Nemesis Attended by the Genii of Punishment and Reward, 1834
Plaster. 97,0 x 187,7 cm
Inventory number: A364
Works, relating to this work: Thorvaldsen, Nemesis Attended by the Genii of Punishment and Reward, marble version, memorial tempel to Julius (Giulio) Mylius in Villa Vigoni's garden, Loveno by Lake Como, ItalyEnlarge photo
Nemesis, here seen in her chariot, is in Greek mythology the goddess of justice, who punishes and rewards according to deserts. In this relief, her chariot is being drawn by two horses, one that is obedient, OBBEDIENTE, as it says on the harness, and one rearing, INOBBEDIENTE, and so being given a taste of the whip. Behind the chariot two genii or guardian angels can be seen. In keeping with the disobedient horse, we can see the genius of punishment, PENA (the Italian for punishment) as it says on the sword he is holding, and in line with the obedient horse we see the genius of reward: the word PREMIO is inscribed on the horn of plenty which he holds along with some laurel wreaths and a Mercury staff. The wheels of the chariot are also furnished with inscriptions: UBERTA (wealth), SVENTURA (misfortune), PENURIA (poverty) and VENTURA (fortune). In the background it is just possible to discern the signs of the Zodiac surmounted by the Scales.