from the book Prosperism allegory of for
13th February, 2021

Allegory of Fortune
By Jonathan Bluestein

 

This is a painting by Dosso Dossi, from 1530CE. It is appropriately included in my book, 'Prosperism', in which I discuss benevolent and practical solutions to the problems of Capitalism. What is depicted in this painting? Here is my interpretation:

The painting is meant to show the folly of a meaningless pursuit of wealth. We see a gullible woman giving away her fortune to a cynical man. The woman is in a begging, inferior position, whilst the man literally has 'the upper hand', and is of superior footing. The woman desires the riches the man waves at her but keeps at a distance nonetheless. Yet she has the true riches - the Horn of Plenty, while he merely holds a fist full of papers ('cash'). The woman's horn of plenty holds actual substance, whilst the man has discarded his container, which is a shining bin full of nothing. The man sits atop a solid rock, whilst the woman risks herself by leaning against a fragile bubble (could have literally been a giant fart!). The woman's cloak is made of gold, which is precisely what makes it redundant as a piece of clothing (and the only thing it 'covers' is her anus). The man's blanket is dyed with blood, and while it could have been used to cover him, it is intentionally positioned in a manner which is inefficient, and touching the floor.