A wonderful bronze study of a beautiful female representing the goddess Fortuna as she holds a cornucopia and a rudder. The bronze with wonderful rich brown patina and parcel gilding that accentuates parts of the sculpture. The figure is further raised on a half dome base surmounted with the wheel of fortune on which she stands. Signed Moreau-Vautier stamped with Collas Mechanique seal and inscribed F Barbedienne Fondeur
Fortuna is the Roman Goddess of Luck, Fate, and Fortune, as Her name implies. She was a very popular Goddess, and was worshipped under many epithets depending on the type of luck one wished to invoke or the circumstances in play. She had many temples in Rome itself, as well as having important cult-centers in Antium (the modern Anzio), a city on the west coast of Italy about 30 miles south of Rome, and Praeneste (modern Palestrina), about 20 miles south-east of Rome, both of which were cities of Latium, the land of the Latini tribes. Her many temples in Rome, and the various aspects of Her worship are a reflection of the manners in which She was honored: from personal Goddess, overseeing the fate of the individual mother, young man, or soldier, to a Goddess of the State, ensuring the fortune of the populace, the luck of the Emperor, or the glorious fate of the entire Roman Empire.
Fortuna was usually depicted holding in one hand a cornucopia, or a horn of plenty, from which all good things flowed in abundance, representing Her ability to bestow prosperity; in the other She generally has a ship’s rudder, to indicate that She is the one who controls how lives and fates are steered. She could also be shown enthroned, with the same attributes of rudder and cornucopia, but with a small wheel built into the chair, representing the cycles of fate and the ups and downs of fortune.