Re: Problems with positing the Papi in the ur-Tarot

#11
mikeh wrote:
10 Jul 2019, 14:11
Like Phaeded, I have had problems understanding why four cards all with the same name and equal in rank would be put in a trump suit, much less at the beginning. It seemed far more likely that some papal legate, after the Bentivoglio were defeated in 1507, insisted that the Pope and Popess had to go, to be replaced by the vague name meaning "grand men" .

On the other hand, there is the game described by John of Rheinfelden where the four suits represent the four "monarchies" of Babylonia, Persia, Macedon/Greece, and Rome. So four imperatori, each conquering the one before. And judging from the name "VIII Imperadori," there might have been two such "papi" per empire. If this game originated in Germany or Switzerland, they would have all been male, like the German and Swiss court figures.

That merely followed the medieval chronicle convention of tracing history from the Creation through the end times, usually in an attempt to place their own times on that biblical time-line; Goro Date’s La Sfera even gives this impetus a geographical emphasis, whose maps and illustrations feature the tower of Babylon and Jerusalem (its all about locating then-contemporary man in biblical time and space) . The four papi has absolutely nothing to do with the 4 monarchies subjects or theme.

mikeh wrote:
10 Jul 2019, 14:11
In the then-modern times, there were two likenesses of the Greek and Roman empires of yore, namely the Byzantine and Holy Roman Empires, one with an Emperor and the Patriarch of Constantinople, the other with an Emperor and a Pope. All male. But it won't do to put them in a hierarchy, because to each other the Eastern and Western must appear equal, if unity is to be achieved some day. Hence the rule about them all being equal. It also won't do to name them, because they will be named in some order, and whatever order it is, someone will be offended.

And yet the fourth personage is missing in Florence for the East-West Union - or anywhere for that matter – when the ur-tarot was created: Emperor Sigismund died in 1437 leaving an interregnum vacuum until 1452 when Frederick III was sworn in (with a notable visit to Florence then). The idea of two emperors and two popes isn’t based on anything meaningful in c. 1439 and isn’t reflected in a single piece of comparable art from the period in either Florence of Bologna.
mikeh wrote:
10 Jul 2019, 14:11
On the other hand, what can be done is to draw one of them as bearded and the other beardless, or in some other way convey that one is younger than the other. This is because in the German game with 8 emperors for 4 empires, 4 of them would have been Under-emperors, or heirs-apparent, at any rate someone officially designated to take the Emperor's place in case of death or incapacity…. So we get rank distinctions that can be turned into gender distinctions by people who don't know any better. Then, too, it will be possible to find four such personages within Western Europe itself, who can be arranged in a hierarchy, males first then females. So that is what happens outside of Bologna, Piedmont excepted. That is how Bologna's four papi make sense to me as part of an ur-tarot.

I’ve already pointed out the German idea of 4 monarchies has nothing to do with the 4 papi, so we’re left with this extreme hypothetical of papi coming first and followed by the supposedly modifying PMB-type deck, in which two of the papi get transformed into the Empress and “Popess”. Dante’s main exemplar in the sphere of the moon is Empress Constance the mother of the pivotal Frederick II (and there were other well-known empresses), so no need to cast about for why an empress was shown (especially when imperial weddings were international events). Notably Constance interacts with Piccarda, a Clare, both having been forced from convents (Par. 3.34-123), and our PMB Papess is shown as a Clare. But most problematic for this 4 papi as ur-tarot: the empress is there from the beginning, per the surviving CY, and fairly faithfully reproduced in the PMB (neither of which have a hint of 4 papi):

Image


As for “Papess,” clearly this figure is derived from the similarly crozier-bearing theological virtue of Faith, modified ever so slightly with the papal tiara to represent the Faith, or rather Ecclesia, of which there are comparables. Hurst appropriately quotes and comments on O’Neil here in this context:
O'Neill wrote:
An objective survey of the contemporary imagery yields a number of possibilities for the image on the early Papess card. Logically, the image is the female dual of the Pope, just as the Empress is the female dual of the Emperor. The logical dual of the celibate Pope is Mother Church.
[Hurst:]From countless examples of personification allegory, we KNOW how this process worked. There is nothing obscure or peculiar about this possibility; no special pleading is involved.

We also KNOW, from many examples before and after the invention of Tarot, that this process was used to symbolize various abstract subjects related to the Roman Catholic Church. Contemporaneous and later examples include, but are not limited to, Ecclesia (the Church itself), the Faith, True Religion, the Papacy, the Eucharist, Lex Canonica (Canon Law), Sponsa Christi (the faithful as the Bride of Christ), Divine Providence, Ecclesiastical Authority, Roma Sancta (the Holy City), and the beautifully illuminated Dame Doctryne. Protestant usage was also noteworthy, as the Whore of Babylon (again meaning the Roman Catholic Church). In terms of pre-Tarot personifications of this sort, we have repeated examples of Mater Ecclesia (Mother Church), Ecclesia et Synagoga (the twin figures of Church and Synagogue), Ecclesia Sponsa Christi, and occasional examples of things like Sapientia Dei (the Wisdom of God) and Domini Misericordia (God's Mercy).
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=917&p=13681&hilit= ... ess#p13681

Ecclesia has nothing to do with two emperors and is simply paired with the Pope as symbolic of his flock, to be saved in the end times through the sacramental agency of the papacy (and why the Judgement trump is also included in the earliest CY deck).

On a side note: Ross has relatively recently unearthed something in regard to the Papessa Giovanna theory but I don’t see how papal signs on a 9th century coin could inform the design of the PMB’s “Popess”/Eccelsia. viewtopic.php?f=12&t=1324

I have previously offered a historically-based rationale as to why Bologna would specifically feature two popes: There was the Roman Catholic Pope and then the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople, once resident in Bologna, but well after the ur-tarot (but not as late as when the Bentivoglio were defeated in 1507):

However, please consider this historical rationale for pushing the Bolognese "Papi" tradition back to the time when Cardinal Bessarion was the papal legate there:
Image
(James Hankins, Plato in the Italian Renaissance, 1, 1990: 247)

Hence one civic ruler or “Emperor” (with an Empress of course - Giovanni II Bentivoglio, tyrant of Bologna from 1463 until 1506, married his cousin and previous ruler Sante's widow, Ginerva Sforza in 1464, thus she was a "two time empress", reigning from 1454 through 1507); but what of two popes, which you link to the Roman and Orthodox Churches? The somewhat spurious Union (repudiated by its Greek signatories) was of course an immediate failure back in Constantinople, so unless the ur-Tarot was based on the Union, the Council is unlikely to have been the reason for tarot's creation. But was there a later reason in Bologna to entertain the idea of two popes due to its own local history, with no recourse to the Council of Florence?

The above quote from Hankins by itself is not satisfactory, but the full career of Bessarion must be taken into account. For the converted Cardinal Bessarion was not only Nicholas V’s papal legate sent to govern Bologna from 1450-1455, but was subsequently elevated to being the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople in 1463, a title he kept until his death in 1472 (and in a sense he was the Byzantine “pope” since Constantinople had fallen to the Turks). Surely Bologna would have looked on Bessarion’s subsequent success with civic pride given his fairly long five year office in their city. Given the 1464 wedding date of Giovanni II Bentivoglio/Ginerva Sforza, preceded by Bessarion's elevation the year before to the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople, we have a year that leaps out at us - 1464 - for cause of special celebration and the creation of something like Tarocchino Bolognese (and note the papal action in the year of the wedding in 1464, when Giovanni II Bentivoglio obtained from Pope Paul II - with special pleading through Bessarion?- the privilege to be considered perpetual head of the city's Senate; again, figurative "Emperor".).

It should also be noted that there was an Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, in "Constantinople"/Istanbul, but that position couldn’t help but be regarded with suspicion as the position was appointed by Mehmed II in 1454 as a means of controlling the city and environs after he conquered it in 1453 (the calls for crusades to retake the city were unending in the West and a puppet Orthodox leader, Gennadios II Scholarios in this case, was simply an annoyance, thus the more important role in the West of an “Orthodox Pope” in the office of Latin Patriarch of Constantinople, that was pro-crusade). Thus there is no need to explain the Bolognese "Papi" by way of the Council of Florence (and a supposed ur-tarot connection to it).
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1154&hilit=Bessari ... &start=190

Finally, if everyone knew what the East/Greek/Byzantine Emperor and Pope/Patriarch looked like (hell the Patriarch died in Florence), why not simply show two of the Papi in Byzantine garb, instead of focusing on facial hair as the means of discriminating among them?

Given the existence of the c. 1441 Empress and c. 1450 Popess/Ecclesia (replacing the 1441 Faith), isn't it much likelier that 2 of the papi were in turn replacements, one of which was of this misinterpreted 'Ecclesia' as popess (even specifically as pope Joan)?

Phaeded

Re: Problems with positing the Papi in the ur-Tarot

#12
Phaeded wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 20:19
... if everyone knew what the East/Greek/Byzantine Emperor and Pope/Patriarch looked like (hell the Patriarch died in Florence), why not simply show two of the Papi in Byzantine garb, instead of focusing on facial hair as the means of discriminating among them?
You might be interested (just for the love of knowledge) in a tidbit I discovered when searching for topically relevant episodes around the papi.

It is that during the discussions for the council when it was being set up in Ferrara, the placement of the thrones of the Pope, Patriarch, and Paleologus were argued about. Because Sigismund had died and his successor could not come, they put an empty throne beside the Pope.

At one time I had found the primary sources for all of this, and posted on it, but I can't find them in a moderate search, A few modern authors also discuss it. Here is a result from searching "council" "ferrara" "seating" "thrones" "emperor" "1438." Note especially note 6.
Image
https://books.google.fr/books?id=2nfXDQ ... 22&f=false

This source says that the same seating arrangement was maintained at Florence (with a note 19 pointing to a primary source that is not viewable) -
"This seating arrangement was apparently maintained at Florence, with some minor modifications."
(the inaccessibility of that note is really bothering me)

https://books.google.fr/books?id=jn10Dw ... 22&f=false

Thus I would have argued that the actual presence of the Emperor was irrelevant, what was important was that he was represented somehow. If you have a pope and emperor on one side, you need a pope and emperor on the other side, whether or not he is physically present.
Given the existence of the c. 1441 Empress and c. 1450 Popess/Ecclesia (replacing the 1441 Faith), isn't it much likelier that 2 of the papi were in turn replacements, one of which was of this misinterpreted 'Ecclesia' as popess (even specifically as pope Joan)?
1441 is highly dubious for CY. There is no reason it cannot be from 1445. Arguments based on the presumption that it is early and representative are weak.
Image

Re: Problems with positing the Papi in the ur-Tarot

#13
Here's a primary source for Ferrara, the Memoirs of Sylvester Syropoulos (my bold for emphasis), -

"After many altercations and resistance <had been made>, they said that the Pope’s throne should be placed in the very middle of the width of the church; then from the left-hand side of the Pope, behind the steps of the throne, a space should be left as big as the Emperor’s throne, and there the imperial throne would be placed. And <it would be placed> along the length behind so that the front parts of the imperial throne would be at a level with the back of the papal throne. Then, at a similar distance behind the imperial throne, calculated from the breadth and length behind it, <they would place> the Patriarch’s throne, and in this fashion they would hold the council, fighting among each other and oriented towards each other face to back. Since this <arrangement> was also considered ridiculous, they eventually conceded, after many arguments and objections, that the Pope should sit with his entourage on the right-hand side, just as Julian had stated at the beginning, while the Emperor and the Patriarch <should sit> with their entourage on the other side. But even now, they did not concede simply or straightforwardly, but with precise conditions. For they said that behind the Pope’s throne and its steps, allowing a certain distance, the throne of the Emperor of the Germans should be placed and behind him, in order, the Cardinals should sit. On the left side, opposite and exactly level with the throne of the German, should be placed the Emperor’s throne and after it, the throne of the Patriarch. But the Emperor was annoyed and was asking to sit opposite the Pope, saying, ‘What need is there for the German throne, since no Emperor is present here, nor indeed is there <an Emperor> at all?’ (For he had died earlier). But they said, ‘We must always preserve and protect the place of our Emperor even if he is not among the living; it is impossible to arrange the seats in any other superiority of rank than that which we have proposed.’ The Emperor was perforce persuaded to accept these <arguments>. But the Patriarch was still annoyed and did not concede to such a demotion of the throne, and the Emperor was forced to persuade the Patriarch also to <accept> this <position>. Indeed the Patriarch asked for a canopy over his own throne and a curtain behind, and the Pope did not allow this; for this reason, the Patriarch was grieved, but the Emperor, in indignation, said, ‘Now I truly know that the discussion about the throne and the seat was not pursued with regard to synodical order, but rather on account of pride and worldly illusion, which are far removed from our spiritual situation. So the Emperor sent officials (since the Patriarch did not want to send them). They came into the church and, with the help of the Pope’s bishops, measured the distance from the German throne with a small cord, and at an equal distance opposite it, they placed the throne of our Emperor. And next to it, leaving a little distance, they placed the throne of the Patriarch; and beyond it, <they placed> the benches for the delegates."

http://www.syropoulos.co.uk/translation.htm
Image

Re: Problems with positing the Papi in the ur-Tarot

#14
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
12 Jul 2019, 17:06
Image

This source says that the same seating arrangement was maintained at Florence (with a note 19 pointing to a primary source that is not viewable) -

"This seating arrangement was apparently maintained at Florence, with some minor modifications."
(the inaccessibility of that note is really bothering me)

https://books.google.fr/books?id=jn10Dw ... 22&f=false

So the empty seat placed out in Ferrara for the deceased Sigismund (or to signify his Imperial office) was possibly replicated in Florence….and based on that mere possibility the four papi in the Florentine ur-tarot? It seems this protocol fussing over thrones did not even result in four equal thrones, for the Italian source of this East-West game of musical chairs, Andrew da Santa Croce, doesn’t see four equal chairs (for four “papi”) but two imperial thrones (one empty), and the Patriarch’s lower throne being equal in height to the several Roman cardinals (see footnote 7 in the snip you posted above).

Not only did the Italian source not posit four equal positions (“papi”) but, to say it again, none of this is echoed any in any Florentine written record or art. How your standard Florentine understood the event is witnessed in none other than Giusti’s journal, who merely singles out two “papi” – the Catholic Pope and the Byzantine Emperor:
Lunedì a dì 6 di luglio si fece in Fiorenza nella chiesa di Santa Maria del Fiore l’unione della fede de’ Greci con la fede nostra, e papa Eugenio disse la messa e tutti e cardinali e vescovi e lo ’mperadore de’ Greci e ’ prelati greci v’intervennero e feciaro gran festa e gran solennità. (I GIORNALI DI SER GIUSTO GIUSTI D’ANGHIARI (1437-1482) – 1439, ed. N. Newbigin, 2002: 58)
"Monday in July 6 in Florence in the church of Santa Maria del Fiore the union of the faith of the Greeks was made with our faith, and Pope Eugene said the Mass with all the cardinals and bishops, as agreed [‘intervened’ seems like the wrong word here] with the Emperor of the Greeks and Greek prelates, and made a great feast with great solemnity" (my corrections of a machine translation to try to make this read a little more coherently in English).

That’s it. The next entry moves on to a condotte the ever-busy Giusti was negotiating with the Florentine Dieci.

Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
12 Jul 2019, 17:06
1441 is highly dubious for CY. There is no reason it cannot be from 1445. Arguments based on the presumption that it is early and representative are weak.

1441 has long been a frequently cited assumption for the CY, but I must have missed a new consensus forming around an alternate date. Perhaps you are basing these assertions on Berti’s numismatic research in his 2007 book on the history of tarot where he proposes that the deck was produced between 1442 and 1447, because the denari (coin) cards bears the recto and verso of the golden florin coined by F. M. Visconti in 1442 and withdrawn from circulation at his death, in 1447. He further clarified in a thread on this webpage:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=917&p=13556&hilit=Berti#p13556
giordanoberti
The Fiorino of FMV (Filippo Maria Visconti)
#42
I replay to the question regard the date of realization of the fiorino of FMV. The date of first issue is 1442, stands in all of numismatics.

In my book Storia dei Tarocchi (Mondadori, Milano 2010) I haven't pointed out the mismatch between the size of the coin current use and imprinted on the cards of the Tarot deck of FMV. It would have been better if I had added a note.

However, on this subject, I checked me in his time with prof. Michael Dummett. The only logical answer, on which we agreed fully, is as follows: for the Tarot cards was made a new matrix for print, slightly larger than the current coin. The reasons might be different, but the more plausible it seemed probably wanted to avoid dumping workshops a mint coinage that could get into the hands of counterfeiters.

Giordano Berti

So if the coin was first minted in 1442 a design for it could have been devised in the latter part of 1441 – the time of the Sforza-Bianca wedding – so how is that latter date a “dubious” proposition, or am I missing something?

I know you won’t dispute the two Visconti stemmi suits paired with two Sforza stemmi suits in the CY, so a presumed alliance. Given that fundamental aspect of the CY, when you state “there is no reason it cannot be from 1445” – see if you can spot the horsefly in the post-mid-1442 ointment in the timeline below (much of this abstracted from the handy chronology at the back of M. King’s 1994 work on Marcello):

23 Nov. 1439: After retaking Verona from Visconti, the Venetians enroll Sforza and his heirs as honorary members of their nobility and deed him the Palace of Two Towers on the Grand Canal (this naturally annoys Visconti to no end)

24-28 Oct. 1441: After the failures of Piccinino’s campaigns in 1440-41 (notably Anghiari and Verona once again) and the ploy of sending Bianca to Ferrara, Visconti marries his only child off to Sforza, the latter securing the Peace of Cavriana among all involved powers on 20 Nov. The Treaty confirms Sforza with possession of the Visconti dowry cities of Cremona (between Milan and Venice’s terrafirma possessions) and Pontremoli (midway between Genoa and Lucca, for ease of striking either city on behalf of Visconti).

3-6 May 1442 Bianca and Sforza are feted in Venice, the former even received on the Bucintoro, the state barge of the Doge of Venice. Once again, Visconti can’t be anything but furious, as the wedding failed to faithfully secure Sforza. Visconti retaliates…

17 May 1442 Pope Eugene IV makes Piccinino Captain-General; by the end of November Visconti and the newly installed King of Naples, Alfonso, join Eugene in an alliance against Sforza/Florence/Venice. That would largely remain the status quo until the deaths of Eugene and Visconti in 1447.

22 June 1443 Venice contracts with Sforza’s uncle, Attendolo, to be their Captain-General. Piccinino dies the following year but Visconti keeps up the alliance against Sforza/Venice/Florence, but it is Sforza who feels the brunt of the warring as his possessions in the Marche are under steady attack by Pope Eugene IV’s mercenary armies.

8 May 1446 Visconti’s forces overrun the contado of Sforza’s dowry city of Cremona; Venice’s army under Attendolo beat back Visconti’s forces in August of that year.

28 September 1446. Now on the offensive, Venice/Attendolo win a great victory at Casalmaggiore and by 7 November are in the precincts of Milan. Presumably Visconti finally relents in Sforza’s favor and writes to him around this date as the forged Donatio of Milan to Sforza is dated 10 November. But an agreement would have to wait a few more months…

19 March 1447: Visconti/Sforza sign a new condotte; Venice declares Sforza a traitor, and press their army up to the gates of Milan by 11 June.

4 August 1447: It has taken this long for Sforza to square his affairs in the Marche, finally selling his last possession of Jesi to the belligerent Pope Eugene for 35,000 florins. On 9 August Sforza makes his faithful march towards Milan but it is too late - Filippo dies on the 13th of August.

So given the only time Sforza and Visconti were on half-way amiable terms, from the October 1441 wedding of his daughter to Sforza to the time of the couple’s “betrayal” of a state visit to Venice in May 1442 (and taking up temporary residence in Sforza’s palazzo on the Grand Canal there), when exactly would have been the occasion for a luxury deck in which Sforza and Visconti’s stemmi – inclusive of a representation of the latter’s currency (surely to underscore a condotte) – would be celebrated together on an equal footing? The 1442-1447 range of dates of the numismatic evidence needs to be correlated to the historical record; In terms of a Visconti-Sforza alliance, less than the first half of 1442 works, which still allows for a slightly earlier date for the numismatic design (as Berti notes, the tarot coins do not exactly match the CY coin depictions - the latter could just as well be based or derived from the original design adapted for the minting).

The CY Empress stands as early evidence against the 4 papi theory of having been in the ur-tarot. Furthermore, nothing in Florence, where the ur-tarot was made, acknowledges the 4 papi as a theme – not even the man who paid for the Church Union and commemorated it some 20 years later in his palazzo’s chapel fresco, when there was a living Holy Roman Emperor (instead we find Gozzoli showing us three Greek kings/magi followed by the train of the Medici and their condottiere: Malatesta and the scion of Sforza, Galeazzo).

Phaeded

Re: Problems with positing the Papi in the ur-Tarot

#15
The date of 1441 relies on the quaint notion that the deck was painted as a marriage present. The notion itself is based on the Love card, which Cicognara took to show the cross of Savoy and the Biscione and "a bon droyt" of Visconti, and therefore signified the marriage of Maria of Savoy and Filippo Maria Visconti in 1428.

In the 20th century, when the cards became more certainly attributed to Bonifacio Bembo, whose birth date is held to be circa 1420, that idea obviously became impossible. I'm not sure who proposed it, but one early interpreter decided that Bembo should have been born 10 years earlier in that case, so that the CY could have been a very early production.

Of course the marriage present idea persists, so Kaplan (following Klein? I'll have to look it up) proposed 1441, considering the similarity with an actual painting of Francesco Sforza and Bianca Maria. Of course this painting is similar to the Lancelot of the Lake image of a marriage, and that was drawn in 1446-7. Dummett in 1993 (Il Mondo e l'Angelo, p. 49) took Kaplan's suggestion on balance as the least implausible (compared to Algeri).

Finally, there is the famous Giuliana Algeri proposition that the deck was painted in two different times, first the pips under FMV, because of the coins, and then the trumps, by Zavattari, in 1468 for the marriage of Bona of Savoy and Galeazzo Maria Sforza.

So the heraldry of the Love card and the baseless notion of a "marriage deck" has guided almost every dating of the deck. Dummett and others have pointed out that the white cross on red is also the symbol of Pavia.

Sandrina Bandera, in the 1999 Brera exhibition catalogue, argued for "within five years of 1447," which of course is no help at all to either of us. She seems to prefer later rather than earlier, closer to the Lancelot of the Lake Bembo drawings, which were done after the text was copied, so in 1446 or 1447.

My point is that art historians cannot get any better than Bandera, and neither of us is going to convince anyone by arguing for more precision based on an interpretation of the ur-Tarot or any other supposed evolution of the iconography.

I also don't see any relevance of the Empress for or against an ur-Tarot four papi. As I have always argued, the papi were distinguished by imperial and papal symbols, and then by other features like sitting or standing, bearded and unbearded, or male and female. Artists refine, reinterpret, and invent, especially painters who have a bigger surface and finer details to portray, so they refined the images as they saw them. I would argue that Bembo knew a female looking pope as well as a male one, but he painted her as a generic nun instead of a real pope in order not to offend. It was not up to him to suppress her.

Similarly, with the Empress, she was just the female version of the Emperor in the decks he knew, and he could paint her as vividly as he wanted, since she was not a figure who would give offense.

I see the CY as an exception, whose only relevance to the Ur-Tarot is that it demonstrates yet again that the standard subjects existed, and were standard. The exceptional parts of it - its size, the two added court cards - female to balance male (which we can speculate indicates something about the commissioner) - the suit of arrows, and the group of Theological Virtues - merely serve to show that it veered from the standard Tarot by a very conscious design. The fact that it has six court cards doesn't tell us that the ur-Tarot might have had six court cards in each suit, or that it had the Theological Virtues, or that it had arrows as a suit-sign. Those are intended variations, a unique project.
Image

Re: Problems with positing the Papi in the ur-Tarot

#16
A critical edition of Syropoulos, with French translation, is here -
https://books.google.fr/books?id=jxQ8AA ... ce&f=false

Obviously an essential primary text for the Council of Ferrara-Florence.

I am not arguing for any explicitly topical explanations for the choice of two imperial and two papal figures, nor for any of the trump subjects. For me a generic moralization of the regular game with the four suits as four kingdoms is sufficient to explain the impetus for a further moralization with higher or more abstract subjects, constituting the trumps. From there, it is just the mechanics of game that determined their number.

Obviously there is broad "topicality" in the sense of cultural context, just not topical in the sense of "unless there was a precise situation of public viewing of two popes and two emperors in 1439 nobody would have thought of it" kind.

I think looking for precisely topical reasons for things is misguided, because the closer you look the more you can find to justify your preconceptions. When Bologna as birthplace of the game was still in play, I went looking for proof of Bologna recognizing Pope Felix, and I found it. People argued against it, saying "But they didn't really accept Felix, it was forced on them." So now we have to read minds, or make a sweeping statement like "well, the typical Bolognese didn't accept Felix over Eugene, and we should assume that the inventor was typical rather than exceptional." That sort of thing. So it is a slippery slope of futility to argue topical like that.

Fortunately, I no longer believe it is necessary to invoke topical reasons for the inclusion of this or that subject or group of subjects.

It is sufficient explanation that popular perceptions of things, or "proverbial" if you like, is reflected in the trump subjects. So it is not exotic or strange at all to reflect on the never-ending contest of pope and emperor for the allegiance of princes, nor on the ecclesiastical schism which still rumbled on. Sitting or standing, seated or unseated, alive or dead, pope or anti-pope, it doesn't matter, it was the proverbial state of things. The equal-papi rule is not hard to understand at all, given the state of the world. It is a clever "game within a game." I think it is more naive to believe to that game designer wanted to earnestly and piously depict the orthodox world as we conceive it, with a static pope over a static emperor, as if the trumps were some kind of catechism. But the trionfi are not stained-glass windows in a cathedral, they are part of a subtle and intricate game, in which things can change.

It is also sufficient that the trump sequence begins on the lowest level of abstraction after the level of kings. Kings are under either emperor or pope, and since there are four kings there are four papi, evenly divided.
Image

Re: Problems with positing the Papi in the ur-Tarot

#18
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
13 Jul 2019, 17:16
The date of 1441 relies on the quaint notion that the deck was painted as a marriage present.….

Finally, there is the famous Giuliana Algeri proposition that the deck was painted in two different times, first the pips under FMV, because of the coins, and then the trumps, by Zavattari, in 1468 for the marriage of Bona of Savoy and Galeazzo Maria Sforza.

The Savoy red herring has been adequately addressed by the identical arms of Pavia: first associated with Filippo Visconti himself when “crown prince” as Count of Pavia before becoming Duke (and once Sforza became duke, Galeazzo Maria became Count of Pavia); and when Filippo finally married his sole offspring off to someone specifically looking to inherit his dukedom, naturally that only child, a “crown princess” if you will, is married under the pennants of Pavia (the white cross on red background) and Milan (the blue biscione on white background, which I would assume is also on the white banner with blue pigment traces also held by the knight on the CY World card). Whether an empty promise or not, its how Sforza would have understood the Love card. More importantly for the ludicrous Savoy/Galeazzo 1468 theory: why do none of the stemmi-covered suits show that of the Savoyard? Three female and three males court figures especially underscores the activity of “courting” in this deck, so again, why two deck suits featuring Visconti and two other Sforza, but no Savoy? In fact, Bona identified with the French crown (Savoy almost beholden to France as a vassalage),as her sister of Carlotta was wife of the king of France Louis XI (a Milanese relationship that of course goes back to Valentina Visconti) . Painted opposite Galeazo, Bona’s wimple is decorated with French fleur-di-lys; furthermore the two families’ arms are shown on capitals built into the Sforza Castle in Milan (this is how Galeazzo celebraterd that union – something entirely missing in the CY):
Image
Image

And where is Galeazzo's personal stemma (adopted and revived from his namesake Galeazzo II Visconti), the inverted torch with water pails attached? Everything peculiar to Bona and Galeazzo is missing in the CY. Can we please consign the Savoy theory to file 13 already?

Image



Forgetting that mess of a theory, I’m not sure how dismissing the idea of a luxury deck of tarot produced in conjunction with a marriage as “quaint” is valid on any level, not when 15th century Florence (and elsewhere) is littered with marriage luxury gifts embellished with the two relevant family’s arms, on everything from marriage cassoni to deschi da parto. Even the Ercole d’Este deck features his wife’s Aragonese arms and that deck has been dated to that wedding. But again, I prefer to characterize the CY mot merely as a “marriage” but rather as a condotte deck – a contract cemented with the flesh and blood of Bianca. There was nothing quaint about that (hell, Sforza would have married his horse if that meant Milan).

Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
13 Jul 2019, 17:16
….and neither of us is going to convince anyone by arguing for more precision based on an interpretation of the ur-Tarot or any other supposed evolution of the iconography.
+ [from your follow-up response]
Fortunately, I no longer believe it is necessary to invoke topical reasons for the inclusion of this or that subject or group of subjects.



But I’m not pleading for an evolutionary interpretation of the iconography of the CY’s two suits per Visconti and Sfora – just acknowledging that aspect is as fundamental to that deck as the 3 male/3 female court cards in each suit. The bifurcation of the non-trump part of the CY deck into Visconti and Sforza was not a random design choice, but rather similar to placing either family’s coat of arms on either side of a dowry cassone (except this dowry came with titled lands: Cremona and Pontremoli). Princely weddings are about succession (and what the two putti on the PMB "world" would signify - the two legitimate children already born to him when Sforza took Milan in 1450: his successors, or in the case of the girl, a potential alliance via marriage with another royal house to help ensure the nascent Sforza dynasty - and indeed she'd be married off to the King of Naples' crown prince).

Refusing to invoke topical reasons for why certain subjects are included in a given deck (but it is the papi subset that calls for that, not the view that sees the the entire set of trumps as created by a humanist based on a single literary source) still doesn’t relieve any theory that posits a post-May 1442 date for the CY from having to provide a rationale for that later dating; again:

So given the only time Sforza and Visconti were on half-way amiable terms, from the October 1441 wedding of his daughter to Sforza to the time of the couple’s “betrayal” of a state visit to Venice in May 1442 (and taking up temporary residence in Sforza’s palazzo on the Grand Canal there), when exactly would have been the occasion for a luxury deck in which Sforza and Visconti’s stemmi – inclusive of a representation of the latter’s currency (surely to underscore a condotte) – would be celebrated together on an equal footing?

There is no evidence that speaks against the theory that the CY followed closely on the heels of the Florentine ur-tarot; on the contrary, an excellent reason for the CY to have been created in late 1441: Visconti nominally stole Sforza away from the "Holy League" (Giusti just calls it Lega) of Florence/Venice/Papacy that had just beaten him at Anghiari and Verona, via a condotte that included his daughter and dowry cities. And there is plenty of evidence that speaks against a post 1442 dating (Visconti allied with Eugene and Alfonso against Sforza), for there is no rationale for a Sforza-Visconti alliance after that date.

Phaeded

PS The timing of the Giusti deck commissioned for Malatesta and given to him on 16 Sept. 1440 was right after Malatesta broke ranks from a forced alliance with Visconti (and that forced alliance is noted in Giusti, 21 March 1440, Newbigin p. 60), so in a sense that deck could have celebrated the stealing away of Malatesta from Visconti, or rather welcomed him back into the recently victorious Holy League (hence trionfi). Regarding the subsequent CY: It seems that for luxury card decks the first/lowest card - ace of coins - often shows the commissioner's coat of arms; as the bestower of a daughter and the Duchy possessions of Cremona and Pontremoli, it would be Filippo Visconti as the gift-giver/commissioner (who stole Sforza from the League); and sure enough (and after this date Sforza himself adds the Latin version of "Visconti" - VICECOMES - to his titles, per the Pisanello coin that dates to the wedding. There is no question as to what the marriage meant to him):

Image
Image
sforza pisanello medal 1441.jpg
(49.8 KiB) Not downloaded yet

Re: Problems with positing the Papi in the ur-Tarot

#19
Unfortunately, unlike the two of you I don't know when the ur-tarot was. Dummett went as early as 1410 for reasonably possible, 1430 as reasonably likely (in his 1993 book), and 1442 as the latest possible. Since his day one thing has changed: 1440 as the latest, also the place of origin is now less likely Ferrara. So I cannot use topicality arguments regarding an ur-tarot, nor have I seen anything to convince me of any lesser range. All the more specific topical arguments seem to me highly suspect. As far as I can tell, nothing changed in this period regarding popes, patriarchs, and emperors.

As I have already argued, Phaeded, Byzantine attire would have been inappropriate because it would offend the principle of equality which the ludus triumphorum, by its very nature, tends to violate witth its hierarchical order of trumps. The ones with Byzantine attire would still have a number 1-4. A lower number would offend the Byzantines. A higher number would offend the Romans. They have to be unidentified, except that older could mean spiritualand younger secular.

And yes, Phaeded, there is a CY Empress and Emperor. Nothing could be clearer. There is also a Catania Empress, which might be even earlier, since it was made with recycled paper with the date 1428 on it (use the search function to find Maggio), and that it was made for Alessandro Sforza in 1445 is just a theory. So the "papi" could have preceded the CY and Catania cards. Unfortunately I cannot say when that would have been.

I did not understand Ross's point about "papal and imperial" insignia preceding beards vs. beardless or older vs. younger. If they have papal and imperial insignia, they're not "papi" but popes and emperors.

Ross, in your survey of people who have held the "marriage deck" theory, you left out one, Thierry Depaulis, Le Tarot Révélé, 2013, p. 21:
Ce tarot atypique pourrait être une sorte de coup d'essai, d'autant que la présence sur deux couleurs - bâtons (ici, en fait, des flèches) et épées - des emblèmes des Sforza (la fontaine et le coing, mela cotogna), alors que les deux autres - deniers et coupes - portent l'emblèmatique des Visconti, semble s'expliquer par l'union des deux familles que la carte de l'Amoureux pourrait représenter. Une seule date possible, 1441, quand Francesco Sforza épouse, à Crémone, Bianca Maria Visconti, unique enfant, naturelle mais légitimée, du duc Filippo Maria (9). Ce serait alors le plus ancien jeu de tarot conservé.
_________
9. On ne s'explicque pas, en revanche, la présence des armes de Savoie alternant avec la guivre des Visconti sur le volant du dais. Une allusion au mariage (désastreux) de Filippo Maria Visconti avec Marie de Savoie en 1428 paraît improbable, d'autant que Bianca Maria était la fille d'une maîtresse du duc.

(This atypical tarot could be a kind of test shot, especially as the presence on two suits - batons (here, in fact, arrows) and swords - of emblems of the Sforza (the fountain and the quince, mela cotogna) , while the other two - coins and cups - bear emblems of the Visconti, seems to be explained by the union of the two families that the card of the Lover could represent. Only one possible date, 1441, when Francesco Sforza married, in Cremona, Bianca Maria Visconti, the only child, natural but legitimated, of Duke Filippo Maria (9). This would be the oldest tarot deck preserved.
_________
9. On the other hand, there is no explanation for the presence of the Savoy arms alternating with the Visconti worm on the dais. An allusion to the (disastrous) marriage of Filippo Maria Visconti with Marie of Savoy in 1428 seems improbable, especially since Bianca Maria was the daughter of a mistress of the Duke.
He is endorsing what Kaplan had already said in 1978, except in the footnote, which seems to me not to negate the sentence it is a note to, but rather to present a problem that still needs explanation. There are various proposals. The problem with Pavia is that Francesco was not Count of Pavia at the time. Putting that flag there, however, might have been meant as a (deliberately misleading) suggestion by Filippo that Francesco was the heir-apparent, since Count of Pavia was a title (then vacant) given to the person in that position. It also might be that the deck was made for Francesco in 1450, intended to give the impression it was a marriage deck done by Filippo, to suggest that Filippo saw him as the heir-apparent, something to go along with the forged will. It also might be that the alternating flags commemorate Galeazzo II and his bride Blanche (Bianca) of Savoy, reflecting back on that event, especially appropriate given the name "Bianca". That, too, would tend to put Francesco in the lineage. None of these proposals contradicts its being a marriage deck.

In any event, I can't see that its being a marriage deck shows that it was done in 1441. Given the uncertainty about whether the marriage would even come off, after seems more likely, After the marriage the relationship between Filippo and Sforza was also uncertain. But a reasonable occasion would have been the 1444 christening of Galeazzo Maria. Also, there was a kind of Visconti precedent of giving illuminated paper products to commemorate a marriage after the event, as I recall from the book by Edith Hirsch on the five Visconti manuscripts

The whole coins thing seems to me a non sequitur. It isn't just that the image is larger than that of the coins, but the lettering is in the wrong place relative to the horse and rider. To that extent it resembles coins that Filippo had been using all along: there was nothing new about the "rearing horse" design. And after 1447, the coins wouldn't have been "retired" immediately. Gold was gold, and people had to use something, until Francesco could produce his own coins. Nothing interesting can be concluded about the dating from the coin imprint, and the Love card is only weakly connected. It is the emblems on the court cards that suggest a marriage deck (as you say, Phaeded). Also tending toward a pre-1447 date is the style: I mean that the figures look very much like figures painted around this time (1441-1445) by the Bembo workshop and usually attributed to Bonifacio. But there is no reason why, by request, Bembo couldn't have used the same imagery later.

Re: Problems with positing the Papi in the ur-Tarot

#20
I have a few more questions of clarification.

Phaeded wrote, about my citation of the four empires:
That merely followed the medieval chronicle convention of tracing history from the Creation through the end times, usually in an attempt to place their own times on that biblical time-line; Goro Date’s La Sfera even gives this impetus a geographical emphasis, whose maps and illustrations feature the tower of Babylon and Jerusalem (its all about locating then-contemporary man in biblical time and space) . The four papi has absolutely nothing to do with the 4 monarchies subjects or theme.
I could not follow this at all. The four empires do not span from the creation through the end times. There is, to be sure, the dream interpreted by Daniel, in which one empire succeeds another. But that does not refer to Persia, Macedon or Rome in particular.

Another thing is that I cannot see, Phaeded, is what Bessarion's idea of promoting the Bentivoglio has to do with four papi, who in their Bolognese form are indistinguishable as to imperial or papal. .I would have thought the time for erasing distinctions would have been 1507 , when the Bentivoglio were crushed.

I may be confused about these "papi". I thought that in Ross's theory they were simply not distinguished as to secular and spiritual., at least in Bologna. In Florence, presumably earlier, there might have been a distinction between older and younger, or male and female, later morphing into what we see in the "Charles VI." That makes sense to me. This last is a distinction that I see as derived from 8 Emperors, a game we know existed in Florence, given that somebody made a deck to send to Ferrara. There is also a distinction between spiritual and secular in Piedmont, which yet retains Bologna's lack of priority among them.

Ross speculated that the tranmission route from Bologna to Piedmont might have been via Milan. Then the distinction would have been added there, but not in Milanese form, i.e. with males and females. That seems rather odd. I would think that either the transmission was at an earlier time, before the Cary-Yale, or else by a different route, namely the Dominicans, who were heavily involved in Piedmont chasing heretics around 1500 (the "Lombard Inquisition", where "Lombard" refers to their jurisdiction, not where the inquisitors came from). Influenced by both Florence and Bologna, they could have introduced the Piedmontese to the arrangement adopted there.

Also, I am trying hard not to invoke either an evolutionary or an all at once theory for the 22. To do so just introduces extraneous elements.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

cron