Re: Literary source for the trumps: Dante’s Paradiso

#11
Huck wrote: This was of March 16 in 1450 in Ferrara. The deck was unusually cheap for Ferrarese conditions.
Sforza had taken Milan end of February, the triumphal festivities in Milan were around March 25. Leonello was present in Milan at this occasion (I forgot, where I've seen this note). It seems likely, that these decks were meant as a present in Milan, Leonello hadn't shown interest in Trionfi decks long years, an accidental meeting of both events (triumphal festivity in Milan and card production) looks not probable.
+
You follow the above quote with ...
The idea of the classical gods of the Michelino deck is connected to Dante’s original scheme easily enough since certain of the Roman gods are also planetary deities. There is the Visconti fresco cycle of the planets in their zodiacal signs at their castle at Angera, tied to the narrative frescoes below of Ottone Visconti’s triumphal entry into Milan in 1280 – a clear precedent for Sforza’s own fabled entry in March of 1450 (My photo of Saturn over Ottone Visconti’s pardoning of Napo della Torre before he enters Milan
Well, the Michelino deck has NO SATURN, so a connection to the traditional astrological model is not given.
I'm not sure the Cremona-produced PMB would have had anything to do with a cheap deck produced in Ferrara, and I believe Ferrara would have still been using 5X14 decks (PMB coming out in late 1450 or 1451), as the 1457 record shows them still producing those decks at least until then.

You completely misunderstood my point about the Michelino deck - I never said the Michelino was astrological nor provided a specific protoype for the PMB; what I said: "The idea of the classical gods of the Michelino deck is connected to Dante’s original scheme easily enough since certain of the Roman gods are also planetary deities." The continuity between the decks is limited to the use of some set or classical gods, planetary in the case of the PMB.

Phaeded

Re: Literary source for the trumps: Dante’s Paradiso

#12
Phaeded wrote: I'm not sure the Cremona-produced PMB would have had anything to do with a cheap deck produced in Ferrara, and I believe Ferrara would have still been using 5X14 decks (PMB coming out in late 1450 or 1451 (A)), as the 1457 record (B) shows them still producing those decks at least until then.

You completely misunderstood my point about the Michelino deck - I never said the Michelino was astrological nor provided a specific protoype for the PMB; what I said: "The idea of the classical gods of the Michelino deck is connected to Dante’s original scheme easily enough since certain of the Roman gods are also planetary deities." The continuity between the decks is limited to the use of some set or classical gods, planetary in the case of the PMB.

Phaeded
(A) Maybe we have different information. The date of the Trionfi card production in Cremona depends on the letter exchanges between Malatesta, Bianca Maria and Francesco Sforza (otherwise we wouldn't know about it). Ross Caldwell found a letter from Sforza. Sforza wrote at October 28 in 1452.
http://trionfi.com/etx-sigismondo-pandolfo-malatesta
Pizzagalli wrote about the same action in a manner, that one has to assume, that she possibly knew another letter. She notes "November 1452".
In the general confusion about this date appear 1451 and 1452 as dates without clear references by various authors. To me you are the first, who claims "late 1450". To "late 1450" belong the both letters of Sforza demanding Trionfi decks in Lodi, but Trionfi decks don't arrive.
http://trionfi.com/0/e/06/
These letters don't contain the word Cremona. It likely has to be assumed, that the decks were expected from Milan.

(B) Franco Pratesi had recently (mid 2014) overcome the limit 1457 for the production of 5x14-decks. He analyzed the relative complex numbers of the Bolognese card production document of 1477 ...
http://naibi.net/A/323-BONOZZI-Z.pdf
... which is a mix of "normal decks with Trionfi cards" and "decks without Trionfi cards". Assuming, that in these decks each card had the same prize, he found the relation of 5 : 4 between both groups, a condition, which is best fulfilled under the condition 70 cards (with trumps) : 56 (without cards).

Image

(picture from the article)
see also: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=345&p=15168&hilit= ... ica#p15168

For the rest ... alright, if I misinterpreted the passage about the Michelino deck. The Latin names of the planets are in the time of Dante already more than 1000 years old. It's a little bit confusing, that the Michelino deck is addressed because the use of planets by Dante. Perhaps the connection between virtues and planets might be of a younger date in Christian context ...
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Literary source for the trumps: Dante’s Paradiso

#13
I hate to interrupt this exchange between Huck and Phaeded, but I am still trying to understand Phaeded's view. So I have a question that you probably answered in your post but which I can't find. Others might have the same trouble.

I was looking for a list that showed the composition of your Anghiari/CY trumps, Phaeded. All I found was your remark that it is "seven virtues and seven exemplars". There are 11 given, to which I know you added the Wheel of Fortune, with which I have no argument. Are the other two the Pope and the Popess? Are the three missing virtues somehow hidden in the trumpet-lady, the empress, and the emperor? If so, it seems strange that the others wouldn't be hidden at all. Then there is the question of what the "exemplars" are. Could you spell it out for me?

Then is there no connection between the proliferation of Trionfi paintings, on cassone and in manuscripts after 1440, and the Petrarch-Boccaccio seven "Trionfi" (six from the first, one more, Fortune, from the second)?

It seems so simple and logical to me that the CY is the seven virtues plus the seven triumphs, plus the Emperor and Empress. (So for me the missing cards of the CY are Wheel, Prudence, Justice, Temperance, and Time. Fame is the card with the trumpet-lady. For me, the Emperor can be explained as coming from the game of Emperors. The Empress is then part of Filippo's general feminization of the deck.)

I am not sure that the Pope would have felt complimented by being put on a playing card deck. These were the playthings of the devil, for a large part of the clergy, including preachers both Franciscan and Dominican. This argument does not hold for the CY, since Eugenius was a former enemy of Filippo's, for supporting Florence and Venice at Basel. However given that the Pope is neither a virtue nor a Petrarchan triumph, I don't see him on the CY.

One more thing. Phaeded wrote:
Another assumption is that the Anghiari inception of trumps did not deviate from the existing 14 card suits (Swords, Coins, Cups and Staves – the last shown variously as staffs or arrows) - 10 ordinal pip cards followed by a Page, Knight, Queen and King - of normal playing cards.
How do you know what the standard number of suit cards was at that time? I'd like a source for that. From what I've read, the standard number was 13, with no Queens.

Re: Literary source for the trumps: Dante’s Paradiso

#14
Huck wrote:
The date of the Trionfi card production in Cremona depends on the letter exchanges between Malatesta, Bianca Maria and Francesco Sforza
Malatesta knew of tarot being already being produced in Cremona and wants a deck - no need to date the start of tarot production to his request. "Late 1450" is just the earliest limit that I think is feasible.

Mike,
Honestly I've been so focused on the trumps that I didn't go back and fact-check the earliest 14 card suit (besides explaining the 16 CY suits as an outlier of course). I'd assumed 14 suits existed in France, of which the Visconti court would have known of via dynastic intermarriage (i.e., Valentina), an influence relfected in their primary motto (a bon droyt). If the 14 suits are not attested before tarot then it makes sense that the suits were expanded from 13 by one to match the 14 trumps so that a game of equal suits could be played. That would only put more of an emphasis on Dante and his use of the Macrobius/Ptolemaic planetary arrangment.

As for the 14 trump ur-tarot - its simply the 11 surviving CY trumps with the obvious completion of the Cardinals (Justice and Temperance) and the Wheel of Fortune which survives in the Brambilla (the only other surviving trump from the Brambilla was the Emperor, of which we already know of in the CY). Broken down into Dante's categories:

7 VIRTUES
Faith, Hope, Charity, Prudence, Fortitude, Justice, Temperance

7 EXEMPLARY THEMES (key Paradiso canto in corresponding planetary sphere)
Empress (III.109f), Emperor (VI.1.27f), Love (VIII.2f), Chariot (XII.106f), Wheel of Fortune (XVI.82f), Judgement (XVIII.91f), Death (XXI:4f)

So each Virtue is "paired" with a Exemplary theme in the sense that they are collocated in the same planetary sphere (the planets getting added in the PMB). You find Empress Constance with Faith in the Moon, Emperor Justinian with Hope in Mercury, Cupido (featured in the card itself) right off the bat in Charity in Venus, etc.(and although the number of people in the Love card varies from the CY/PMB to the Anghiari/CVI, Cupid remains the constant).

Keep in mind that although the planets were not depicted in the ur-tarot, per my theory, they would have necessarily been a factor on why which exemplary themes are with which virtues (so a theme could reflect the virtue or planet or even both; e.g., Judgement speaks of God's final Justice, an attribute associated with Jupiter as well, such as him judging humanity as unjust and erring and thus that god calling on the flood to destroy mankind, as recounted in Ovid.)

I should have posted this link at the onset - you can check all of the referenced Dante cantos easily on-line via Hollander/Princeton's webpage here:
http://etcweb.princeton.edu/dante/pdp/

Phaeded

Re: Literary source for the trumps: Dante’s Paradiso

#15
Phaeded wrote:
Huck wrote:
The date of the Trionfi card production in Cremona depends on the letter exchanges between Malatesta, Bianca Maria and Francesco Sforza
Malatesta knew of tarot being already being produced in Cremona and wants a deck - no need to date the start of tarot production to his request. "Late 1450" is just the earliest limit that I think is feasible.
Well, Sforza had trouble to get a deck in December 1450, but this might only refer to an unknown momentary practical problem. It doesn't exclude an own production with 100 security. But 1452 as the begin of the Cremona production can't be excluded either.



I don't understand Dante .... so let me ask the question:

(A) Is ...
I-III dedicated to the moon
IV-VI dedicated to Mercury etc.

(B) Or ...
II-IV dedicated to the moon etc.

(C) Or ...
III-V dedicated to the moon etc.
?

In case "(A)" The Wheel of Fortune causes a contradiction to the system (it should be in XIII-XV, but is in XVI). The other both would work.

Following your lead to XVI, 82 ff, I get ...
79 'All your concerns are mortal, even as are you,
80 but in some things that are more lasting
81 this lies hidden, because all lives are brief.
82 'And, as the turning of the lunar sphere covers
83 and endlessly uncovers the edges of the shore,
84 thus does fortune deal with Florence.
85 'Then it should not seem strange or marvelous to you
86 to hear me talk of noble Florentines,
87 whose fame is buried in the depth of time.
In this short passage alone I get 4 Tarocchi keywords. This makes me think, that a lot of different identifications might be possible with his text.
Well, I study German wiki to the theme ... this sorts (somehow) ...
Moon II-V
Mercury V-VII
Venus VIII-IX
Sun X-XIV
Mars XIV-XVIII
Jupiter XVIII-XX
Saturn XXI-XXII

Eight Sphere (The Fixed Stars: Faith, Hope, and Love) XXII-XXVII
Ninth Sphere (The Primum Mobile: The Angels) XXVII-XXIX
The Empyreum XXX-XXXIII
The lines between the planets seem to run not always on the chapter partitions and the planets take different lengths of text. Your system is confirmed so far.

The cut between Canto 22 and Canto 23 seems to be a true cut, at least. 22 from 33, that sounds as "similar to Sepher Yetzirah", though the "32" is now a "33".

Is there any search-engine-friendly full text version of the text, one, which doesn't part the 33 canti in single objects? Just to check the version for the use of typical Tarocchi words?
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Literary source for the trumps: Dante’s Paradiso

#16
There are several, take your pick: English, Italian, or both.

In English:
seven cantos at a time:
http://www.poetryintranslation.com/PITB ... ar1to7.htm

the whole thing on one page:
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/8799/8799-h/8799-h.htm

Canto by Canto:
http://www.online-literature.com/dante/paradiso/1/
http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/2311

In Italian, the whole thing on one page:
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1011/1011-h/1011-h.htm

Both English and Italian, canto by canto:
http://italian.about.com/library/anthol ... iso032.htm

Happy hunting.

Re: Literary source for the trumps: Dante’s Paradiso

#17
For what it's worth, Bandera finds innovations in Bonifacio Bembo's art similar to those in the PMB starting in 1455, continuing in 1458. This is based primarily on new work by the artist discovered in 2003. Also, in 1455 he was getting a lot of commissions elsewhere, and the number cards really do look different from the rest, as though someone else, i.e. Ambrogio, was helping, as Bandera suggests. She and Marco Tanzi, in the 2013 Brera exhibition catalog, therefore date the PMB first artist cards to c. 1455-1460. I don't suppose it makes much difference, 1450 or 1455. I myself like 1455 for other reasons, namely, it is when the Sforza children, especially Galeazzo Maria, would have been of an age to start playing the game, and we know that Galeazzo played cards, presumably trionfi, on his 1457 visit to Ferrara. His letters apparently do not note any differences in the game from that in Milan, but I don't see why they should.

As for the PMB second artist, Bandera reports that there is general consensus among art historians that they are from an "advanced" part of the century, specifically the 1480s. They do note Dummett's opinion. There is also unanimity, she reports, in attributing them to Cicognara, whose career is assumed to have started around 1480. I have not seen the literature, of which they give several citations. However it should be studied before building any program about the whole that requires an earlier date for specific details on the second artist cards. Phaeded, in Chicago you are in a unique position to do so. Bandera supposes that the cards were replacements rather than new subjects. I couldn't find her giving any supporting arguments but what she says about how they are integrated with the rest of the deck seems important:
...they were probably painted to integrate cards missing, lost or damaged with use, since both have the same relationship between figure and background and the same color choices as the rest of the deck...
So the person painting them would have had access to the cards or sketches of them. I notice that 1477 is when Bonifacio stops being heard from artistically, and he dies in May 1482. Ambrogio's last work is 1482, and he dies in 1486. There were other brothers, but perhaps they gave Cicognara the job. I have have no opinion myself. The style certainly does look like Cicognara's, from the one painting by him that I have seen. But after the Schifanoia project, which involved many artists and reflects that style, other artists could have learned it.

I have quoted, translated, and shown the pictures from Bandera on these topics at
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1058#p16209

Re: Literary source for the trumps: Dante’s Paradiso

#18
From Mike's translation of Andrea's article "Symbolic suits":

"Saint Bernardino in his famous sermon entitled Contra alearum ludos, contained in the "Quadragesimale de christiana religione" (ca. 1430-1450), declared that gambling had been invented by the devil with the aim of opposing the divine power, sending the gamblers' souls to Hell. The Saint connects the suits and figures of the cards to vices and terrible wickedness: “… denarii avarizia, baculi stultitiam, seu caninam saevitiam, calices, seu cuppae ebrietatem & gulam, enses odium & bella, Reges atque Reginae praevalentes in nequitiis supradictis; Milites etiam inferiores & superiores luxuriam, & sodomiam aperta fronte proclament” (12), which means: "coins to avarice, staves to foolishness and canine ferocity (aggressive cruelty); cups to drunkenness and gluttony that generate hate and war; the powerful figures of Kings and Queens to the above mentioned wickedness; even the superior soldiers (knights) and inferior (pages) cry aloud their lust and sodomy" ."

This shows the four standard Italian suits, and four court cards. The Latin version of the Sermon (XLII) was written around 1440, but this was a topos for him: he preached a similar sermon in Italian in Siena in 1425, which shows that the deck of cards he and his audience knew also had four court cards - "re, re de' ribaldi; reina, reina delle ribaldi; sopra sodomitto; sotto è lussuria."

This is also quoted in Andrea's article on Bernardino -
http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=227

Note that "sopra" and "sotto" should be understood as the same as the "milites inferiores & superiores" of the Latin sermon - that is, the Knight and Valet (like German Ober and Unter).

I posted on it here in 2013 -
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=975&hilit=manuscri ... =40#p14441

Note that Thierry wrote me to tell me he agrees that "sotto" and "sopra" mean the Knight and Valet.
Image

Re: Literary source for the trumps: Dante’s Paradiso

#19
Phaeded wrote ....
Mike,
Honestly I've been so focused on the trumps that I didn't go back and fact-check the earliest 14 card suit (besides explaining the 16 CY suits as an outlier of course). I'd assumed 14 suits existed in France, of which the Visconti court would have known of via dynastic intermarriage (i.e., Valentina), an influence relfected in their primary motto (a bon droyt).
I think, there's no older card deck variant in France with 14 cards for each suit known. In old German decks there are variations.

- Report of John of Rheinfelden knows variants, between them a 4x15 deck with professions for number cards (5 courts).
- Ambraser Jagdspiel, 4x14, all courts with horses, two of the Unter beside horses.
- Master P.W, 5x14 deck, Ober and Unter not on horses

Other old deck forms: 4x12, 4x13, 5x12
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Literary source for the trumps: Dante’s Paradiso

#20
Huck,
As far as online Dante resources you can’t beat the Princeton Dante Project: http://etcweb.princeton.edu/dante/pdp/

It gives you numbered lines in both Italian and English side by side as well as a supplemental help bar to the left, of which the most important is the commentary. Confused by an opaque reference in a certain line? Just click on the commentary bar and references to scholarship, often found only in obscure journals, elucidating the line in question appear – essentially Hollander’s notes, from his wife’s translation with his indispensable and dense annotations. Hollander cites from throughout all seven centuries of scholarship which astronomically dwarfs what has been written about tarot. Hollander’s work is regarded quite simply as seminal, even in Italy – e.g., in 2007 he was elected to the Consiglio Direttivo della Società Dantesca Italiana.

Mikeh,
I will certainly look into the Bembo publications you referenced although I don’t see specifics as to why there was a noticeable stylistic change in 1455, besides the earliest documentation of a connection to Sforza in that year (noted in Kaplan, Vol 2, 1986: 121; actually almost all of the Bembo works are gone over in some detail in this same volume, pp 120-137). The supposed 1455 “innovations” in Bembo looks like a mountain out of a mole hill to me, especially if the works are not signed, much less provenanced with any degree of certitude (and there are comparative problems between frescoes/paintings and miniatures – details fall away in the latter; e.g., the gaunt, bearded face of B. Bembo’s St. Alexis in the Brera looks like the Bagatto in the PMB, but so many of the lines in the former are missing in the latter that it is difficult to draw definitive conclusions).

Having said that, I’ll admit that the date of 1455 would make sense for a tarot deck in order to celebrate the 1454 Peace of Lodi, which in a sense recognized Sforza as the de facto ruler of Milan (but still without imperial recognition and so all of the arguments made by his chancery would still be in play until that happened). But there is a problem in proposing any date after the 1454 Peace of Lodi for the PMB – why is the King of Swords holding (ironically, IMO) the coat of arms of Venice on his shield and why is the Fortitude card likewise showing the symbol of Venice, arguably the lion of St. Mark (given the circumstances), prostrate before an impending blow from a conquering imperator? Neither would fit the hypothetical circumstances of the PMB issued to commemorate the peace between Milan and Venice. The King of Swords is especially a problem – why would Sforza be portrayed as Venice’s protector (i.e., the shield) when Colleoni held that position now (and Colleoni had been leaning in that direction for some time)?
“We find proofs in the Venetian archives that as early as October 12, 1453 the Council of Ten had offered Colleoni twenty-five golden ducats. Also in January of the preceding year they had made arrangements for restoring him to his ancient fiefs and for providing him with a fitting reception in Bergamo”(Oscar Browning, The Life of Bartolomeo Colleoni, 1891: 31-32)
On March 10th 1455 Colleoni officially was awarded the baton of command to become Captain General of Venice and this is necessarily the terminus ante quem for the PMB, as after that date there is no longer an intended target for the “irony” of Sforza holding the Venetian shield. That Venetian shield could have been earnestly wielded by Sforza during the brief period - about a year – from the Peace of Rivoltella 18 October 1448, in which Venice agreed to support Sforza in his conquest of Milan, until sometime after September 1449 when Venice said they were done supporting him and definitely by 24 December 1449 when Venice recalled her ambassadors from Sforza and reconfirmed its alliance with the Ambrosian Republic (King, 1994: 275). Sforza with a Venetian shield any time after 1449 cannot be taken literally as a military connection to Venice as he was a combatant against Venice until 1454 and otherwise never in their employ again as their condottiere after 1449. Hence the “irony” of the PMB King of Sword’s shield.

Ross,
Thanks for the St. Bernard reference on the number of suits at 14 (while I was looking at Kaplan last night I see he also cites Bernard’s reference to the queen but without explicitly linking that to 14 suits; sorry didn’t jot the page # down but in vol. 1).

I will try to get the individual posts about the PMB planet trumps done this weekend, as that is surely going to be the most controversial part of my theory.

Phaeded

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