Re: Dummett 2004: position of virtues and document of 1457

#11
On Phaeded's first three points:
1. Two trumps are missing, Tower and Devil, so there is no way to know by whose hand those were painted - a 14 card set of trumps is necessarily suspect .
2. The 14 trumps by the original painter represent a complete set of trumps that survived intact, even though no other Visconti/Sforza deck has, nor even the PMB’s pips and court cards? This strains credulity.
3. The Fool is an outlier, so there would have been 13 trumps plus that wild card; 13 is an unlikely number for the suit of trumps.
On point 1: we don't even know that there were Tower and Devil cards in the PMB. There is no indication of these cards anywhere before the "Steele Sermon" and the "Charles VI". We don't know when these were, but surely after 1460. If the first-artist PMB was before then, as seems likely, there is no indication that either the Tower or the Devil would have been among them. There is more likelihood of their being part of the second-artist cards, because they are in a style that predominated later, when there is indication of these cards; for the Devil, there are both the "Steele Sermon" and, perhaps by the 1490s, the Cary Sheet. But the Inquisition was much more intense in Lombardy than in Estense lands, so it is not clear that either were ever in the PMB.

On Point 2: One court card is missing from the PMB, and also one number card, so 2 out of 56. So there is good probability that one or two of the other cards are missing. But we don't know when they would have gone missing. If after the time of the 2nd artist cards, it might have been the Tower and/or the Devil. The clone decks' cards went missing after the time of the 2nd artist, so why not 2nd artist cards of the PMB itself? We really have no idea.

On Point 3: We don't know if the Fool was a wild card originally. The Fool was a card that appeared in German decks before the PMB. It seems to me it wasn't a wild card there, but maybe I'm wrong. We also don't know how many suit cards each suit had when the tarot originated. The deck realistically might not have had Queens then. I don't see anything wrong with 13, other than its not matching the number of suit cards in the PMB. That number didn't stop most regular decks from having 13 cards per suit.

The best argument against there being 14 special cards in the PMB remains the fact that the CY had 4 of the 7, and the PMB and other decks had 2 of the other 3 (Prudence is in only 1 early list, that of Alciati, replacing or renaming Temperance). But we don't know enough to dismiss the 14 special-card hypothesis, because of (1) the importance of Justice, among the three, (2) the reduction of the deck from 16 cards per regular suit to 14; and (3) the facts in Ferrara (the "14 figures", the 70 card decks, and the prices for tarocchi as calculated by Franco; to be sure, those might not be 14 special-card decks either). That the PMB had 14 special cards is not unreasonable. It may--my personal feeling--be less likely than other scenarios, but I can think of no way to calculate the odds for any of them.

Re: Dummett 2004: position of virtues and document of 1457

#12
mikeh wrote:What marks the Justice card of the PMB as derived from the Giotto in particular, given that it is a standard image used throughout the Middle Ages?
The trefoil arch.
Phaeded wrote: 6. Its hard to imagine the PMB Justice singled out by the designer as the single-most important Virtue when the Judgment trump shows God holding the sword in the same exact same attitude as Justice (the swords can be mapped over one another).
Mikeh: That is precisely one thing that marks Justice out as the most important virtue: it is the one that comes into play at the Last Judgment, which determines the future eternal life of all humanity. Probably for that reason, Justice was put as the second highest triumph in the order of Ferrara. Also, Justice is what guides Fortezza, so that it does not turn into destabilizing vengeance that only breeds more vengeance. Justice is what secures the peace, a stability that Francesco Sforza, as well as his friend Cosimo de' Medici, valued above all else and worked to secure in the Treaty of Lodi.
Prudece/World, not Justice, is the highest trump in Milan decks or in the CVI. And we are going over old ground again:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1062
The key excerpt from my post then:
Of the utmost relevance is Bruni’s elevation of Prudence to the highest virtue…. However we find Prudence with the circular world in Ferrara, where the Church Union Council met in 1438 before relocating to Florence, in a Giotto-inspired series of the Virtues which parallels Dante’s own use of the Virtues. Prudence-as-world in Palazzo Minerbi in Ferrara:
Image
. The issue of prudentia is at the heart of Bruni’s Life of Dante, contrasted with a Life of Petrarch in the same work: “Petrarch possessed to a supreme degree the prudentia that Dante so desperately lacked….” (Gary Ianziti, “From Praise to Prose: Leonardo Bruni's Lives of the Poets”, I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance, Vol. 10, 2005: 138; 127-148).
And per Bruni, it is Prudence that directs the other virtues, not Justice. Cosimo would have known of the 1440 tarot being made in Florence (in fact I’ve hazarded the guess that he paid for their creation to celebrate Anghiari). Ultimately my rationale couldn’t be more straightforward: Cosimo’s chancellor was Bruni. Bruni, the unimpeachable humanist in Florence, placed Prudence as the highest virtue. The conflation of Prudence with “World” (already precedented in Ferrara) is based on the date/place of the earliest reference to tarot: Florence 1440, where Bruni held sway. The diffusion of tarot would have been Florence->Ferrara->Milan (but given Bianca was a possible recipient of tarot in Ferrara, the timeline is somewhat blurred between those last two cities).
Phaeded wrote: 4. The full set of cardinal virtues is implied in the same city of Milan’s earlier Modrone deck. And I would argue the theologicals were not unique to the Modrone (“erased” in subsequent decks) but transformed into an antitype or cognates in the PMB: for antitype, Hope->hanged man; for cognates, Faith->“Papess” (really not a transformation, but rather Franciscan attributes added) and Charity->Pope (this latter identification is the most controversial but of the seven virtues, Charity is centered over the heads of both Sixtus IV and Innocent VIII on their tombs; see Allison Wright, The Pollaiuolo Brothers: The Arts of Florence and Rome, 2005: 379 and 405, respectively, for discussion of each pope’s tomb and the Papacy’s claims in general on the virtue of Charity).
Mikeh wrote: Milan was not in the same position as Florence with regard to the Pope's charity. Florence's bankers served the Pope', for which they received a generous commission (I am not totally sure how many firms were involved, but I would expect at least the Medici). However, the Pope had acted exceedingly uncharitably with both Milan under the Visconti (as an ally of Florence and Venice) and with Francesco Sforza in particular, given his excommunication for refusing to hand back territory to one pope that he had been given, for services rendered, by another.
Historical context is everything. Sforza was essentially at war with Pope Eugenius VI – but that pope died in 1447. The new pope was a friend of Filelfo’s –something Sforza banked on to repair relations; that same pope helped broker the Peace of Lodi. But we’ve gone over all of this before. Sforza would have been respectful of the new Pope, seeking his neutrality at the least, and was ultimately the head of a Catholic polity that would have looked to the pope for spiritual guidance.
Mikeh wrote: An alternative hypothesis for transformation is that of Hope into the Star….
That misplaced idea derives from later decks actually showing Magi (just one of many misinterpretations by later artists of the earliest tarot trumps). But in the words of the late Yogi Berra, deja vu all over again…. what I already discussed here: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=983&p=14562&hilit= ... ant#p14562
1. Compare Madonna del Parto paintings (the first example is by Nardo di Cione, c. 1350, in Florence, and the 2nd by Piero della Francesca, 1460, in Monterchi [not far from Anghiari BTW]) who has a hand on top of her pregnant belly – to the exact same spot/gesture as the PMB “Star”; thus one would rightly assume both are pregnant (or being impregnated in the case of “the Star”).
Image
Image
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2. The Magi appear at the manger 12 days after the birth (the Epiphany, also the date of Jesus’s later baptism) so this ‘pregnant gesture’ removes them from consideration in the PMB altogether, unless one can argue this impregnating star (the woman of the “star” is clearly not already pregnant - the belly is not full like the other two shown above - so she is being “impregnated”) is the same one that later led them to the manger. That, however, would then mean “the star” is an Annunciation that marks Jesus’s incarnation. But now consider the utter impossibility of anyone deviating from the well-worn Annunciation iconography where at least one or all three of these items are depicted: dove, the angel Gabriel, and/or a beam of light from God (usually combined with the dove). And immaculate Mary would never be shown without a halo. The PMB “star” has nothing to do with either Mary or the Magi.
3. So who is this woman with one hand on an impregnating belly and with the other reaching out to a “star”? See my comments above, but to restate it here with all ramifications: the “star” is Venus in an explicit astrological context – gesturing to her “star” - as related to her role of genetrix of the Visconti dynasty, inclusive of Bianca (a rather novel astral layer of meaning mapped on to what had previously mainly been a mythological meaning in the middle ages, as in the Besozzo illumination of 1403). Thus in the PMB the Visconti (and by implication, Sforza's offspring - his two kids already born by the first half of 1451, Galeazzo and Ippolita, may be indicated in the "World" card beneath the stars) are descended from the stars – referencing the scienza of astrology instead of just pagan mythology, which had been ridiculed often by the Church. - Phaeded[/quote]
Phaeded wrote:
• March 1455 Colleoni was officially awarded the baton of command to become Captain General of Venice and this is the absolute 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, nor any other fathomable purpose for the Lion of St. Mark within the PMB.
For that card perhaps (the King of Swords), but surely not for the six cards by the other artist.
I am perfectly fine with the reasonable hypothesis that those 6 are replacement cards and that they were part of the deck Malatesta was requesting a version of in 1452. Again, a 13+Fool trump deck or 19 trump deck (see below) make zero sense.
mikeh wrote:On Phaeded's first three points:
1. Two trumps are missing, Tower and Devil, so there is no way to know by whose hand those were painted - a 14 card set of trumps is necessarily suspect .
2. The 14 trumps by the original painter represent a complete set of trumps that survived intact, even though no other Visconti/Sforza deck has, nor even the PMB’s pips and court cards? This strains credulity.
3. The Fool is an outlier, so there would have been 13 trumps plus that wild card; 13 is an unlikely number for the suit of trumps.
On point 1: we don't even know that there were Tower and Devil cards in the PMB.
So the PMB was a 19 trump tarot? Please.
On Point 2: … We really have no idea.
Agreed.
On Point 3: ….. I don't see anything wrong with 13, other than its not matching the number of suit cards in the PMB. That number didn't stop most regular decks from having 13 cards per suit.
At least the idea 14 trumps are corroborated by the contemporary Ferrara documents; there are absolutely no documents for 13 (or 23 for the Modrone).

Finally, on the problem of sequence – why we find the “celestials” tacked on towards the end:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1063

Phaeded

Re: Dummett 2004: position of virtues and document of 1457

#13
hi,
I've not much opportunity to use internet in the moment.
1. Two trumps are missing, Tower and Devil, so there is no way to know by whose hand those were painted - a 14 card set of trumps is necessarily suspect .
Beside the 14 cards in PMB-1 we have 14 pictures in the Ferrarese document of 1-1-1441, 70 (= 5x14) cards in the Ferrarese document of 1457 and Franco Pratesi's analysis of the Bolognese document of 1477, which suggests a ratio of 5/4 between decks with trumps and decks without trumps. 5/4 suggests between other possible solutions also 70/56 as plausible.

So a 14 card set of trumps is NOT necessarily suspect, but indicated by given documents ... beside the 14 special cards in PMB-1.
2. The 14 trumps by the original painter represent a complete set of trumps that survived intact, even though no other Visconti/Sforza deck has, nor even the PMB’s pips and court cards? This strains credulity.
There are other complete old decks, Hofämterspiel, the Burgundy hunting deck, the 5x14 Master PW deck, the Sola-Busca Tarocchi, the 1496 woodcut deck for the Habsburg marriage, considering that there are a lot of possibilities (a 78 card would have 77, 76, 75 etc. till 1 as possibility for the case missing cards), how much cards might been missing, the case "complete deck" must be accepted as "relative high" and not "unusual". The comment "This strains credulity." is nonsense, sorry.
3. The Fool is an outlier, so there would have been 13 trumps plus that wild card; 13 is an unlikely number for the suit of trumps.
As Michael already said, we don't know, what state the Fool had in the earliest Trionfi deck.

The composition of the 14 cards in PMB-1 seems to suggest, that the Fool was connected to the Unter or Fante (11) and the card Judment to King(14) and the whole sequence did run from 1-14 (John of Rheinfelden numbered in his 4x15-deck the cards of each suit to 1-15).
We have for the same time (c 1450), that zero = "0" was still only rarely used (first zero at cards with Sola-Busca).

4. The full sett of cardinal virtues is implied in the same city of Milan’s earlier Modrone deck. [/quote]

The Michelino deck had 16 Greek gods, and the Cary-Yale hadn't Greek gods, though commissioned by the same man. The Cary-Yale plausibly had 5x16-cards and used plausibly 7 virtues, but no Greek gods. The PMB-1 had plausibly 5x14-cards, but only one card with virtue similarity, Justice. The presentation of this motif is unusual for a cardinal virtue, with a knight with drawn sword on horse in the background. It's simply possible, that it doesn't present the cardinal virtue, but just a personal interpretation of "Justice realized with the force of a knight for the duchessa Maria Bianca" (just as an example).
So no real need to assume, that the artist thought it necessary to think of cardinal virtues in the first version of the deck.
From Sola Busca and Boiardo Tarocchi (and others) we know, that a variation of the motifs might have been quite common.
From Pratesi's and Esch's researches we know, that a lot of individual productions took place, there's a lot of place for other curious productions with different content (from which we likely never will know anything about, but which were also part of the much more complex real process).
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Dummett 2004: position of virtues and document of 1457

#14
Phaeded wrote
Prudece/World, not Justice, is the highest trump in Milan decks or in the CVI. And we are going over old ground
I said that in Ferrara Justice was second highest trump. I said nothing about the World. It is an example of how important Justice was considered, higher than the other two virtues. In the PMB, as you yourself pointed out, there is a visual connection between the Judgment card and Justice, in that the fellow with the beard holds an upright sword in one hand and a globe, symbol of authority, in the other. Aside from that, the Last Judgment was sometimes represented by St. Michael with sword and scales (e.g. Memling, http://hoocher.com/Hans_Memling/Last_Ju ... 467_71.jpg). It may well be St. Michael who is the knight on the PMB Justice card. The Last Judgment is the Judgment of Divine Justice. In Florence and Bologna, and perhaps even Milan early on, this execution of Divine Justice was even higher than in Ferrara, the highest trump. My point was the special importance of Justice among the three virtues.

Phaeded wrote, about my questioning his identification of the Pope card with the virtue of Charity:
Historical context is everything. Sforza was essentially at war with Pope Eugenius VI – but that pope died in 1447. The new pope was a friend of Filelfo’s –something Sforza banked on to repair relations; that same pope helped broker the Peace of Lodi. But we’ve gone over all of this before. Sforza would have been respectful of the new Pope,
seeking his neutrality at the least, and was ultimately the head of a Catholic polity that would have looked to the pope for spiritual guidance.
I see nothing in the PMB Pope card--as opposed to the CY, for example--to suggest his charitableness. If someone wanted to flatter a pope for his charitableness, I could think of better ways than by means of the PMB Pope card, especially for a Pope who on his tomb lists the canonization of the card-burning Bernardino as one of his major accomplishments. What innovation is there on the PMB Pope card, as opposed to the CY, to suggest the virtue of charity?

Phaeded wrote, against my suggestion that the PMB Star card might replace the Hope card of the CY
But now consider the utter impossibility of anyone deviating from the well-worn Annunciation iconography where at least one or all three of these items are depicted: dove, the angel Gabriel, and/or a beam of light from God (usually combined with the dove). And immaculate Mary would never be shown without a halo. The PMB “star” has nothing to do with either Mary or the Magi.
I was not suggesting that the PMB Star card was a depiction of the Virgin. I just said that the Star-lady's gesture of looking upward to the Star, and reaching with her hand, was similar to that of the Hope-lady's similar gesture, and that a single star, or one brighter than the others, would bring to mind the Star of Bethlehem, as is represented explicitly in decks in other centers of the tarot. I can add to that, from you, the Star-lady's gesture over her belly with her other hand. Any unborn child is a symbol of hope, and one under a star doubly so. It is a resemblance, not an identification, to the Virgin. It is like calling someone a Judas: it is not to say that the person actually is some person who lived during the early days of the Roman Empire.

Phaeded wrote, in reply to my objection that the PMB might never have had a Devil or Tower:
So the PMB was a 19 trump tarot? Please.
I admit that 20 is allegorically preferable, as 2x10, and 10 was the cosmic number par excellence. 7 was also special, and so also 21. Well, we don't know if the Fool was a trump or not. If it was, then we have 20. If it wasn't, well, we have 20 special cards, card not in regular decks. Or perhaps it was only the Devil card that was never there. Also, we don't know what numerical factors were most relevant; perhaps allegory was not the principal thing. For a four-handed game, a 76 card deck has the advantage of coming out even, each player getting the same number of cards, just as for a 5x16 in the case of the CY. There doesn't have to be a discard of someone's weakest cards (the defective ones, on Depaulis's theory, the taroch/taraux).

Phaeded wrote, in reply to my objection that 13 trumps would go well with 13 cards per suit in regular decks:
At least the idea 14 trumps are corroborated by the contemporary Ferrara documents; there are absolutely no documents for 13 (or 23 for the Modrone).
Trumps were an addition to the regular decks; tarot decks were not an autonomous development. 13 cards per suit was absolutely standard for regular decks. I am suggesting that the principle governing the fifth suit might have been that it have the same number of cards as the other suits. That does not seem to me unreasonable; it is at least as reasonable as, and I think more straightforward than, Dummett's idea of maintaining the mathematical proportion 3:2 (for which the documentation is all in the wrong time period). There is one document for 13, that of Ferrara in 1422 (http://trionfi.com/playing-cards-ferrara-1422). Of course 13 special cards are just one possibility for that document, (added later: not a very likely one, admittedly, because if so,it is odd that there is then nothing else for 20 years, in a place where records seem to have survived from that period; but at least it is in the right time period, the 20 years or so before and 5 years or so after 1440). It is the same with 14: nothing but inferences. There are "14 figures", not "14 triumphs"; and a 70 card deck could just as well be 22 + 4x12. According to Franco 48 card decks were pretty common. It is all inference. I agree that the inferences are good for Ferrara being 5x14. But what that says about Milan is debatable. For me, it is an example of my principle. I also think that 5x16 is a good bet for the CY. So by inference, 5x13 is reasonable for the time we know nothing about, given that tarot decks are not autonomous (a generalization I don't think anyone challenges). When it comes to the number of trumps, and regular suits, in the "original" tarot we are pretty much in the dark. This is of course more "old ground".

I have my own ideas as to why the "celestials" were tacked on near the end. I do think they were tacked on. The CY makes total sense without those cards, or the Devil and the Tower, as 7 Petrarchan/Boccaccian Triumphs plus 7 virtues and an Emperor and Empress. For me the "celestials", and the Devil and Tower, are parts of a conventional cosmograph, with one modification (the placement of the Star) to allow for easy memorization by game players uninterested in allegory (which also probably explain, at least in part, why we see only the Moon and the Sun among the "planets"). However other scenarios, including yours, are consistent with the known facts.

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