c. 1659, oil on canvas
Fortuna sits on a globe, with blonde hair billowing in the wind. From her long cornucopia, she pours forth the riches of the earth and varied symbols of wealth and power. These fall on a group of stolid animals, symbolic of all that is base and malicious. The meaning of the painting is very clear: fortune favors the unworthy and showers her gifts on those that least deserve them and cannot use them. Book and palette, symbols of Rosa’s gifts as painter and poet, are trampled by the pig. The painting was seen as a satire on papal patronage, and Rosa was forced to apologize.