Anonymous: The wheel of fortune - the state and course of the world (1550 - 1560)
(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
An engraving by an anonymous Dutch artist. This print is an allegory regarding the society where everything revolves around money. On the wheel of fortune are 4 animals which represent symbolize human characteristics (two good and two bad), on the text scrolls the animals introduce themselves to the viewer:
- a dog (right): symbol of loyalty
- a lion (bottom): symbol of nobleness
- a monkey (left): symbol of avarice
- a fox (top): symbol of cunning
The wheel of fortune itself is driven by a donkey (= fairness). A wolf however (= envy) is blocking the entire mechanism with a stick. The center of the wheel of fortune is money purse from which money is falling. Engraving from 1550-1560.