mikeh wrote: ↑03 Feb 2019, 11:27So what could be the connection of Marziano to the later tarot of Florence 1440, the CY and so forth?
...It is true that virtus in Latin does not have the same moral connotation as virtù usually does in Italian: in Latin it means “strength” or “excellence” as well as “virtue” in the moral sense. Each god or demigod has his or her excellence, which does not always translate to moral excellence. But that is the problem. It is virtue in the moral and theological sense, action in accordance with divine will, that Marziano is promising to “arouse” in Filippo - he explicitly says, in a sentence I have omitted, that his concern is the virtue of "moral actions", "actibus moralis" - and it is that which is now mixed up with vice.
Yep, manly virtus is not the theme but rather the moral theme of virtù.
The source behind Marziano, as Ross has pointed out is Boccaccio, who in turn was often filtering Petrarch through his own lens (and all of this ultimately relies on the then-recent Ovide moralise tradition). Petrarch was obsessed with viewing his Laura (if she in fact existed) as Daphne. Daphne, humanity at its most vulnerable chased by the passion of a god (and besides Apollo you could have of course inserted any number of Jupiter's objects of desire, but the choice of Daphne clearly points to Petrarch), and she is at the bottom of the list with Cupid - as the lowest level where human-"celestial" interact - for a reason: human virtue struggles amidst the chaotic stirrings of the gods, some of whom are virtuous (e.g.,Minerva) some of whom are most definitely not (e.g. Bacchus).
The "self" thrown into this realm of virtues and vices was increasingly common since the 13th century. In BL Harley 3244 ff. 27v-28 (1238) below, it shows the seven vices represented as devils: Superbia (Pride), Invidia (Envy), Ira (Wrath), Accidia (Sloth), Avaricia (Covetousness), Gula (Gluttony), and Luxuria (Self-indulgence), each subdivided, and countered by doves representing the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, a knight on horseback (the 'Just Man') with the shield of faith and armed with virtues, and an angel. The armor of the knight and the trappings of the horse are labelled with the names of virtues.
This was also the main theme of Dante's teacher, Bruno Latini in his Tesoretto, (despite its popularity, the only extant illustrated manuscript of Brunetto Latini's Tesoretto is inFlorence, Biblioteca Medicea-Laurenziana, Strozzi 146, early Trecento). Like Dante's Comedia, Latini is a character in his own story, educated about the world by the allegory of Nature; he then takes his leave of Natura and comes to Philosophy's realm where he finds the Aristotelian virtues in a landscape filled with emperors, kings, lords. At this point Latino, standing to one side, sees and hears a young knight ('Chavaliero') being educated in the virtues necessary for the good citizen of the well-ordered city. I'll quote the most relevant episode from this excellent webpage on Latini: http://www.florin.ms/tesorettintro.html
A Milanese variation of that theme: De Predis depiction of that planetary "children's" realm of Amor for Sforza in his c. 1450s De Sphaera (Ms. lat. 209 Biblioteca Estense, Modena).Then Latino wanders from his path - as Natura had warned him not to do - and comes to the realm of Fortune and Love, as he travels down the lefthand road on the Kalends of May . There he finds a variable landscape that at one moment is deserted, the next has tents, then palaces, in which people are weeping or joyous, in which they are stationary or are chasing or being chased. He sees the god Amor with his bow and arrows upon a pillar, and is fearful. But he turns to the great Ovid, who teaches him by means of his verses both the delights and the errors of love. Ovid gives Latino mastery over himself, protecting him from the arrows of Love and allowing him to flee from that dangerous place (Strozz. 146, fol. 21v).
Dante of course has Virgil guide him through the dangerous realms before being handed off to Beatrice to ascend through the seven canonical Virtues/planetary spheres before arriving at the top spheres for the heavenly visions of the divine. It these seven virtues I argue we find in the CY (with temperance and justice missing, but found in in the PMB and thus assumed as missing in the CY, with Prudence more controversially proposed as "World"; more on the latter below).
As for the chaotic realm of Love in a Florentine context, The c. 1460 Florentine cassone showing a joust in Santa Croce under the watchful eyes of the statue of the Guelph patron Saint Louis on one end (virtue), opposite has Venus as allegorical float amidst the joust, seemingly causing the riotous behavior of the knights below; and on the banner on the far right is a woman sitting in a meadow, playing music on a lute - virtue amongst the Kalends of May-like mayhem (I was able to inspect this cassone in person in the Yale Art Museum this past year - definitely a lute). Although this cassone does not depict the Kalends of May proper, for that pronounced theme in Florence see Charles Dempsey's The Portrayal of Love: Botticelli's Primavera and Humanist Culture at the Time of Lorenzo the Magnificent (1992). Right "Venus"/love detail of the cassone in question with virtuous woman-in-the-meadow banner (one presumes virtus does have a role in this context as the winner of the joust is worthy of the virtuous maiden, notably held by a page in the livery of triumphal wreaths; but it is Venus who enflames the men to knightly deeds):
As for Mike's question about the "connection of Marziano to the later tarot of Florence 1440, the CY" - in the CY "world" what is this knight and the kneeling maiden he is to cross the river for, but precisely the woman holding Chasity's shield on the "Chariot" and the virtuous "Chavaliero" from the Trecento sources (or any of the Arthurian legends so popular in Milan and Ferrara), both having successfully followed the path of he virtues (and their exemplary themes) found in the preceding cards, with the knight now able to claim his maiden (being received by virtuous monks upon a boat).
The Quattrocento added the detail of the fama of a ruler's virtues, almost always with the additional line of "singing their praises to the stars" (astrology being an utmost concern, allusions to it are found everywhere, not to mention the stars are eternal, thus the ruler's fame). So in addition to the symbols of rulership of the allegorical bust protruding from the band of clouds (I would think it as an updated version of Siena's "good government" fresco or in the case of Visconti, rather the "the well ordered dominion, ruled with 'good right") we find the winged trumpet of fame...the fame of both virtuous Bianca and Francesco.
Virtuous love - a marriage (with the low matrimonial bed in the tent awaiting consummation of the marriage, otherwise not binding)
And the Florentine ur-tarot would not have shown a couple but rather the "Kalends of May" theme (and its social rituals that bound Florence, ergo the CVI love trump - and compare the front couple of the CVI to the couple underneath the springtime zodiacal sign of Taurus in the Venus Sphaera page above, with a lute player facing them, suggesting they are dancing).
The group versus couple Love motif has a Trecento provenance. In fact, Amor paired with a ruler-couple may be a Quattrocento innovation, as the Trencento - the age of the communes - seemed to have preferred a theme that suggested society at large.