: P&D 1895-9-15-1). It is one of ten images in the fourth group of the set marked with the letter "B" and illustrates the 'Cosmic Principles' (or 'Genii and Virtues'). The first three images of this group, the so-called 'Genii', do not have artistic precedents and appear to be the invention of the author of the 'Tarocchi' series. They are followed by the seven Virtues who bear recognizable attributes and are traditionally divided into a group of four (the Cardinal Virtues of Temperance, Prudence, Fortitude, and Justice) and another of three (the Theological Virtues of Charity, Hope, and Faith).
The figure of Fortitude also recurs in regular tarots. The leonine decoration of the helmet and breastplate may allude to Hercules, while the broken column refers to the most famous of Samson's feats of strength.
Other impressions of the print are in Vienna; Paris; Boston; Bologna (Pinacoteca Nazionale); Florence (Galleria degli Uffizi), Florence (Biblioteca Nazionale); Chantilly; in the Chicago Art Institute; in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York); in the New York Public Library; in the Cleveland Museum of Art; Hamburg; in the Rothschild collection (Louvre, Paris); Naples (Museo di Capodimonte); in the Gabinetto Nazionale delle Stampe (Rome); Pavia (Raccolta Malaspina, Museo Civico); in the National Gallery of Art (Washington); and elsewhere.
See also Jay A. Levinson, Konrad Oberhuber, and Jacquelyn Sheehan, Early Italian Engravings from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1973, no. 49.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number