Indeed. There are quite a number of English examples, some German, some Flemish, and so on. It was not just a natural way to illustrate giant hail, but the standard way in which it was depicted. This might show up on a picture of the First Trumpet, the Sixth Seal, the Seventh Vial, and of course there are the nifty examples pointed out by TImothy Betts from Alexander of Bremen's Commentary.mikeh wrote:I am wondering about another detail, namely, the little circles on the Tower card (then called "Fire" or "Arrow," referring to lightning-bolts). Of course hail fell in Italy as well as France, and circles are a natural way of portraying it, but there is the question of whether and where that was associated with destruction from on high in pictorial art before the Cary Sheet. If anywhere, I would expect them in art depicting the Apocalypse, based on the account of hail and fire falling from the sky.
How many Italian Apocalypse manuscripts have you examined?mikeh wrote:But I do not see little circles of hail in Italian art befoer 1500--in fact, I don't see them at all in Italian art.
Another question concerns immigrant woodcutters, particularly from Germany, who might bring certain motifs with them.
P.S. The attached image is from this site:
University of Cambridge, Digital Library
Alexander of Bremen's commentary was an elaborate allegory based on Revelation, and the image illustrates the Seventh Vial interpreted as Alexios I Komnenos. Betts referred to one illustrated copy of this commentary as Ancestor, claiming that the Tarot trump cycle was (largely) a reflection of such an Apocalyptic legend.