Costanzo Fest book and 'AS' deck - shared attributes

#1
Clearly the two productions - the Fest and the 'AS' deck - were based on two different artistic programs, but I think there are enough common elements to suggest some level of awareness between the two. My hypothesis would be that Florence gave the 'AS' as a wedding gift in attempt to keep a papally-aligned condottiero (who sold him the important fortress town of Gradara in 1464) at least neutral, should the deteriorating relationship the Pope continue to turn for the worse. Complicating matters is that long-time political partner of Milan had become unpredictable since the death of Francesco Sforza, with the extremely unpopular Galeazzo Maria Sforza assassinated in 1476 (that could not be foreseen, but certainly reports of the instability of his reign were reaching Florence - a major problem considering the Milanese debts to Florence).

I won't reiterate the 'AS' King of Swords black shield arguments here, but focus on the similarities of motifs in the Fest book and some of the ‘AS’ trumps.

'AS' Temperance and Fest 'Chastity' nymph of Diana


To date I’ve only discussed the common deer-chastity motif, where in the ‘AS’ it has apparently been utilized for the Temperance trump, where a naked male apparently pours a libation from a chalice/cup onto his "lap". In Aquinas' Summa theologica, in his extended discussion of the parts of the virtue of Temperance, Drunkenness (150) immediately precedes his discussion of Chastity (151), the conjoined issues of which the AS appears to address in the same image. I'll not belabor that discussion again except to place images side by side (there is no reason to draw a deer out of Aquinas but the classical allusion to Diana and her deer in the Fest lend itself to the AS trump, thus suggesting the influence in that direction: the Fest program was shared with the 'AS' production):
Fest Nymph of Diana and AS Temperance.jpg
Fest Nymph of Diana and AS Temperance.jpg (40.83 KiB) Viewed 562 times
The World

The closest correspondence between a float in the Fest and the ‘AS’ World, is the circular vignette in the Triumph of Fame (of Costanzo), seemingly taking us back to the very first 'World' in which we find the only attribute of Fame - the winged trumpet. The Fest shows more of an aerial plan view of Pesaro, including a part of the Adriatic sea (and naturally another Fest float shows Neptune, and yet another a nymph of Aragon-controlled Sicily with an island of wheat - from where Pesaro could import the all-important grain). The ‘AS’ World deviates significantly from the ‘CVI’ version – the latter showing an even spread of hilltop towns, presumably indicating Tuscany; the ‘AS’ instead shows a much more vertiginous mountain range, some hip-roof structures, but the whole framed by two prominent castle rooks in the encircling band/frame. Arguably the view is of the Pesaro contado from the sea – as in the globe on the culminating Fest triumph of fame – except in the ‘AS’ a more horizontal veduta perspective, with the towers representing the two fortresses that protected it from the north and south.
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AS World and Fest Fama.jpg
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Clearly rounded rook towers could symbolize the fortresses, per this reverse of a medal of Costanzo (of the main in-town fortress of Pesaro, I believe):
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The north fortress of Gradara, where the court would have been, already existed (acquired by Alessandro in 1463/64) while the south fortress was in the planning phases at the time of the marriage, designed by Francesco Laurana for Costanzo in 1474 and finished in 1479. On the left below, the new fortress (it seems to say "castello of monte Ebrei", matching a float of the same name, but the text is quite small) is shown in the upper right in this reconstructed view of Pesaro “in the time of the Sforza”, while on the right below is a map showing the relationship of Gradara to Pesaro:
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Preoccupation with these fortresses is shown in a Bellini painting in Gradara. There seems to be no consensus as to which fortress is shown in the background landscape in Bellini’s Coronation of the Virgin (all references from this on-line article: http://www.wikiwand.com/it/Pala_di_Pesaro ), but in the series of lower register predella paintings the patron saint of Pesaro, St. Terenzio, is shown holding a castle with a wall bust of Augustus in the background with text paying homage to Costanzo (the altarpiece is probably dated to the regency of Camilla after Costanzo’s death). At all events the castles – just as they were for Montefeltro and especially Malatesta in their respective contado (indeed, Gradara was in Malatesta’s contado) – were a prime concern of Costanzo’s. Below is the far right predella painting of St. Terenzio holding castle, the landscape behind the crowning of Mary featuring a castle, and the overall altarpiece by Bellini in Gradara:
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The relevant point is that the two castle rooks in the ‘AS’ World's encircling frame parallel the reality of Pesaro protected by major castles to the north and south (with mountains behind/west of it), and that the southern one dates to Costanzo’s reign, then the earliest the deck could date to was when he had a design for the southern fortress (1474).

Time/Hermit

Uniquely among tarot trumps the ‘AS’ (and ‘CVI’ which is a close copy in the case of this card, which I think is additional proof the 'AS' predates the 'CVI') the ‘hermit’ is shown lifting his hourglass up towards a mountain. The hermit-as-Time is not in the traditional Petrarchan tradition of Time in rags or on a crutch, but well-dressed, so its hard to see him as the ‘time, destroyer of all things’ as if suggesting the mountain will crumble to dust. Just the opposite sentiment has been shown to be the case of Costanzo, where mountain fortresses safeguard the polity. The closest parallel is instead the Time-with-hourglass on the banner of the Apolloio di Giovanni cassone with Sforzan dog imprese on the standard bearer (Galeazzo was visiting in 1459 and thus this flattering gesture), triumphantly holding his hourglass to a sun in the corner of the banner. Lurati (https://www.academia.edu/2938043/_In_Fi ... rt_Gallery, on whom I rely for the details and new dating of this cassone, says this is definitely not a Petrarchan Time, but does not explain its significance. I’ll go into the banners of that cassone in more detail another time, but the ‘time’ indicated on this banner is that of Virgil’s Fourth Eclogue, the Cumean Sibyl’s proclamation of a Golden Age when Saturn reigned (‘returns the reign of Saturn [redeunt Saturnia regna];…And the golden age to arise over all the world’), a subject amply testified to as popular under Cosimo by this point. The relevance for Costanzo (known via his stay in Milan under his cousin Galeazzo), is of course a golden age for Pesaro with his marriage to a daughter of the King of Naples. There is also the possibility of Golden Age Saturn's nod to the fortress to be built on that mountaintop (why else is that mountain there?) which will ensure protection for the forthcoming golden age of Pesaro. The planetary Saturnus in the Fest book has the traditional attributes found in, for instance, the Baldini cycle of the planets – dragon (as seat) and scythe – but has similarly richly hemmed robe as on the ‘hermit’ in the ‘AS’ (not the rags of the Petrarchan triumph of time, although the attribute of the scythe is the same).

There are two mountain floats in the Fest book – one featuring a hermit; note the close resemblance of the right leaning crags in both the ‘AS’ and Fest. While I’d propose no more than a humanist’s texts shared between the artist studios for most of the shared attributes between the ‘AS’ and Fest (or even an ambassador’s account of the Fest plans), in this case it's almost as if preparatory drawings had been shared, perhaps due to the importance Costanzo placed on building the southern castle. Below is the 1459 banner of Goden Age Time/Saturn from the Florentine joust in the Santa Croce piazza attended by Galeazzo Sforza (not shown is the Sforzan dog imprese on that banner bearer's livery), the 'AS' hermit/time, and one of the mounts from the Fest, crowned with a castle:
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Relationship to other contemporary decks

While we would no longer call the ‘CVI’, ‘AS’ and ‘EE’ all Ferrarese, the last is most definitely associated with Ferrara and maybe the only one we can positively date, given the sharing of shield space of the court cards with the arms of Aragon, presumably for a wedding. The circumstances of the one example, the EE, need not apply to the others, but given the much earlier ‘CY’ was likely produced for similar circumstances, I am hazarding that expensive hand-painted decks were especially produced on these occasions, but not always (I do not of course hold a marriage for the ‘CVI’ but as a piece of post-Pazzi Conspiracy propaganda). So my proposed dating for the three decks, all appearing relatively close in time which explains their similarities, is this chronological order:

‘EE’: Ercole d’Este marriage to Eleonora d'Aragona, 1473.
‘AS’: Costanzo Sforza marriage to Camilla d’Aragona, 1475
‘CVI’: Lorenzo de Medici, Pazzi War with Pope and Aragon/Naples, c. 1478

The common denominator? Aragon/Naples. Lorenzo famously sailed to Naples to talk King Ferrante out of attacking Florence after the assassination attempt and Sixtus IV's subsequent call for all out war on Florence. Perhaps a ‘CVI’ deck even made its way to Naples with Lorenzo as a gift, to demonstrate he was still firmly in control of Florence - and it would have been a gift the Neapolitan King must have been familiar with since two daughters, Eleonora (confirmed via Aragonese imprese on the 'EE')and Camilla (my proposal), had already received these as gifts.

Phaeded

Re: Costanzo Fest book and 'AS' deck - shared attributes

#3
Huck,
Thanks for the castello photo. I've tried locating the names on the two Fest mountains in the Pesaro region with no luck (and I'm not about to try to transcribe and translate the manuscript). Here's the other Fest mountain:
Costanzo fest - Monte de Cortexiani detail- Urb.lat.899.jpg
Costanzo fest - Monte de Cortexiani detail- Urb.lat.899.jpg (78.83 KiB) Viewed 536 times
Detail of the Fest Fama-world which was cut off above (hard to tell when an image is too large before uploading); clearly an attempt to reflect the greater Pesaro contado, and the largest of the town/hill symbols is on the right and a little inland, where we'd find the main residence of Costanzo, Gradara. Some additional images of Gradara:

Looking north (Pesaro proper would be off to the right):
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Appearing more on a monte here:
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I suppose all of the mountain castles looked the same in the region - nearby San Leo, one of Malatesta's main remote castles:
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However, I stand by the point that the 'AS' world deliberately framed the view of it's domain/contado with two castle symbols (rooks), which does match the primary defense of Pesaro - one to the north and one to the south (which would be on the left/south in the 'AS' world, assuming a view from the ocean with mountains behind, and appropriately higher on the card as that castle was on a higher elevation per the rendering above of 15th C. Pesaro).
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tarocchi Catania mondo.jpg
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The Florentine adaptation simply left the encircling green border free of any topographical embellishments and added an appropriate fleur-di-lys on the scepter (instead of a round ball) as well as the polygonal halo typical of Florentine virtues (so in both cases an attempt to 'localize' a standardized motif):
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Re: Costanzo Fest book and 'AS' deck - shared attributes

#4
Phaeded wrote:Huck,
Thanks for the castello photo. I've tried locating the names on the two Fest mountains in the Pesaro region with no luck (and I'm not about to try to transcribe and translate the manuscript).
As I mentioned already, Marcos Mendez Filesi translated (or summarized) a greater part in the Festival book thread. Well, Marcos from had problems with English.

The translation activity starts here ...
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=418&start=20#p6399

Transcription is not necessary, as we follow the printed edition ... naturally it would be nice to know, if the printed edition is completely correct.
http://www.bl.uk/treasures/festivalbook ... rFest=0171
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Costanzo Fest book and 'AS' deck - shared attributes

#5
I found this note of myself in the festival book thread ...
Leonora d'Aragon, daughter of Ferrante, is said to have been promised to the aged Alessandro Sforza. After his death (?) the marriage to Ercole d'Este was arranged ... or earlier (?) (Ercole became duke of Ferrara in August 1471).
The contract to Ferrante in 1473 might have been combined immediately with the arrangement of the marriage to Camilla (niece of Ferrante). In any case it seems, that Ferrante had interest in Pesaro.

Constanzo in 1475 at least had some experience with festivities, 28 years old.

Camilla was already an old girl (* 1446 - 29 years old, one year older than Costanzo) ... (not attractive enough ?)
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=418&p=6452&hilit=ercole#p6452

************

Further I found a reconstruction table (summary of the summary by mmfilesi), that might be VERY helpful ....
The Triumph of Hymeneus[/b]

A. Friday 26 - A procession to the Castle Novillara (Fols. 1/5)

1. Diana the Huntress greets Constantia. (Fols. 2)

2. Constantia arrive at first triumphal arch. (Fols. 3 and following)

B. Saturday 27 - A procession to Pesaro (Fols. 5/8)

1. The gentelman greets Constantia. They are Hercules Sfortia, Duke of Urbino, Duke of Calabria, the Duke of Ferrara, and Costantio Sortia (sic), the husband. (Fols. 6)

2. A ship (bucietoro) out of town to receive Constantia, near to the door of the city. (Fols. 6, 7, 8)

3. Camilla receive the keys of the city (the land). Entry in the city.

... [there's more ...]
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=418&p=6450&hilit=ercole#p6450

So Ercole d'Este was himself a guest at this opportunity.

***************

I find in the question Alessandro/Leonara ...
Sparti describes the ceremonial events for the wedding of Eleanora (or Leonora) of Aragon who was first engaged to Alessandro Sforza but eventually married the duke of Ferrara, Ercole d’Este. Among the occasions given during the two months of celebration was a banquet give by Cardianl Pietro Riario. An interlude (intermezzo), a ballet was offered between courses. In honor of Ercole (i.e. the Latin hero Hercules) the following “ballet” took place.
The table removed the ballo of Hercules with five men and nine ladies began.
During the ballo the Centaurs came and they performed a fine battle. The Centaurs, vanquished by Hercules, returned and the ballo was formed again. (8)

In later centuries, particularly the 16th in France, such interludes would be considered the first real ballets, mythic in content, heavily masked and costumed, that would be offered as court ceremonies and eventually move to the theater.

Guglielmo Ebreo eventually converted to Christianity around 1463-1465 and adopted the name Giovanii Ambrosio. Treatises exist employing both names. The pressures of court life made such conversion inevitable to maintain close contact and intimacy with the aristocracy’s dancing daughters and their church connections.
http://www.j-italy.org/jewish-dancing-m ... he-ghetto/

Another source ...
https://books.google.de/books?id=MX-Wtx ... za&f=false
... has only, that Alessandro Sforza was asked for a Northern dancing master to teach Leonora the Lombard style
of dancing. The author suspects, that Leonora was prepared to marry a Sforza son.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Costanzo Fest book and 'AS' deck - shared attributes

#6
Phaeded wrote: While we would no longer call the ‘CVI’, ‘AS’ and ‘EE’ all Ferrarese, the last is most definitely associated with Ferrara and maybe the only one we can positively date, given the sharing of shield space of the court cards with the arms of Aragon, presumably for a wedding.
Possibly, perhaps even probably, but surety is denied by the fact that in May 1444, Leonello d'Este married Mary d"Aragon, so that too could explain the arms of Aragon- and making the deck far earlier than previously thought -

As for the AS - the wide usage of the shields diamond ring with flower and foliage emblem hardly gives us surety regarding patronage, it could be another deck connected to the d'Estes for example, rather than Alessandro Sforza - taking us back to Ferrara for at least two of the decks -
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Costanzo Fest book and 'AS' deck - shared attributes

#7
SteveM wrote:
Phaeded wrote: While we would no longer call the ‘CVI’, ‘AS’ and ‘EE’ all Ferrarese, the last is most definitely associated with Ferrara and maybe the only one we can positively date, given the sharing of shield space of the court cards with the arms of Aragon, presumably for a wedding.
Possibly, perhaps even probably, but surety is denied by the fact that in May 1444, Leonello d'Este married Mary d"Aragon, so that too could explain the arms of Aragon- and making the deck far earlier than previously thought -

As for the AS - the wide usage of the shields diamond ring with flower and foliage emblem hardly gives us surety regarding patronage, it could be another deck connected to the d'Estes for example, rather than Alessandro Sforza - taking us back to Ferrara for at least two of the decks -
Steve,
All fair points, however....

If the 'EE' = 1444 Leonello d'Este marriage to Mary d"Aragon, then it would seem there would be some reference to Leonello's distinctive 'bowl-haircut' (also favored by L. Alberti on his medal), as well as at least one detail from the device he had minted on the occasion of that marriage:
…the reverse of the Pisanello portrait medal of Leonello d’Este was cast to celebrate his marriage in April 1444 to Maria d’Aragona. The reverse, with its impresa of a small putto holding a musical instrument in front of a lion, was a play on the idea that in this new marriage, Cupid would teach the lion (Leonello) to sing. (Kristin Lippincott in Perspectives on the Renaissance Medal, 2000: 78)
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As for the 'AS' as possibly d'Este ("...[ring] emblem hardly gives us surety regarding patronage, it could be another deck connected to the d'Estes") - I've not limited my argument to that impresa but tried to show here that there seem to be common motifs between the 'AS' and Fest book. But even if those commonalities are disregarded, you'd have to explain why the d'Este would depict steep mountains in the 'AS' World card as representational of their domain. Having been to Ferrara (granted just a day trip from Padua) I can testify to its flatness, as it is part of the Po River delta plain and essentially part of the Veneto. As the Fest book and Bellini painting show, on the other hand, the Sforza of Pesaro were rather obsessed with mountains.

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Part of Ferrara and its countryside:
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