Fortitude by Sandro Botticelli
In this painting, Botticelli has positioned Fortitude so close to the picture's edge that the toes of her left foot even protrude beyond the step to her throne, infringing upon the sphere of the observer. In this manner, Botticelli's figure escapes being dominated by the throne's architecture and the perspective construction, instead maintaining a direct presence that casts its spell over the observer. The robes of Fortitude have been depicted with such elegance, diversity and splendour.
Botticelli's training as a goldsmith is noticeable in the decorative ornamentation of the breastplate worn by Fortitudo. Botticelli has inserted decorative acanthus-like forms at the sides and along the upper end of the throne's semicircular border, in order that it should accord with the pointed arch form of the frame. With the exception of the military staff of office held loosely in her hands, Fortitudo is bereft of any attributes. Botticelli has nonetheless characterized her in a sublime manner in portraying the nature of fortitude. Through her bearing and posture, Fortitude radiates a calm strength and a self-assurance such as is characteristic of this Virtue alone.