05 December 2013

O fortuna !

Giovanni Boccaccio, Des cas des nobles hommes et femmes (French translation by Laurent de Premierfait), Paris ca. 1410.
Bibliothèque de Genève, Ms. fr. 190/2, fol. 30v
Is it a coincidence that Boccaccio's portrayal of Fortuna shows her with 13 arms?

Found at the Discarded Image/Discarding Images tumblr.


  1. The red undergarment must symbolize something. Any guesses other than the obvious?

  2. And stripes! Weren't stripes considered the devil's cloth?

  3. Yes, according to M. Pastoureau stripes, especially horizontal ones, were badges of shame or signs of being an outcast.
    To go further (I am guessing there) she is lifting her striped skirt to reveal royal purple and ermine spots on furs, possibly offering her kingly favors to someone she has not chosen wisely (blindfold).


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