Giorgio Ghisi

Allegorical figure holding a sphere

Allegorical figure holding a sphere by Giorgio Ghisi

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This figure, which also appears in Italian tarocchi (tarot) cards as Primo Mobile, has puzzled people for centuries. Although sometimes called Victory, or Fortune, the former is usually shown holding a palm or wreath, while the latter traditionally stands on a globe rather than holding it. Possibly derived from a similar figure in proximity to a scene of birth depicted by Giulio Romano at Palazzo del Te, in an allegorical sense it would imply that the newborn’s future is in the hands of Fortune. The print bears the mark of Giuseppe Storck (1766-1836), a German dealer who worked out of Milan. (A Connoisseur's Eye: Prints from the Tomory Collection, 2005)

Title
Allegorical figure holding a sphere
Artist/creator
Production date
circa 1565
Medium
engraving
Dimensions
243 x 136 mm
Inscription
'P M'. signed in plate LL 'GMF'. insc. verso LC brown ink 'G Storck a Milano 1202./In no. 12645.'. insc. verso pencil centre, 'La Victor'/Ghisi/60'.
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Peter Tomory Collection, purchased 2004
Accession no
2004/30/65
Copyright
Copyright Expired
Department
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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