Opportunity or Penitence

What will you choose?
Andrea Mantegna, a famous Italian artist of Renaissance period, has one not such a famous artwork "Occasio and Poenitentia" c.1500 ("Opportunity and Penitence").

Opportunity derives from mergining of the Greek god Kairos and the Roman goddess Fortuna. It is the personification of the concept of the "fleeting moment", the lucky coincidence that one must know how to exploit. Opportunity is usually presented as a maiden with her face covered by a thick shock of hair and the back of her head completely bald. She is balancing atop of a rolling sphere. It is very well depicted by Mantegna, but what is noteworthy is that what Opportunity is juxtopposed with.

Oksana Belousova
CEO & Founder of MY KINOROOM, Film Director
The nature of Opportunity is ambivalent. On the one hand, it is the lucky circumsctances that we should use, but on the other hand - it is the intervention into the course of events, stability and in some sense - humility of life.

Mantegna's artwork is mentioned in the book "Evolutionary Economic Geography: Location of production and the European Union" by Miroslav Jovanovic where the author describes this "fleeting moment" from the economic point of view:

"When Opportunity approaches you, you have (1) to recognise it and (2) grab it. When the Opportunity is gone, what remains is penitence

that now it's too late (as represented in the painting, the man with his hands streched out to Opportunity fleeting away). And there is also humility left (the woman who tries to calm down the man). Therefore, if you want to profit from rare and exceptional opportunities, you need to be endowed not only with good knowledge and foresight, but also with some good luck".

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