Re: Biblical virtues and lights in the sky

#12
sandyh wrote:
19 Jun 2018, 21:49
.

As for the baby, no tarocchi Popess card has ever had one.
That was my point - most common images of Popesse Joan images showed her with a baby - it was very rare to show her with a book and without a baby - without a baby I don't think what you call your ordinary 'wool-card' reader would have mistaken the image as the Popesse (without a pre-determined title of such which made the identity clear) - this seems more unlikely to me than your so called 'wool-card' (?)* reader recognizing such as a (very rare and anachronistic) depiction of Prudence -

*I am also not so sure what you mean by 'wool-card' reader - if you mean some illiterate everyday tavern card player*, how was such supposed to influence the identity of Prudence/Papesse from their mistake, from that point on and in different regions? Makes no sense [to me]-- some 'wool-card' reader made the mistake of reading Prudence as Popesse, and from that point everyone else and in different regions concurred? Really?
On the Tarocchi de Mantegna Caritas, I'll give you the pelican, but how did you know that was a cash box?
It's a purse, not a cash box, and purses contain coins, and coins (as with the Pelican) are emblems of Caritas (an emblem shared with Prudence, among others) - there are round things falling from the purse, and as purses usually contain coins, and coins are emblems of Caritas (which the figure is clearly titled), I make an informed assessment that they are most likely coins falling from the purse - by an 'informed assessment' I mean this comes from a study of medieval and renaissance iconography, with a particular emphasis on the emblems of the virtues - Purses/Coins are emblems of Caritas (among other things, but as it is clearly entitled Caritas, I don't think there is much room for conflation or confusion in this instance) -- I read them I see them, but no doubt my 'seeing' as such is also conditioned by familiarity with medieval and renaissance representations and literary sources, and in agreement with what I regard as authorities on such - Perhaps without such prior knowledge conditioning my perception I might also have seen them as a salt-box and a swan!?

SteveM
* One should beware of assuming illiteracy among the Urban residents of North Italian City-States - there was in fact a high degree of literacy among the differing classes of North Italian urban centers in the 15th century - Guarino taught butcher's and baker's boys as well as Princes -- even the youngest sons of peasants were typically afforded an education (often funded by not only their parents but by their older siblings, there were also scholarships available) or received a clerical education by entering the church -- many women, at least among the nobility and wealthy merchant classes, were highly educated too -- some poorer girls with scholastic interests disguised themselves as boys to obtain a clerical education (also some nuns with a spiritual vocation disguised themselves as men in order to enter monasteries, nunneries in 15th century Italy were not a good place at the time for a woman with a true spiritual vocation, being a place where widows retired, girls without dowries were sent and those who had shamed the family were exiled and not particularly 'holy' places at all - the reformists depiction of 15th century Italian nunneries as whore-houses, which to an extent may be considered propagandist hyperbole, was in fact in many cases not far from the truth - which is perhaps another aspect to take into account when thinking about how your 'wool-card reader' or common-man tavern player considered the 'Popesse')
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: Biblical virtues and lights in the sky

#13
Making wool cloth requires several trades, of which weaver was highest and wool-carder one of the lowest. It means to tease the wool into smooth silky hanks by working it between two combs set with sharp spikes. Card comes from the word for a spiky thistle called a teasel. It is not the same word as the card that means a piece of paper (or perhaps the word card comes from wool-card). The cards were no longer made from teasels, but from metal wires, and they were a Milan specialty. Wool cloth was the major industry of Italian towns, although silk increased in importance. The wage for a laborer such as a wool-carder was 10 soldi a day, a figure that was unchanged through the XV cent. The value of 10 soldi sharply declined over the century, at least the amount of silver it represented did. The amount of gold the Lira (20 soldi) represented declined even faster. How much bread 10 soldi would buy, or how that changed over the century, I do not know. I think it is important. A large recent study on the Italian economy (1) , in his chapter called "The value of the Florin", carefully explained that it was of no importance whatsoever (as long as men are willing to work for 10 soldi why should we care what they ate, he said. It is of no importance as a factor of production, he said). Only the value of the soldi in silver was of economic importance, he said.
1) The Economy of Renaissance Florence by Richard A. Goldthwaite

Naibi were 2 soldi, naibi di trionfi were 3, about a third of a day's pay. Pratesi's work on the cashbooks of small boteghas shows that these were stores that sold to artisans. They sold a lot of cards. A price of 2 soldi implies I think that the decks were printed. There was a lot of money to be made selling cards. That's what tarocchi cards are. Some artist drew the pictures, and some wood block carver, likely German, carved them into blocks of wood, and they printed a great many decks of cards, and they sold them to artisans one step up in the social scale (as depicted in the Tarot de Marseille) from beggars, and they made some money. That's why they did it.

Re: Biblical virtues and lights in the sky

#14
sandyh wrote:
20 Jun 2018, 03:28
Making wool cloth requires several trades, of which weaver was highest and wool-carder one of the lowest. It means to tease the wool into smooth silky hanks by working it between two combs set with sharp spikes. Card comes from the word for a spiky thistle called a teasel. It is not the same word as the card that means a piece of paper (or perhaps the word card comes from

Thanks, I know what a wool-card is and what a wool-carder did, I was confused about why and in what context you were referring to them in particular as having some special role in mistaking 'Prudence' as the 'Popesse' - if I am understanding you right then you are just using 'wool-carder' as a catch all example for low waged consumers of low cost printed cards? So, you are saying it was consumers of the low cost printed cards who mistook an image of Faith for one of the Popesse, and their erroneous identification was the one that stuck and spread everywhere, leaving no trace of the original intended meaning anywhere?
Naibi were 2 soldi, naibi di trionfi were 3, about a third of a day's pay. Pratesi's work on the cashbooks of small boteghas shows that these were stores that sold to artisans. They sold a lot of cards. A price of 2 soldi implies I think that the decks were printed. There was a lot of money to be made selling cards. That's what tarocchi cards are. Some artist drew the pictures, and some wood block carver, likely German, carved them into blocks of wood, and they printed a great many decks of cards, and they sold them to artisans one step up in the social scale (as depicted in the Tarot de Marseille) from beggars, and they made some money. That's why they did it.
Yes, Pratesi's work shows the availability of low cost cards, and at such a cost and rate of sales we can argue that they were printed - not sure why you say the card-makers sold them to their fellow artisans in particular? Yes, of course they made them for money, it was their business as artisans, and in the business of making money I'm sure the card-making artisans sold their cards to whoever wished to buy them, where and when allowed to do so, directly or through merchants, not just to other artisans: Except for special occasions when one might want to impress guests I imagine even the rich would have preferred to play with cheap disposable cards than expensive hand-painted ones -- merchants and possibly rural peasants* were probably consumers too --

SteveM
*During festivals, and possibly at other times too (such as market days) peasants would come into the City with home-made sweetmeats (nuts, honey-cakes, wafers, dried and candied fruits etc) to sell - from statutes we have discussed in another thread it appears the sweetmeat sellers were want to play games of their own invention, or with dice (and later cards), under cover of their sweetmeats, gambling their goods against the urban dwellers coins -
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: Biblical virtues and lights in the sky

#15
First, here is an interesting essay on Leon Battista Alberti and Fortuna, which I got to from reading the thread on Mantegna's Minerva Expelling the Vices from the Garden of Virtue, which Cardwell posted about, to this thread (I think). So that's why I am mentioning it here:
http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~pmclean/mcl ... 0final.htm
and here is a quote from it, speaking of Alberti’s Della Famiglia:
the word fortuna appears 204 times in that work, thirty-two times in the brief (3200 word) prologue alone.
Alongside it are numerous references to the key personal attribute that Fortuna attacks, namely honor (onore, onestà), and numerous references to the ‘remedies’ one may use against Fortuna, namely diligence (diligenza, industria, fatica) and virtue (virtù). I think it is fair to say Alberti is less cynical in the Della famiglia than in the Intercenales, but there are interesting subtexts here to his belief that we are able to manage in the face of fortuna.
Fortuna is another possibility for who is in that stone prison in the Mantegna painting. She is the mother of the virtues, in the same sense that necessity is the mother of invention. It is the roll of the virtues, more or less, to imprison Fortuna. By the way, has anyone mentioned how well behaved the vices are, and the virtues, not so much? The vices are good parents (twice), and they carry one disabled comrade and assist another. They don't fight back. When told to go by an excited woman waving a stick, they go. If the woman in blue is Diana (I don't disagree, but I'd like to know why everyone thinks so) then she is part of the virtue force, expelling the vices, and she is unarmed and unarmored (she carries a bow, but no quiver). Well armored Minerva, in the title role, leads from behind. If the tree is Daphne, then three of the four virginities row from the Marziano deck are present; the fourth is Vesta. Could she be the woman in the olive green dress? So this is the charge of the four virgins asking the vices to stop trespassing. Virginity is not one of the seven virtues, and neither is chastity.
vestastick.png
vestastick.png (179.91 KiB) Viewed 3574 times
Vesta?'s weapon

So back to what I am supposed to be talking about. I used woolcarder only pars pro toto, it was the most common of the occupations in the largest industry, I believe. I hoped to bring some concreteness to the making, buying, and playing of cards; to evoke a party of gamblers on some festival day. I am often incomprehensible, sorry. I'll try to do better.

I know that many Flemish workers were in the Italian towns in the cloth factories. I know that German woodblock printing was very advanced, and in particular the making and printing of playing cards. I can't say more advanced than the Italian in the XV century, because I have not found any Italian examples of woodblock printing. So I have a theory that many of the customers for the early cards were foreigners, and the woodblock carver, and perhaps the artist as well, of early Italian printed decks, were German.

So we have some artist, drawing images that a carver will carve into wooden blocks. This is the first printed trionfi deck. By the probabilities:
Either he meant the card to be Prudentia, or meant it to be Popess, or something else. As to what he would do, rather than what we conclude from other evidence that he did do, Prudentia is most likely, Popess unlikely. Prudentia fits with other virtues in the deck, Popess is a strange choice.

If he meant to draw Popess, drawing her with a baby is most likely, with no baby unlikely. Triple crown is most likely, single crown less likely.

If he meant to draw Pru, snake and Janus face is most likely, book and lectern less likely, but not unlikely. Either way, mirror is most likely, cross is unlikely but possible, neither mirror nor cross is somewhat unlikely.

Once the cards were printed, and were a hit, they were copied by other artists and carvers. The artist and carver of the copying enterprise likely knew more than the average customer, but if the players had started using a name for a card, the knockoff cardmakers may not have cared about the original artist's intent. They wanted their cards to sell to the buyers familiar with the first deck.

If the deck had a popess with triple crown and baby, the copier would most likely have shown the baby. Not showing the baby would be less likely.

If the first deck had a Pru strangling a snake, then getting to popess in the copy would be impossible.

If the first deck had a Pru with book and lectern, then the card may have looked like this:
popess cary sheet.png
popess cary sheet.png (284.15 KiB) Viewed 3574 times
in every detail, except that instead of a crook it would have had a mirror (most likely), nothing (medium likely), or a cross (fairly unlikely). Note that this later, copied card has no triple crown.

If the original looked like the above picture, but with a mirror, then the copy would have been the above picture, with low likelihood, because of the mirror. If the original looked like the above picture, with a cross or nothing, then the copy would have looked the above picture, with high likelihood.

So in total, that the original artist intended popess, is quite unlikely, because the original artist wouldn't have chosen to have a popess in the first place, and if he had, he would put in a baby, and if he had put in a baby, so would the copier, and the copies don't have a baby.

In contrast, Pru was a very likely choice by the original artist. Going with book and lectern was a likely choice, although not the most likely, which would have been snake and Janus. Then either he didn't put in a mirror, or the mirror was not recognized as proof that it was Prudentia. Both are somewhat unlikely, but possible.

I grant that the presence of other virtues should have made the customers hunt for the missing virtues in the cards. But they may have been less familiar with the concept of the four classical virtues, than with the Seven Virtues. If they had seen six of seven virtues, they would have looked very hard for the seventh. Maybe not so much for the missing fourth of Plato's virtues.

All in all, I think it more likely that the original artist intended Prudentia rather than Popess. But let's say the chance that his intent for a card, ended up being misread, was as low as 10%. There are 21 trumps, so there should be 2 mistakes. I only claim one.

[It is true that I also think his Faith Hope and Charity ended up as Sun, Star, and Moon, but I think he was doing something complicated, making cards that fit two or more of his pattern schemes at the same time, and put Star, Moon, and Sun on these cards in a very prominent way, and the users just said "Sun," "Moon," or "Star," because they cared about identifying the card, not describing it. Of pure mistakes, I think Prudentia turning into Popess was the only one.]

I appreciate your kind attention to my posts, and even the pointing out of my mistakes.

Re: Biblical virtues and lights in the sky

#17
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
20 Jun 2018, 22:46
I believe that the card you both have posted as the Popess from the Cary Sheet is actually probably the Pope, while the Popess in that sheet is cut off, only half visible.
Did I? Not in this thread I don't think, but perhaps in another one - anyways, thanks for reminding me - yes, its position on the sheet taking the order of the cards on it as related to sequence (as some of them clearly are*) would suggest it is the Pope (or a bishop, going by the accoutrements), rather than the Popesse - Kaplan if I recall right referred to it as Pope or Popesse--

Steve
*For example, reading right to left, devil next to tower; the star, moon & sun; lovers, chariot;
& Popesse? Empress Emperor Pope?
Image
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: Biblical virtues and lights in the sky

#18
Sandy, you wrote above to the effect that the name "Papessa" could only refer to Pope Joan.

(Here it is, in post number 10 - "To say the card is Popess, but is not Pope Joan -- I don't even know what that would mean.")

When I first started researching this subject, I thought the same thing. But even by 2003, there was enough on the web to prove that was an error. I quickly found three non-Pope Joan uses of Popess in French, Italian, and Catalan, showing that it was a word-form with a range of meanings. Here is something I posted on Geocities back then -
http://www.geocities.ws/anytarot/namepapesse.html

"The term Papessa is Italian and Papesse is French; English is Popess. I cannot find it recorded earlier than about 1440 in any vernacular language. Before this date, all the sources are Latin, and refer to Pope Joan. The Latin form is Papissa, which enters the language around 1250, in the first written account of Pope Joan.
In the vernacular languages, suitably, the word has a much broader range of meaning than "Papissa Joanna" - from the burlesque to the sacred. They show that the term is a natural and simple substantive - the feminine form of "pope" -, and that therefore the term "Papesse" by itself can shed no light on a potential historical referent to the card.

"I have only found the following four from the 15th century -

1. Pope Joan, 1440 (French)

Martin le Franc wrote "Le Champion des Dames", including a section defending Pope Joan (Jeanne la Papesse).

2. Mystery play, 1450 (French)

"A text from around 1450 containing the "Mystery of Saint Bernard de Menthon".

"At lines 1869-70, the Fool says -
"If I were the pope of Rome,
My Mariocte would be popess".
(Si j'estoy le pape de Romme,
Ma Mariocte seroit papesse)
"This is clearly burlesque, and as Mariocte is the female companion of the Fool, if he were pope then she would be his "papesse"; it is exactly the same set of constructions as "mister" and "mistress".
"This early entry shows the word "papesse" in the vernacular being used in a logical way, and in a logical context - it is the feminine of "pope", in a satirical or ribald context. It is natural to assume that using a feminine form of "pape" would in itself seem to imply satire or ribaldry.

3. Pope's sister, mid-fifteenth century (Italian)

"The next vernacular use I have found seems to be "Palazzo delle Papesse" (Palace of the Popesses) the nickname of Palazzo Piccolomini, Caterina Piccolomini's Palace in Siena, begun in 1460.

http://www.comune.siena.it/main.asp?id=1500
http://www.papesse.org/papesse/ita/info/palazzo.htm
http://www.italica.rai.it/galleria/nume ... apesse.htm

"Caterina was the sister of Aeneas Silvio Piccolomini, who became Pope Pius II in 1458, which (according to everything I have read) explains the name. I can't find much about her, but she does not seem to have been a notorious woman, so it does not seem pointedly satirical, much less ribald. Thus, leaving aside some questions, such as when did it get the name, why is "papesse" plural, etc., it is clear that this particular use of the term "papessa" is merely gently ironic.

"Coincidentally, it was in Siena's Duomo that a representation of Papa Joanne VIII, depicted and labelled "Femina", was supposed to have been displayed, along with all the other Popes up to that time.

"And interestingly also, it was Aneas Silvio Piccolomini in 1451 (before he became Pope) who is credited with showing the first slight glimmer of doubt about the historicity of Pope Joan.

4. Virgin Mary or Church as Bride of Christ, late 15th century (Catalan)

"In the late 15th century, the Catalan Abbess Isabel de Villena (1430- 1490) wrote the "Vita Christi", which was printed for the first time in 1497. Chapter 238 has a hymn to either the Church or the Virgin Mary, which contains the lines -
"You, O Lady, are the great Popess,
to whom our Lord has committed great treasures".
(Vos, Senyora, sou la gran Papessa a qui
nostre Senyor ha comanat los grans tresors)
"This is about as far from burlesque, ribaldry or satire as you can get, and it is the closest I have found to anyone giving the term "papessa" an indisputably dignified sense.

"These four little instances of the vernacular term "papesse" span 50 years of the 15th century and they span the range of possible uses of the word "papesse" and "papessa". I think this range of contexts shows that the title of the card alone cannot shed much light on the meaning of the image. For that we must look to the pack and the game itself, and contemporary images of the same figure."

Addendum. Comments to Michael Hurst, 2011 -

"I could have added (maybe I still will) the Mystère de S Bernard de Menthon quote where the Fool says that "If I were Pope of Rome, my Mariocte would be Popess". This comedic use indicates how natural the idea of a Pope having a "wife" could be, even if it is not in the legal-theological sense.

"However, it's clear that in Bembo's portrayal, she is not intended in a ribald way. As it stands, Bembo's seems to be the earliest personification of the Church wearing a triple tiara. Since it is unlikely he invented the idea, there must have been some convention of this, even though it is completely lost for the moment. And since Tarot's invention goes back perhaps as far as 20 years before the VS deck, if the earlier decks had a similar portrayal (not obviously ribald, and intended to personify the body of the Church), then we either have to assume that it was invented with the invention of the trumps, or that the main, outside-of-Tarot (I was going to write "extra-tarotic", but that is a damn funny-looking word), convention dates to at least the 1430s. I go with there being an outside tradition first - like with most or all of the other Tarot iconography.

"I'm just disappointed not to find it in any of Hind's 914 prints; even though they all date after 1450, it would be nice to find some evidence of it outside of Tarot or Pope Joan portrayals. Maybe I haven't looked closely enough. On the other hand, maybe that's telling us something: maybe in Tarot she is based on Pope Joan being a captive of Love in depictions of Petrarch's triumphs. But then we are back to Bembo being the earliest witness to such a convention by at least 15 years (dating the Venetian Trionfi engraving to 1478 and the VS to the early-mid 1460s, as in Dummett's latest publication on it)."

I have a nagging suspicion that I found a fifth vernacular non-Pope Joan use, but I can't find it at the moment. It should be possible to discover a lot more nowadays.
Image

Re: Biblical virtues and lights in the sky

#19
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
21 Jun 2018, 13:16

2. Mystery play, 1450 (French)

"A text from around 1450 containing the "Mystery of Saint Bernard de Menthon".

"At lines 1869-70, the Fool says -
"If I were the pope of Rome,
My Mariocte would be popess".
(Si j'estoy le pape de Romme,
Ma Mariocte seroit papesse)
As a 'Bride' of the Pope it is possible she may also be a personification of Rome, and by extension the Church of Rome as head (and thus representative of) the body of the true Roman Catholic Church as a whole -- The motif of Rome as being the bride of the Pope was one that rose to the fore particularly in the 14th century, made use of by people such as Boccaccio, Dante, Petrarch and Rienzo, against the figuration of Avignon as whore (applying the biblical motif of Babylon as whore v Jerusalem as bride to the situation between Avignon and Rome) - the figuration of Rome as bride persisted until it was turned on its head with the protestant reformation in the 16th century, and Rome was itself depicted as the Babylonian Whore--

It's possibly a bit late but for another use we have also In the 16th century (c1533) Aretino if I recall right refers to Venice as the Popesse of Cities (and the Grand Canal as the Patriarch of waterways), apparently in a positive light* as a kind of superlative (though elsewhere he also seems to connect the Popesse of the tarot with Pope Joan, in a negative way)

SteveM
That is I think he used it as a superlative in a complimentary way, not sarcastically or satirically -
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: Biblical virtues and lights in the sky

#20
While quite rare, the Papesse was not always depicted with a baby, here is an example, c1420:
Image
http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit ... 0417/image
----------------------------
And another 1488:
Image

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b ... .r=papesse

(The adversary talks through his nose about Calpurnia and Lady Jean the Popesse ...)
From La Champion des dames, France, 1488

An english rhyming translation of the verse is here:
https://books.google.com.tr/books?id=Vj ... &q&f=false
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

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