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Abundantia

Abundantia was a divine personification of abundance and prosperity in ancient Rome. One explanation of the origin of the cornucopia myth, as related by Ovid, is that while the river god Achelous, in the form of a bull, was fighting Hercules, one of his horns was ripped off. The horn was taken up by the Naiads, who filled it with fruit and flowers, transforming it into a "horn of plenty", and gave it into Abundantia's care.

This oil-on-panel painting of Abundantia by Peter Paul Rubens, dating from around 1630, was probably a study for a tapestry. On her lap, the buxom goddess holds a cornucopia, spilling out an abundance of fruits and flowers, symbolising the goodness of nature for mankind. Two putti gather up the fruit, while a purse under her foot represents more material treasures. The painting is now in the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo, Japan.

Painting credit: Peter Paul Rubens

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