Re: New Pratesi note on the Cary-Yale

#31
Mike H.,
As a long-time subscriber of the Prudence-"World" conflation theory, I thought I'd offer that by c. 1470 (minchiate's inception date) that an entire generation of card-players had come to understand Prudence as "world." Thus when Prudence was added with her canonical attributes, the "world" was kept as well in minchiate.

There has been a growing a consensus that the CVI is Florentine, and thus that is the closest we get in time to a Florentine ur-tarot. Certain CVI-minchiate comparisons seem to bear out that the CVI is indeed Florentine:

CVI hanged man and an Etruia and Leone minchiate hanged man (the bags in each hand are unique to the CVI in hand-painted tarot decks):
Image
Image


CVI Death and minchiate (the sickle blade across the top is very close)
Image
Image


CVI World-as-Virtue, minchiate Prudence, Minchiate theological and CVI "standard" virtue (Justice):
Image
Image
Image
Image


Naturally the "World" loses its Virtue halo when Prudence gets added back in as a Virtue proper, but why was "World" ever given a Virtue halo in Florence...if in fact they didn't know precisely what it was (the Virtue elevated to the highest position, director of worldly affairs)? And Prudence-proper's high placement in minchiate reflects its high placement as Prudence-World in tarot.

Phaeded

Re: New Pratesi note on the Cary-Yale

#32
I need to point out that I made a rather large translation error in translating one clause of section 9 of Franco's essay. I somehow got "even absurd" when it should have been "yet not absurd", the opposite of what he meant. I have highlighted it in bold. Franco caught it and gave me the correct reading. That's what happens sometimes when you use Google Translate. You have to identify all the problematic readings, without making it worse.

Phaeded: In this thread Pratesi is exploring the possibility of a proto-minchiate with Prudence as 12th of 16, and so preceding the Charles VI with its World as 2nd to the end. I am accepting that assumption, for the sake of exploration.

I totally agree that the Charles VI is Florentine. I even think it is a tarot rather than a minchiate. I can't say when it was done, but 1460-1470 will do. I hope to get to the Charles VI in this thread. I see no reason why Prudence couldn't have moved to 2nd to the end. On the other hand, the card we call "World" might also have been Fame. Someone who wins Fame is master of his or her world. I don't know if Fame would get an octagonal halo or not. Fame is second to the end in Pratesi's model (third from the end in mine, but I don't see that as a problem). In Amorosa Visione Fame, as I recall, is described as having a circle in back of her with hills, seas and villas. In the Charles VI World card, there is a circle with hills and villas (fortified ones), but it is below her instead of behind. The hills and villas--real castles, there--are also below Fame in the CY. So the circle got moved. In the birthtray of Lorenzo, the hills and villas are behind her, but she is standing on a globe. Other triumphs of fame simply have a bare circle behind her. The imagery of this card is of considerable interest to me, but at the moment I am somewhere else, before 1440, rethinking Franco.

Re: New Pratesi note on the Cary-Yale

#33
Mike,
A more exhaustive reply (beyond the CVI above) to Pratesi - on the historical context of Marziano, an earlier tarot dating in Florence, the evidence in Ferrara, and the penultimate problem of the Virtues.

The Marziano deck and the CY. Placing the itinerant Marziano in Florence, where there is nary a word about trionfi before 1440 (more on that below), is hardly enough to even begin a tentative theory. Yet Pratesi uses Marziano (along with the even weaker claim of chess) as the basis for positing 16 trumps in the CY: “Having admitted that the CY triumphal cards were originally 16, the same as those of the MZ [Marziano], it is easy to assume that the gods or deified heroes are transformed into other triumphant characters.” Yet F. Visconti commissions that deck and it is never heard of again, not until the death of that duke with Decembrio’s vita and the discovery of Marziano’s text and deck during the Sforza siege of Milan in 1449 (that was acquired by Marcello). The absence of contemporary pre-1440 commentary can allow one to easily assume this was a private passion of Visconti that did not spread to the rest of N. Italy (my own musings previously posted here were based on "Pratesi’s proposed dating [of 1418] and the earliest that Marziano was in Visconti's court; Michelino also was not in Milan until 1417). Per Biglia, the affair between Visconti and Agnes also began in 1418 http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/agn ... ografico)/. Given that coincidence, is it far-fetched to see the Marziano deck as a wooing gift to his lover at the onset of the love affair?” viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1029&p=15291&hilit ... ino#p15291 ). That the Marziano deck could have had some impact on the genesis of the PMB’s creation in the Sforza court is beyond reasonable, but to see its influence on the CY is completely unfounded. Moreover, the centrality of the seven Virtues is absent in Marziano - on the contrary, he refers to his game, based on Graeco-Roman Gods/heroes/myths, as an invention that is a "recreation from the weariness of virtue in some kind of game." Frankly Marziano seems inspired by the then recent rediscovery of Manilius (by Poggio in 1417) who uniquely placed the 12 Olympians over the zodiac.

Florence and an earlier dating than 1440.. There was massive chronicling of events in Florence in the decade leading up to Giusti’s first ever mentioning of trionfi: the Florentine Catasto of 1427, the Luccan War (1429-1433) that essentially bankrupt Florence, the exile and recall of Cosimo Medici (1433-34), the Papal consecration of S. Maria del Fiore after Brunelleschi’s herculean achievement of completing the dome (1436) and the Church Council (1439) in which not only the leading lights of Western Christendom were present in Florence but those of the Orthodox faith as well. Despite the innumerable official and unofficial reports (mercantile ledgers and zibaldone) emanating within and from Florence during this intense time period there was not a single reference to trionfi; yet there is an ever-escalating number of historical records for trionfi in the decade following 1440/Anghiari and beyond (Huck’s 2013 chart below can no doubt be augmented with Pratei’s additional findings):
Image

Any such chart will show a natural expansion - a forward, ever-expanding ripple of evidence from an ur-event in 1440. I confess I don't understand the compulsion to push back the dating of trionfi, but the ample Florentine record has not validated that endeavor. I understand the objections that a worthy Pratesi is not present in other Italian cities (save for perhaps Bologna) performing that level of research, but Florence has been explored moreso than elsewhere, again, thanks to Pratesi to whom we aficionados of tarot’s origins are all in debt. Having said that, nothing precludes this scenario: Giusti, a Medici partisan, knows of something new called "trionfi" being produced in Florence (for the first time ever) and orders a deck for Malatesta, who had momentarily dropped out of the Papal-Florentine alliance.

Ferrara’s role?. Pratesi wonders where this piece of the puzzle falls and yet maddeningly does not mention the much-discussed images painted for Bianca on New Year’s Day 1441 nor the 70 card deck of 1457. Of course these are inconvenient references for a proposed 16 trump deck, but both deserve to be reconsidered once again here:
*** 1/1/1441 gift of painted images to Bianca Visconti: "And on the said day (1 January) two lire, five soldi marchesane, reckoned to Maestro Jacopo de Sagramoro, painter, for 14 figures [figure] painted on cotton paper and sent to Lady Bianca of Milan, to make festive the celebration of the Circumcision of the present year ... L. II. V" (Ross Caldwell translation). This reference is too easily dismissed on the basis that ‘trionfi’ is not mentioned, but if trionfi had only existed for less than half a year following Anghiari, as I assume (and the historical record allows), then the name ‘trionfi’ would hardly be common currency outside of Florence yet. Moreover, Ferrara did not share in the victory of Anghiari (in fact her ruler was embarrassed in that larger campaign allied against Florence) and thus ‘trionfi’ would not be fitting for Ferrara at all events…and certainly not in the guise of a "re-purposed" holiday gift (versus a species of triumphal pomp following a major battle) to a visiting future duchess, a political pawn in the stratagems of her father, whose potential betrothal to a d’Este prince was at stake. If trionfi were making it as far as Rimini by September, there is no reason Ferrara would not know of them as well, at least through her merchants, but, again, there is no reason for them to call the novel series of images ‘trionfi’, not as a gift to a future duchess. Whether the 14 figures were a didactic/meditative gift or to be joined to a normal set of playing cards (which could have determined the dimensions of the paper), we can only speculate. But if the 14 “figures” were not the newly conceived trumps, what were they? No known series of 14 subjects readily suggests itself with which a young noble lady might “make festive.”
*** 70 card deck of 1457. The simplest solution here is to assume Ferrara did indeed adopt 14 trump trionfi from Florence and continued playing it at least until this date. This also bolsters the proposal that the PMB was an innovation – expanding from 14 to 22 trumps – but that its arrival c. 1452 did not immediately knock out the original format. That came over time and the proliferation of the Milanese deck of which we have several fragments; the influence of the powerful and centrally placed Duchy of Milan simply made its variation the standard one.

The problem of Florence, Minchiate/Tarot and the Virtues.. If Florence created the ur-tarot, it had no allegiance to the 1452 Milanese innovation, certainly not after the most influential men of that alliance had both died (Cosimo de’Medici in 1464 and F. Sforza in 1466); taking pride in their own civic genius, it is not surprising that their own new expansive variant – minchiate - emerges shortly thereafter, by 1477 at the latest.

My own theory is that the Florentine ur-tarot contained the seven virtues (and matching exemplars as found in Dante’s Paradiso) - has been emboldened by Pratesi’s own explorations of the genetic links between tarot and minchiate, his premise being both shared the seven virtues: “By an inverse reconstruction I mean that there obtains in the CY a situation preceding the canonical form of the tarot and that, correspondingly, the three theological virtues were already present in this experimental and pioneering form.” A little later: “How did that CY, which looks like it was invented in the Visconti court, not leave traces in Milan, but leave them some time later in Florence? As if only in Florence had survived an experiment that in Milan would be born only to die very quickly after its birth.” And still later: “Any reconstruction of the type [genere] ends in leaving us perplexed. Let us try once more to see the situation in reverse: is it possible that a primitive minchiate pack already in use in Florence has generated the Milanese CY? By primitive minchiate pack I mean here the pack of Florentine triumphs purchased by Giusto Giusti in 1440 5, which will be indicated from now on with the initials GG.”

As I’ve already suggested above, it is more likely minchiate emerges after a Milanese innovation (the PMB in c. 1452). I would also suggest Pratesi would not propose a minchiate game of so few trumps (14, still in play until at least 1457), so the model of diffusion would look something like this: Florentine ur-tarot of 70 cards (GG, 1440)->Ferrara (1/1441)/Milan(10/1441) [thus to both in rapid succession] ->PMB expansion to 22 trumps (c.1452)->Florentine minchiate (before 1477).

In this view the Virtues are of paramount importance since the other 7 cards are matching exempli. But which version of the Virtues did Florence employ for the “ur-Tarot”? By "version" what I mean is which Virtue did Florence consider the highest virtue? Pratesi offers the virtues on the bronze doors of the Baptistery as an example and then this reference: “….how they are defined under the title, In summary, in a catechism of 790…. if necessary, you should resort to the doctrine of the time, it will not be easy to find in a form similar ‘official’. But certainly more politically charged than the Baptistery doors were the late 14th century additions of the Virtues to the Loggia dei Lanzi by Agnolo Gaddi where public proclamations were made. One usually just notices the four cardinal virtues looking out over the piazza, but facing the Palazzo della Signoria (‘Vecchio’ today), were the three Theological Virtues, with Charity elevated above the cornice (below which are set all of the other 6 virtues) and placed in a special covered niche: http://www.piazza-signoria.com/images/l ... loggia.jpg. Clearly Charity is the highest virtue, literally facing the seat of government with that directive: ‘be charitiable to your people.’ But a rival to Charity is the official Church position, not clear in any catechism, is Thomas Aquinas' elevation of Justice to the supreme virtue (Summa Theologiae, I-II, Questions 66, Article 4) and is championed in the frescoes of S. Maria Novella’s "Spanish Chapel." But neither Charity nor Justice were to be championed at the time of Anghiari as the civic virtue. And here, more so than anywhere else, I insist on historical context, narrowly that of Florence c. 1440….as there was in fact an “official” form of the Virtues as endorsed by the Florentine chancellor and that city’s greatest humanist: Leonardo Bruni.

Bruni’s re-evaluation of the Virtues with Prudence as the most relevant and important is found repeatedly in his writings: early on in his panegyric jousting with the likes of Decembrio over the relative merits of Florence versus Milan, where Bruni praises the prudence of the Florentine citizenry in his Laudatio florentine Urbis ((1404), his Novus Cicero (1413) where he reverses Petrarch’s ideal of that Roman Republican as a contemplative in favor of the active life embodied in Cicero’s prudence as a statesman, to his Isagogicon moralis disciplinae (Introduction to Moral Philosophy, 1424-26) where we read “none of the moral virtues can exist without prudence” (28), the Vite di Dante e del Petrarca (1436) where Dante – otherwise held up as the paragon citizen - is censored for his imprudence, but perhaps most fully fleshed out in his universally acclaimed “History of the Florentine Peoples” (completed 1442). Of this last, I’ll quote from the greatest living scholar and translator of Bruni at length: “…[Bruni’s] explanations of Florentine success and failure both motivate and derive from the narrative. Prudence and imprudence are shown in action (3.58-59)”….”Outcomes are the judge of prudence. To be sure, Bruni does not dissent from the basic assumption of ancient ethics, that practice of the virtues is the key to happiness, both private and public. But his understanding of political happiness as consisting in the wealth, strength and imperialistic success of one’s native city imports a Roman note alien to ancient Greek political theory”…. “It issues in a strikingly different, proto-Machiavellian analysis of political virtue. For Bruni, virtue is already trending towards virtu.https://www.academia.edu/12071959/A_Mir ... ine_People (originally published as James Hankins, “Teaching Civil Prudence in Leonardo Bruni’s History of the Florentine People.” In Ebbersmeyer S., Kessler E., Ethik – Wissenschaft oder Lebenskunst? Modelle de Normenbegründung von der Antike bis zur Frühen Neuzeit. Berlin: Lit Verlag; 2007. p. 143-157). Florence was so receptive of his elevation of Prudence and related lessons, that when her humanist chancellor died in 1444, she built a monumental marble tomb within a triumphal arch for Bruni; on his sculpted body lying in state, crowned with laurel, is his History in his hands.

But before Bruni died he added a supplemental Memoirs to his ‘History of Florentine People’ as a means to update events at the end of his life. He ends his Memoirs by proudly proclaiming the apex of his career was not just the chancellor but one of the Ten of War during the culminating event of the victory at Anghiari from which he envisioned a lasting peace that he helped create:
Thus after turbulent times when I was chosen [as a member of the Dieci/Ten of War], a prosperous and joyful period finally emerged and the city was raised to great glory” (Leonardo Bruni, The History of Florentine People, Vol 3, Books IX-XII / Memoirs, Ed. And tr. James Hankins with D. Bradley, 2007: 397)
I of course see Bruni’s elevation of Prudence as “the World” trump (it “directs the other virtues”, per Bruni, and thus the entire sequence of trumps); accordingly only two of the virtues are missing from the CY (and I argue the Milanese CY “world” variant was tailored to fit that historical context – a condotte by means of marriage).

In tarot, the World is usually a female virtue personification (the CVI, again, even has the octagonal “halo” of a Virtue) or spiritello/genius over a circular representation holding an urban or countryside vignette within; one finds competing virtues juxtaposed with such “worldly” landscapes, especially Justice (see, for example, Siena’s Palazzo Pubblico and Taddeo di Bartolo’s 1414 fresco there: http://www.wga.hu/art/t/taddeo/allegory.jpg), but one need not look far for Florentine exposure to a Prudence with the world right before Anghiari – the Palazzo Minerbi fresco in Ferrara, which the participants of the 1438 Council could have easily seen before transferring their deliberations to Florence in 1439:
Image

Instead of a humanist chancellor’s new vision of the Virtues, who had as profound an impact on Florentine society as Cosimo, for the ur-tarot we are to look instead to a Milanese deck – the Marziano - when Milan was still ruled by the hated Visconti, the very enemy at Anghiari? But as I’ve already stated, there is not a single record that suggests anyone even knew of the Marziano’s deck’s existence until Filippo Visconti died.

Phaeded

PS I’ve been too long-winded here, but my previous post on the replacement of the Theological Virtues: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1062&p=16260&hilit ... ues#p16260

Re: New Pratesi note on the Cary-Yale

#34
mjhurst wrote:Hi, Huck,
Your "game structure" theories are as enlightening as the 1001 other numerological theories about the design of Tarot, including the writings of Levi, Papus, Wirth, and Crowley.
My used structure arguments you can read at John von Rheinfelden's text, as already said. That's fact, not theory.
The actual "structure" of most early Tarot decks was 4x14+22.
That says your pet theory about the facts, this is not fact. There are meanwhile enough other persons with other theories about the same facts.
(Or, 4x14+21+1, if the Fool is to be treated separately.) This is far closer to 4x16+25 than any of your preferred theories.
A theory about the CY should be close to the facts of CY, not necessarily close to a final result of the Trionfi card development. Especially, if the first known sure appearance of this game structure appears roughly 50 years later than CY.
By the way, the actual design I would suggest for Cary-Yale, based on Dummett (1980), is 4x16+26, for a 90-card deck. It seems most plausible that, in addition to Faith, Hope, and Charity, Prudence was also added to fill out the most common set of the virtues. Dummett noted (page 78) that by leaving out Prudence the deck would have the same ratio of trumps to suit cards as in standard decks. That is, 24/16 = 21/14. Neither he nor you offer any reason why such naive numerological considerations would be paramount, but that was his suggestion. As usual with such suggestions, he did not strongly support it but presented it as possible.
Well, that's a new idea from your side. Let's see, how much persons think, that this is a good idea. And it's okay, that Dummett had presented his own suggestions as a possibility, which should common between good researchers. I also don't mind the possibility, that decks with 4x14+22 structure might have been very early, but we simply have no evidence for it. Instead we have some evidence (occasionally weak, but we must take, what we get) for other different game structures. This reduces the probability for early decks with 4x14+22 structure considerably.
What we know from the larger history of Tarot is that the trump/suit ratio was NOT fixed, but instead varied repeatedly. It appears to have increased over time, sometimes with the addition of trumps (Minchiate) but usually with the omission of suit cards. So there is no justification for the assumption of a fixed ratio, or any other such arbitrary numerological argument. Nothing in the game requires or even favors such constraints, whereas the presence of recognizable iconographic groupings (such as the matching male-female court cards, or the complete set of virtues) is an immediately apparent benefit in the manner suggested by Brother John.
Nice, that we get this view a little bit reduced. I personally thought, that it was not a very valid argument. Doppelkopf has more than 50% trumps and players like it.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: New Pratesi note on the Cary-Yale

#35
hi phaeded,

somehow a nice summary, though we personally might differ in details.
Phaeded wrote:Mike,
A more exhaustive reply (beyond the CVI above) to Pratesi - on the historical context of Marziano, an earlier tarot dating in Florence, the evidence in Ferrara, and the penultimate problem of the Virtues.

The Marziano deck and the CY. Placing the itinerant Marziano in Florence, where there is nary a word about trionfi before 1440 (more on that below), is hardly enough to even begin a tentative theory. Yet Pratesi uses Marziano (along with the even weaker claim of chess) as the basis for positing 16 trumps in the CY: “Having admitted that the CY triumphal cards were originally 16, the same as those of the MZ [Marziano], it is easy to assume that the gods or deified heroes are transformed into other triumphant characters.” Yet F. Visconti commissions that deck and it is never heard of again, not until the death of that duke with Decembrio’s vita and the discovery of Marziano’s text and deck during the Sforza siege of Milan in 1449 (that was acquired by Marcello). The absence of contemporary pre-1440 commentary can allow one to easily assume this was a private passion of Visconti that did not spread to the rest of N. Italy (my own musings previously posted here were based on "Pratesi’s proposed dating [of 1418] and the earliest that Marziano was in Visconti's court; Michelino also was not in Milan until 1417). Per Biglia, the affair between Visconti and Agnes also began in 1418 http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/agn ... ografico)/. Given that coincidence, is it far-fetched to see the Marziano deck as a wooing gift to his lover at the onset of the love affair?”
Somehow there are also well arguments for 1424, but, of course, also 1418 is a possibility.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1029&p=15291&hilit ... ino#p15291 ). That the Marziano deck could have had some impact on the genesis of the PMB’s creation in the Sforza court is beyond reasonable, but to see its influence on the CY is completely unfounded.
Well, it's the first deck of Filippo Maria, that we know of (at least it testifies "personal interest in card production") and it deals with "16 trump cards" and one might suspect for the Cary-Yale also "16 trump cards".
Moreover, the centrality of the seven Virtues is absent in Marziano - on the contrary, he refers to his game, based on Graeco-Roman Gods/heroes/myths, as an invention that is a "recreation from the weariness of virtue in some kind of game." Frankly Marziano seems inspired by the then recent rediscovery of Manilius (by Poggio in 1417) who uniquely placed the 12 Olympians over the zodiac.
Right, the import of knowledge about the Manilius system surely had influenced the Milanese astrologers (to which also Martiano da Tortona belonged).
Florence and an earlier dating than 1440.. There was massive chronicling of events in Florence in the decade leading up to Giusti’s first ever mentioning of trionfi: the Florentine Catasto of 1427, the Luccan War (1429-1433) that essentially bankrupt Florence, the exile and recall of Cosimo Medici (1433-34), the Papal consecration of S. Maria del Fiore after Brunelleschi’s herculean achievement of completing the dome (1436) and the Church Council (1439) in which not only the leading lights of Western Christendom were present in Florence but those of the Orthodox faith as well. Despite the innumerable official and unofficial reports (mercantile ledgers and zibaldone) emanating within and from Florence during this intense time period there was not a single reference to trionfi; yet there is an ever-escalating number of historical records for trionfi in the decade following 1440/Anghiari and beyond (Huck’s 2013 chart below can no doubt be augmented with Pratei’s additional findings):
Image
There are two new entries for 1444 (Florentine punishments for playing Trionfi) and one other for Siena in 1451 (? ; new allowance).
Generally one should differ between "Trionfi cards, which already were named as" Trionfi or similar at the time of their production" and "cards decks, which were similar to the Trionfi card genre, but not named as such". Naturally all researches about the Trionfi word can only lead to the time, when this word was used as a reference to playing cards. This innovation might be well have happened short before September 1440. But card decks with similar "game ideas" (as for instance the Michelino deck, unluckily we have only this one clear example) might have existed before.
What we have in this question, are prices ...
http://trionfi.com/etx-expensive-decks
... 20 soldi might be possibly the lower mark for such decks.

As the "name innovation" might have taken some time we listed also decks of the period "after 1440". Not included are decks outside of Florence, which fall in this category, mostly from Ferrara and a few from Mantova.

Any such chart will show a natural expansion - a forward, ever-expanding ripple of evidence from an ur-event in 1440. I confess I don't understand the compulsion to push back the dating of trionfi, but the ample Florentine record has not validated that endeavor. I understand the objections that a worthy Pratesi is not present in other Italian cities (save for perhaps Bologna) performing that level of research, but Florence has been explored moreso than elsewhere, again, thanks to Pratesi to whom we aficionados of tarot’s origins are all in debt. Having said that, nothing precludes this scenario: Giusti, a Medici partisan, knows of something new called "trionfi" being produced in Florence (for the first time ever) and orders a deck for Malatesta, who had momentarily dropped out of the Papal-Florentine alliance.

Ferrara’s role?. Pratesi wonders where this piece of the puzzle falls and yet maddeningly does not mention the much-discussed images painted for Bianca on New Year’s Day 1441 nor the 70 card deck of 1457. Of course these are inconvenient references for a proposed 16 trump deck, but both deserve to be reconsidered once again here:
*** 1/1/1441 gift of painted images to Bianca Visconti: "And on the said day (1 January) two lire, five soldi marchesane, reckoned to Maestro Jacopo de Sagramoro, painter, for 14 figures [figure] painted on cotton paper and sent to Lady Bianca of Milan, to make festive the celebration of the Circumcision of the present year ... L. II. V" (Ross Caldwell translation). This reference is too easily dismissed on the basis that ‘trionfi’ is not mentioned, but if trionfi had only existed for less than half a year following Anghiari, as I assume (and the historical record allows), then the name ‘trionfi’ would hardly be common currency outside of Florence yet. Moreover, Ferrara did not share in the victory of Anghiari (in fact her ruler was embarrassed in that larger campaign allied against Florence) and thus ‘trionfi’ would not be fitting for Ferrara at all events…and certainly not in the guise of a "re-purposed" holiday gift (versus a species of triumphal pomp following a major battle) to a visiting future duchess, a political pawn in the stratagems of her father, whose potential betrothal to a d’Este prince was at stake. If trionfi were making it as far as Rimini by September, there is no reason Ferrara would not know of them as well, at least through her merchants, but, again, there is no reason for them to call the novel series of images ‘trionfi’, not as a gift to a future duchess. Whether the 14 figures were a didactic/meditative gift or to be joined to a normal set of playing cards (which could have determined the dimensions of the paper), we can only speculate. But if the 14 “figures” were not the newly conceived trumps, what were they? No known series of 14 subjects readily suggests itself with which a young noble lady might “make festive.”
Indeed the document of 1441-1-1 has gained with the finding of Giusto's note. First: it isn't the first document anymore, the Giusto document confirms the existence. Second: it directly relates to the family history of the Este during the time of Bianca Maria's visit. Malatesta's wife died in this period, and she was a d'Este daughter. Unluckily we've two different dates for this event, one (the better known) referring to October 1440 and the other to a date short before Giusto made the gift of the cards. In any case there should have been some family exchange about this news between Malatesta court and Este court and this must have influenced the life at the Este court with its many children.
*** 70 card deck of 1457. The simplest solution here is to assume Ferrara did indeed adopt 14 trump trionfi from Florence and continued playing it at least until this date. This also bolsters the proposal that the PMB was an innovation – expanding from 14 to 22 trumps – but that its arrival c. 1452 did not immediately knock out the original format. That came over time and the proliferation of the Milanese deck of which we have several fragments; the influence of the powerful and centrally placed Duchy of Milan simply made its variation the standard one.
Well, we have a nearly complete 5x14 deck with PMB I (14 trumps by artist I), the six added cards very likely were painted much later. My own suggestion is May 1465, perhaps in connection to the development of the first Minchiate (whatever this was ) in Florence (first document 1466).
The problem of Florence, Minchiate/Tarot and the Virtues.. If Florence created the ur-tarot, it had no allegiance to the 1452 Milanese innovation, certainly not after the most influential men of that alliance had both died (Cosimo de’Medici in 1464 and F. Sforza in 1466); taking pride in their own civic genius, it is not surprising that their own new expansive variant – minchiate - emerges shortly thereafter, by 1477 at the latest.

My own theory is that the Florentine ur-tarot contained the seven virtues (and matching exemplars as found in Dante’s Paradiso) - has been emboldened by Pratesi’s own explorations of the genetic links between tarot and minchiate, his premise being both shared the seven virtues: “By an inverse reconstruction I mean that there obtains in the CY a situation preceding the canonical form of the tarot and that, correspondingly, the three theological virtues were already present in this experimental and pioneering form.” A little later: “How did that CY, which looks like it was invented in the Visconti court, not leave traces in Milan, but leave them some time later in Florence? As if only in Florence had survived an experiment that in Milan would be born only to die very quickly after its birth.” And still later: “Any reconstruction of the type [genere] ends in leaving us perplexed. Let us try once more to see the situation in reverse: is it possible that a primitive minchiate pack already in use in Florence has generated the Milanese CY? By primitive minchiate pack I mean here the pack of Florentine triumphs purchased by Giusto Giusti in 1440 5, which will be indicated from now on with the initials GG.”
I personally prefer to have "no idea" about the first Trionfi deck in Florence (which was named as such), as there are no reliable documents. Actually I see very much possibilities, how it might been. But I feel sure, that there was not only one type of deck, there should have been more different styles. Interesting new ideas usually get quickly variants. On the silk dealer lists from 1452 on we see a quickly expanding market, confirmed by the many documents in Rome.
After a lot of wars till 1450 suddenly the Jubilee year developed as a big success (lots of festivities, a lot of money - this likely triggered the allowances in Florence and Vienna), and an emperor visit followed 1452 (again festivities). The Lombardy war returned, sure, but was finished in 1454, surely also in connection to the loss of Constantinople.

Too much possibilities to be creative, too much artists in Florence.
Bruni’s re-evaluation of the Virtues with Prudence as the most relevant and important is found repeatedly in his writings: etc.
An interesting point of view. Unluckily I do't know so much about Bruni's writings.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: New Pratesi note on the Cary-Yale

#36
Hi, Huck,
Huck wrote:My used structure arguments you can read at John von Rheinfelden's text, as already said. That's fact, not theory.
Yes, they are facts about regular playing cards, not Tarot. Tarot decks had a different structure, which is very similar in archetypal decks, Cary-Yale, Minchiate, Boiardo, and later decks. Tarot had four regular suits, a set of trumps (which was NEVER the same size as the suits), and a Fool.

The regular decks described by Brother John had a different structure. Chess had a different structure. The 16 Heroes deck had a different structure. You are very confused, which enables year upon year of wonderful fantasy. It does not, however, move forward the study of Tarot history at all.
Huck wrote:That says your pet theory about the facts, this is not fact. There are meanwhile enough other persons with other theories about the same facts.
There have been thousands of books written about Tarot. However, all the KNOWN Tarot decks, and descriptions of Tarot decks, appear to fit that simple model: the basic archetypal design and later modifications of it. Moreover, if you understand the iconography of the standard, archetypal deck, (specifically the patterns from Milan and Bologna), you can see that it is a coherent cycle of late-medieval Stoic-Christian allegory. It was the product of an artist's design, not haphazard accretion. That corroborates the idea, suggested by Dummett as early as 1980, that the archetypal design might have been the original design. That is, the unknown Ur Tarot and intermediate decks might have looked very much like later known decks. No phantom decks need to be invented by us to explain Tarot history.

My pet theory has no imaginary decks. The decks you invent in your countless theories, year after year after year after year, are all figments of your imagination.
Huck wrote:A theory about the CY should be close to the facts of CY, not necessarily close to a final result of the Trionfi card development. Especially, if the first known sure appearance of this game structure appears roughly 50 years later than CY.
The fact that our information is very fragmentary is why I named my old timeline, "Collected Fragments of Tarot History", to emphasize that these were scattered bits of that history. You are correct to acknowledge that. But our surviving decks are also fragmentary, and it is foolish not to acknowledge that, after so many years wasted on one fruitless theory after another. Cards were lost from all of them, and the identifiable surviving cards appear to be a nearly random selection from archetypal decks. Cary-Yale is one such deck, albeit expanded a bit.
Huck wrote:
Michael wrote:By the way, the actual design I would suggest for Cary-Yale, based on Dummett (1980), is 4x16+26, for a 90-card deck.
Well, that's a new idea from your side.
If you call 1980 "new", then yeah, it's a new idea. It's what Dummett suggested, and what I have always thought and talked about. (His suggestion about leaving out Prudence, for the sake of numerological purity, was silly.)
Huck wrote:
Michael wrote:What we know from the larger history of Tarot is that the trump/suit ratio was NOT fixed, but instead varied repeatedly. It appears to have increased over time, sometimes with the addition of trumps (Minchiate) but usually with the omission of suit cards. So there is no justification for the assumption of a fixed ratio, or any other such arbitrary numerological argument. Nothing in the game requires or even favors such constraints, whereas the presence of recognizable iconographic groupings (such as the matching male-female court cards, or the complete set of virtues) is an immediately apparent benefit in the manner suggested by Brother John.
Nice, that we get this view a little bit reduced. I personally thought, that it was not a very valid argument. Doppelkopf has more than 50% trumps and players like it.
I don't know what you mean by "this view", or by "a bit reduced". It is simply a fact that the so-called "structure" never included a fixed trump/suit ratio, and that the actual trump/suit ratio tended to increase whenever the structure was altered. I have posted about this repeatedly.

Best regards,
Michael

P.S. Here is a note that I've posted before on Dummett's "persistent tendency" for the trump/suit ratio to be changed (reduced) from time to time.
Michael wrote:There can be little doubt that the 78-card “archetypal” Tarot deck was the original design, and not only served as the basis for all subsequent variations but was also the most common form of deck throughout much of Tarot’s history. However, many variations were devised, not only in terms of isolated novelties like Cary-Yale, Sola Busca, or Boiardo, but as standard pattern decks. The most common form of these variants was the shortened deck, in which some of the pips were omitted. “One of the persistent tendencies in Tarot games has been to increase the ratio of trumps to suit cards, an effect achieved in Minchiate by increasing the number of trumps, but, in all other cases, by omitting some of the numeral cards from the suits. The 42-card pack represents the extreme limit of this process: it is the only form of Tarot pack in which the trumps actually outnumber the suit cards.” (GT 444.)

Shortened decks may have been designed to facilitate 3-handed games. This practice has various historical examples, in both decks and rules of play. In some cases, special shortened decks were produced; in some cases, decks were stripped of the lowest ranking cards before play. These methods achieve a different effect on the game (although in some ways related) than the use of discards, even though the lowest-ranking cards are usually culled in both cases, and trumps are never stripped or discarded. The later experiments in shortening the deck were more extreme, and eventually the most successful competitor with the 78-card original Tarot deck was the 54-card French-suited modern Tarot deck. Some of the more notable experiments reflecting this “persistent tendency” include the following:

70-card carte grande da trionfi (Ferrara, 1457)
97-card Minchiate (Florence, early 16th century)
66-card Rules of Tarot (France, 1637/1585?)
64-card Sicilian Tarot (Sicily, 17th century)
62-card Tarocchino (Bologna, 17th century)
54-card Italian-suited German decks (mid 18th century)
54-card French-suited modern decks (mid 18th century)
42-card Hungarian decks (late 18th century)

Regular 4-suited decks were also commonly shortened for various games, and some of those decks likewise became standard in different areas.
We are either dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants, or we are just dwarfs.

Re: New Pratesi note on the Cary-Yale

#37
Huck wrote:
Michael wrote:By the way, the actual design I would suggest for Cary-Yale, based on Dummett (1980), is 4x16+26, for a 90-card deck.
Well, that's a new idea from your side.
As I noted, it's 36 years old now.

Given that Dummett's view regarding the Cary-Yale deck (Visconti di Modrone pack) was unknown to both Franco and Huck, and that even when his view was pointed out it was falsely claimed to be a "new idea", it seems worth quoting a bit from The Game of Tarot (1980). In talking about hand-painted luxury cards from 15th-century Italy, Dummett notes that eight decks survive which are certainly Tarot cards and which have 10 or more extant cards. These "testify to the great popularity of tarocchi among the fifteenth-century nobility."
Dummett wrote:Equally striking is the consistency of the subjects used for the triumph cards; despite wide variation in their treatment, we find always the same subjects as those known from later packs, with the exception of three from the Visconti di Modrone pack [Cary-Yale] and the possible exception of the figure of the stag from the Catania pack. Of the standard twenty-one subjects, the only one not represented among any of the fifteenth-century Italian hand-painted cards surviving to us is the Devil; but, since this figure appears on the popular sets of tarocchi, printed by woodblock, that have come down to us from the end of the century, this should probably be ascribed to chance. (Page 71.)
Dummett then goes on to describe two dozen hand-painted and woodblock-printed decks. After that, he again takes up the subject of their similarities.
Dummett wrote:There are two late fifteenth-century exceptions to the general rule that the triumph subjects are always the same; these both substitute individual classical and Biblical characters for the generalised figures of the usual Tarot triumphs. One is the celebrated Sola-Busca tarocchi, a copper-engraved pack of which several examples are extant.... The other is a pack designed by the poet Matteo Maria Boiardo (1441-1494).... Both these are evidently conscious departures from the norm: they in no way call in question the existence of a norm. The standard composition of the Tarot pack was plainly fixed at a very early stage in its history, despite occasional experiments such as the Sola-Busca tarocchi and those of Boiardo. Later, as we shall see, a number of variant forms developed; but, in fifteenth-century Italy, the number and identity of the cards of the Tarot pack was completely determinate.(Pages 76-77.)
This form of deck is what would later, in A Wicked Pack of Cards, (p.25), be termed archetypal decks.
Dummett wrote:The important exception to this is the Visconti di Modrone pack.... . There must have been sixty-four suit cards in all: how many triumphs there were originally, and whether a Fool was included, it is impossible to say. Ronald Decker has suggested that there may originally have been only fourteen triumphs, and no Fool, so as to make up the usual total of 78 cards; but the total number of cards in the pack is unlikely to have been seen as a significant feature. Since four of the stock set of seven Virtues were included among the triumphs, it seems probable that the other three were also: Temperance and Justice, which belong to the standard list of triumph subjects, and Prudence, which does not. (Page 77.)
That deck, with 64 suit cards and 25 trumps, is the design Dummett finds "probable". He is agnostic on whether the Fool would have been included. Dummett thought that the Fool was probably not a part of the Ur Tarot, but the Visconti di Modrone deck was probably not the Ur Tarot so the Fool might have been included. Including the Fool, this is the 90-card deck I referred to.

Regarding Dummett's other point, about the standardization of 15th-century Tarot, Ross offered a somewhat more detailed analysis.

95%
Ross G. R. Caldwell on Sun Apr 29, 2012
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=815&p=11638#p11666

Best regards,
Michael
We are either dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants, or we are just dwarfs.

Re: New Pratesi note on the Cary-Yale

#38
mjhurst wrote: Regarding Dummett's other point, about the standardization of 15th-century Tarot, Ross offered a somewhat more detailed analysis.

95%
Ross G. R. Caldwell on Sun Apr 29, 2012
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=815&p=11638#p11666

Best regards,
Michael
Thanks very much for reminding me of that post, Michael. It's good to know somebody remembered. Very convenient and more or less concise presentation of the evidence for standardization.

I could really make a good argument when I wanted to!

Now if I could just find where I made the bet in 2007 that any new documentation of Trionfi before 1442 would be within three to five years of 1442, and had it confirmed in 2010. Franco's flood of new references just confirms that Trionfi was a standard card game, and everybody knew what it meant when they were buying or selling them.
Image

Re: New Pratesi note on the Cary-Yale

#39
Hi, Ross,
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:Now if I could just find where I made the bet in 2007 that any new documentation of Trionfi before 1442 would be within three to five years of 1442, and had it confirmed in 2010.
Sorry. A quick search only gets me to your 2009 posts of "The Chart" of earliest evidence. You talk about it there.

Date of Invention
Ross G. R. Caldwell on 03 Jun 2009
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=258
http://ludustriumphorum.blogspot.com/20 ... ntion.html

So perhaps you had an earlier post along those lines but without the chart? Or perhaps in the 2007 article, ("Giovanni del Ponte and the dating of the Rothschild cards in the Louvre: some further considerations"), which did have the chart?

Best regards,
Michael
We are either dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants, or we are just dwarfs.

Re: New Pratesi note on the Cary-Yale

#40
I misreported a clarification that Franco made to me. It is not something in the note itself but in a comment I made about the first 7 sections, in my follow-up (viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1086&start=20#p16717). I said:
The other comment is about Marziano in Florence. In clarification, he says that for the period of relevance, we have no knowledge of any relationship to Florence. That is consistent with Ross's research. When Franco wrote about Marziano, he estimated that the project would have been about 1415; since then it has been thought later.
This is wrong. Franco's clarification to me was not about Marziano. It was about the state of our knowledge about triumphs in Florence, which is that we have no knowledge of it before 1440.


Now I am going to discuss only sections 8 and 9 of Franco's second note, i.e. viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1086&start=20#p16721. I have no problems up to there. My intent is to do it in a way that accepts and takes into account all the assumptions up to that point. I am not trying to substitute a different set of assumptions that are somehow more reasonable, or more grounded in fact. The main subject, as I see it anyway, is to reconstruct how Marziano's game might relate to the later tarot and minchiate.

1. Hypothetical and real orders of triumphal cards.

In section 8 we read:
In the minchiate sequence (the real one respected for centuries, and the other, purely hypothetical, suggested on the same basis as the CY in the previous note) the theological virtues are found in very high position. It may be reasonable, because the theological virtues certainly cannot be put in a hierarchical order below those of the cardinals, or under other subjects that are lower or even with negative characteristics.
The problem I see is that up until section 8 there were two hypothetical constructions for the CY, Franco's and mine. They both need to be examined. For reference, here they are again.
Image

The subjects in italics are hypothetical reconstructions. Mine, admittedly, does not have the theological virtues in a high position. I was trying to make a link between the Marziano and the Cary-Yale by means of a division of 16 triumphal cards into four groups, using the schema that was passed on by the Cary Family and filling in the blanks as best I could. There are various ways of ordering the virtues. That is part of an answer to Dummett's question of why the virtues appear in such different places. Does faith trump prudence, or fortitude trump temperance? A rationale can be provided, but so can rationales for other orders. If you look at the line-ups of the seven virtues as they appear in various frescoes (i.e. Giotto c. 1305 https://farm1.staticflickr.com/558/1968 ... 6113_z.jpg), miniatures, and cassone (e.g. Pesselino 1460s http://www.tufts.edu/alumni/magazine/wi ... irtues.jpg, dal Ponte 1430s http://fe.fondazionezeri.unibo.it/foto/ ... /33110.jpg, among others), sometimes Charity is most prominent (taking the center position) sometimes Prudence, sometimes Justice. The others are similarly variable.

In the CY order I propose, the cardinals are ordered in the way that they appear in a 15th century Bolognese illumination which for some indeterminate time has been in Milan (https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-go-CKy-AY9Q/ ... logna1.jpg). The theologicals are ordered in St. Paul's order. What is needed is a memorable order. Allegories can be constructed to help one's memory. It is not hard to remember that in the face of a bad turn of the Wheel, one must have not only fortitude but faith, the basis for hope; then Charity comes next, following St. Paul. This seems to me not illogical nor hard to remember. It is an adequate basis for a sequence. With it, most importantly, one can play whatever the game was that Marziano designed, one that required the four groups.

What I want to suggest is that the ordering of the CY-type and the GG-type might have been different. The GG-type can be the proto-minchiate order and the CY-type can be my suggested order, based on the structure of the MZ and the assignments passed on by the Cary family.

2. Return to the virtues, in terms of "direct" as opposed to "inverse" constructions.

Franco continues
If the theological virtues, all three together, had been inserted into a deck that had none, thus getting in Florence the minchiate (or sooner the GG), one would expect to find them inserted as a compact group, no Prudence in the middle, as indeed is found in the same minchiate for the four elements or twelve zodiac signs.
This seems to be meant as a refutation of the "direct" construction of the theologicals, from different previous cards. But no matter whether these cards were replacements or put there originally, even as part of the original ur-tarot, it is still unexpected. The oddness is not something that one can draw any conclusions from, regarding whether it resulted from replacing other cards. Presumably it was done for a reason, whenever it was done. I would guess that people had a sense that prudence was very high in the virtues and it should be put with other high virtues.

What needs to be done is just what Franco did earlier: look also at the inverse construction of the virtues, and then compare the two. So if the theologicals were there already, what cards would they be replaced by? For Franco, this perhaps would be a nonsense question, because they never were replaced in minchiate. But there were two permitted games in Florence, at least in 1477, one called "triumphs" and the other called "minchiate". They seem also have had two different decks as well. The Charles VI, Florentine if only because of its Medici "palle" on the Chariot card, would seem to be a triumph deck. It could be that someone removed all the minchiate-only cards, but that seems unlikely with beautiful works of art. The Charles VI has a Moon card and a Sun card, so likely a Star card as well. The Star, Moon, and Sun form a group, without any subtlety required. There is also a lightning-truck tower in the Charles VI, a card called ""Lightning-bolt" (Sagitta, literally "Arrow") or "Fuoco" (Fire) in the early lists. And if you look, Fire, Star, Moon, and Sun are in exactly the same part of the sequence as the three virtues plus prudence in the Minchiate. It would seem to me reasonable that the game called "triumphs" replaced the 3 theologicals plus prudence with Fire, Star, Moon, and Sun. Just as the four in one group are all virtues, the four in the other are all lights, of increasing strength. Then another deck was for people who didn't want the theologicals removed; at some point it was called minchiate.

It seems to me that the inverse construction makes more sense than the direct, because it has one coherent group replacing another in exactly the same places in the sequence. It is like the replacement of the Popess by Juno and the Pope by Jupiter in the Besancon, where Juno took the Popess's position and Jupiter the Pope's.

3. Interrelationships between the two proposed orders, the CY-type (my proposal) and the GG-type (Franco's proposal).

Clearly there is a relationship between the CY-type (Milan) and the GG-type (Florence). If nothing else, they have the same cards, at least on the hypotheses that Franco and I were considering, mine and his. But what is the relationship?

There are four possibilities, excluding for the sake of argument the influence of other cities:

(1) the card-selection was generated in Milan on the basis of the MZ and then passed to Florence, which gave them a different order that they found more "logical".

(2) The cards were generated in Florence in an order that made sense to them, passed on to Milan and rearranged there on the basis of the MZ.

(3) The cards were generated in Milan but then rearrnaged due to influence from Florence.

(4) The cards were generated in Florence and rearranged due to influence from Milan.

On hypothesis 1, the 16 cards, organized according to the "four groups" order I proposed, came to Florence. Either the card makers didn't know the Milanese order or they thought that the sequence there was illogical. They didn't know about Marziano and his game, and how spreading out the cardinal virtues fits the idea of the four groups. They only knew about other trick-taking games, and the 4 + 3 groupings of the virtues. The theologicals should be near the top, they reasoned. And time should be before death, because that is when it counts. They think that Petrarch, with his desire for Fame, was an elitist. The average person isn't going to be famous no matter what he does. To him it doesn't matter that Time destroys Fame; Time is what happens before Death. The result in Florence is then Franco's order of the 16 triumphal cards.

On hypothesis 2, the cards are generated in Florence, using the same reasoning I have just gone through for that city. Then they go to Milan, where Filippo sees the cards from the standpoint of the Marziano game and re-orders them.

On hypothesis 3, Milan adjusts its cards after seeing what Florence has done. For example, it puts prudence between hope and faith, puts the virtues into two groups, and raises the three theologicals plus the one intellectual virtue to a higher level.

On hypothesis 4, Florence adjusts its cards' order after seeing what Milan has done.

I see no justification for hypothesis 3, at least during Filippo's lifetime. Nothing suggests that prudence was ever between hope and charity there. It is true that we can do an inverse construction, based on the 16th century lists, that puts these four virtues in the same place as in the proto-minchiate. But such replacement could have been done at any time, and is more likely after 1450, when there was a new duke of Milan, one in alliance with Florence and friendly with the Medici, and when tarot in Milan was more likely not the preserve of the court but of the populace.

Hypothesis 4 is unlikely because the proto-minchiate order is in fact Florentine, and there is nothing about that order that suggests Milan's influence on it in particular.

Hypothesis 2 has the problem of explaining why exactly 16 cards were chosen, and not only that, but ones that fit the Marziano structure so well. First, why 16 in particular? Why was it necessary to borrow a triumph from Boccaccio, that of Fortune. And if one, why only one? Boccaccio had other triumphs, namely Riches and Wisdom. (Wisdom was seen by some as higher than Prudence, while others made no distinction.) Then in particular, the four cardinal virtues fit Marziano's structure well. If the cards were generated in Florence, without Marziano's influence (he hadn't been in Florence since 1407), it is a striking coincidence that it fits Marziano so well.

So I would redo Franco's flow chart. Given the assumptions Franco and I developed, the triumphal cards most likely went one way in the 1430s, from Milan to Florence. Then, if the four "replacements" --perhaps three, if Prudence was simply dropped, and Fire added considerably later--happened in Florence, these changes went back to Milan, when the city was under new management. Or, if the "replacements" came from somewhere else, such as Ferarra, the same process occurred but from a different city. Less likely, I think, it could have happened in Milan itself, and spread to other cities from there. In any case, the game was now for the masses in Milan as well as Florence, and Marziano's square array of four groups and four cardinal virtues a thing of the distant past.

Below is my proposed flow chart. It ignores most intermediate steps, if any. It also ignores influence from other cities. In Florence, I see that as particularly important in the development of its non-minchiate "triumphs", both before and after the GG of 1440, and in changing the triumphs in Milan after Filippo's death. It may also have been important in forming the CY-type in the first place. I make a point of emphasizing that is the order of a CY type that is being hypothesized, not just of the physical object that has been preserved. I assume that is what Franco means by "CY' in his chart, but it is not totally clear. The same is true of the "GG type" (even if it may be that the GG itself is not of this type, as I will explain later). By “GG” in the chart I mean “Franco’s GG-type, and possibly the GG itself”.
Image

And for comparison here is Franco's again.
Image


4. The court cards.

There is the question of whether, as far as the court cards, the CY is "a quirky variation on successes in a more traditional form", as Franco concludes (stravagante variazione sul tema di trionfi già esistenti in una forma più tradizionale) , or, alternatively a quirky early form that became eclipsed by later successes. I am not sure exactly what "traditional forms" he means, but presumably one at least without female knights, and probably with half as many female pages.

But again, there is the magic number 16 to consider. Decks in fact did vary in the number of suits, but as far as we know, all the pre-triumph decks in which the suits had equal priority had the same number of cards in each suit (whether Marziano is an exception is unknown; there it is more likely that including the triumphal cards in each suit, the suits had the same number as the triumphal cards alone). That is one reason for thinking that the number of cards per suit would have equaled the number of cards in the triumphal cards, grouped as a suit. Another reason is the various bits of odd documentation suggestive of such a hypothesis. In 1422 Ferrara there are "13 new playing cards" with backs the same as the old (http://trionfi.com/playing-cards-ferrara-1422); on Jan. 1 1441 there are "14 figures"; in 1457 there are orders for decks of "70 cards", which could either be 14 x 5 or 4 x 12 + 22; late in the century Franco finds that the cost of a triumphs deck is in a 5:4 ratio to the cost of an ordinary deck. None of this proves anything, to be sure.

Dummett's hypothesis, that the ratio of triumphs to cards per suit was 3:2, has going for it the various lists of 21 triumphs (the fool not being a triumph) from a variety of sources and cities. But these are late in the 15th century at their earliest. Can we really infer from generalizations made some distance after creation to a time near the invention? If so, then refrigerators never had unsightly bulbs on top, and automobiles never ran on steam.

So there was a very good reason for females in all ranks: to make the number in a suit equal 16. There was already a precedent for females in all ranks in the Stuttgart Playing Cards, c. 1430, where two of the four suits were all-female and two all-male. Admittedly, none of the courts were on horseback. But for that there are the Courtly Hunt Cards, of the 1430s: the queens in herons and falcons are on horseback ((http://www.wopc.co.uk/germany/ambraser). That this theme reached the common level is suggested by some French 1490s woodcut cards (their suit signs not yet stenciled on) reproduced in Hind's Introduction to a History of the Woodcut, vol. 1 (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Lu-6PwakMv0/S ... 028LGR.jpg).

There is every reason to think that the innovation would have been well received by its intended audience. In Milan and nearby the game was a social occasion that included and perhaps was presided over by women, at least among the nobility and the rich (which is all we have any evidence of). The Borromeo fresco, c. 1445-1450, had three women and two men, with the dominant figure being the center woman (http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo ... /479651747. There is an extant description of the lost frescoes at Pavia done for Galeazzo Maria Sforza, which depicted "Elisabetta [Maria Sforza] and damsels playing cards and other games" (I am quoting Lubkin, A Renaissance court, p. 309, citing Welch, "Galeazzo and the Castello di Pavia", p. 373). There is the fresco at Malpaga Castle, on the border between Lombardy and the Veneto, shown in an essay by Andrea Vitali, http://www.associazioneletarot.it/page. ... 54&lng=ENG, near the end; the card players are all women. There is also Viti's letter and illustrations to a lady of the court in Urbino about the Boiardo deck (http://trionfi.com/0/h/).

On my favored hypothesis 1 about the triumphs, the deck that would have gone from Milan to Florence would have been such a deck, before the Florentines adjusted it to their own taste. This is where Fernando de la Torres' verses and ekphrases (descriptions of imagined paintings) to Countess Casteneda in Spain of c. 1450 are relevant (Ross Caldwell at http://www.academia.edu/6477341/_El_jue ... _card_game). They did more than create an all-trumping female Emperor (never called Imperatriz) to extol his patroness and her virtues. He made most of the 48 other cards females, as can be seen by looking at the individual verses and descriptions, even while retaining the traditional male titles of rey, cavallero, and sota for the courts. That is precisely the kind of gender-bending that the female knights of the CY have. If, as Ross surmises, Torre may have got the idea of a trump card from his stay in Florence in 1434-1435, he likely would have got the idea of feminizing male cards from the same source.

There is not the same evidence for female dominance in triumph-playing in Florence as in Milan. What there is, is of men playing with men: two men arrested for playing "trionfi" in 1443, Pulci and Lorenzo playing "minchiate" in 1466. There may be social reasons for this. Men didn't marry until 28 or 30. So fathers locked up their daughters and young men developed the habit of socializing with each other (see references 56 and 57 at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_history; their section on Florence is also helpful). So it is harder to imagine female courts of all ranks arising in Florence than Milan. Milan-style suit cards in Florence probably changed fairly soon, I'd guess by 1440, because even in Milan of the mid 1440s the Brera-Brambilla has the standard four courts. And with this change went the need for precisely 16 triumphs and the link to the suits. Whether the GG of 1440 was a proto-triumph or a proto-minchiate, I would not hazard a guess.

So I would say that the CY-type, as far as its courts, was most likely a quirky beginning, or early phase, first in Milan and then Florence, that was soon eclipsed, sooner in Florence than in Milan, by later successes.

5. Conclusion.

I started with two hypothetical orders of the same 16 cards, presumably derived from Petrarch, Boccaccio, and the 7 medieval virtues, to fit the structue of Marziano's deck in Milan. Various possible ways the triumphs could have evolved between Florence and Milan were examined. One order of triumphs, suggested by documents passed on by the Cary Family, is closest to Marziano's structure and therefore associated with Milan. The other is associated with the later minchiate and therefore Florence. Most likely the cards would have gone from Milan to Florence, where, not knowing about Marziano, cardmakers rearranged them on a different basis, in particular moving the theological virtues up in the order. At the same time the 16-card suits would have been adopted for a time, as evidenced by Torre's use of feminized suit cards in Spain; but at some point Florence would have dropped female knights and relegated female pages to just two of the suits. The result is then the basis for the game later identified as "minchiate". Further changes, replacing prudence and the theological virtues with other subjects, perhaps already used in other centers, would result in a deck at some point identified as "triumphs". What these terms actually referred to in Florence at the times of their various early uses has not been assigned a probability. Also unassigned are influences from other tarot centers that might have impacted the process, and Florence's and Milan's influence on other centers. All of this is contingent upon at least one of the hypothetical structures, mine or Franco's, having been at some time before 1440 actually existing.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 15 guests

cron