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

mikeh wrote:
15 Jul 2019, 13:08
Thierry Depaulis, Le Tarot Révélé, 2013, p. 21:(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.
Glad to see Depaulis came to the same conclusion based on the exact same evidence: 2 suits Visconti plus 2 suits for Sforza = alliance. There is one alliance/"union" that occurred for the time period 1441-1447 and that was represented by the Bianca wedding and Treaty of Cavriana less than a month later (11/20/41).

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.

Bingo (although I'd characterize it as more of an "empty promise"). And I can't heap enough contempt on the Savoy theory: 1. there would be no Sforza devices in a 1428 Savoy-Visconti deck; 2. there would be Bona's fleur-di-lys device in the later GM Sforza wedding (and the latter's torch device) - there isn't.

Let's review the salient facts:
* Pavia acted in the same way as Windsor castle did for the British Crown: Buckingham was the in-city palace in London, but they also have a more rural palace away from the city, Windsor, that was also a royal seat (the castle at Pavia even had attached hunting grounds and the primary ducal library, where the likes of Petrarch studied). Similarly, the Count of Pavia is comparable to the "Prince of Wales" succession position.
* Until 1412 Filippo is Count of Pavia, a de factor crown prince role.
* Pavia is one of the first targets for Sforza in 1447 and has the Ambrosian Republic recognize his claims to it. It was a symbolic stepping stone to Milan itself (and Sforza acted as disingenuously with that Republic as Visconti did with him [or indeed the Republic dealt with Sforza]).
* Finally, however Visconti disingenuously dangled Milan before Sforza, there is no doubt as to how Sforza understood Pavia as a stepping stone to Milan itself:
On Sunday 22nd March [1450; 25th is also given in other sources], all was ready, and Francesco rode to the Porta Ticinese, accompanied by his wife, his brother Alessandro and his six-year-old son Galeazzo Maria….Francesco’s first act as Duke was to create the eldest son Count of Pavia….” (C. Ady, A History of Milan Under the Sforza, 1907: 65)
The Porta Ticinese is the southern gate out of Milan that leads directly to even on Sforza's second, ceremonial ingresso into Milan, the elevation of himself from Pavia to Milan proper is performed in a ritual space linking the two places.

Without the implication of succession - and in Milan that meant a current or future claim on Pavia (for Bianca/Sforza's male issue, hence the Love card's Pavia pennant on the tent with a matrimonial bed waiting for them inside) - Sforza does not marry Bianca.

The symbolism of succession couldn't be clearer throughout the CY deck, and the differentiation between it and the PMB deck bears that out. Sforza acted accordingly, making a bee-line for Pavia in 1447, and when ultimately successful in gaining the duchy issued a new deck with appropriate changes to the Chariot and Lovers trumps, from the initial 1441 CY wedding/condotte deck to the c. 1450/51 Ducal investiture deck:

As of 22 March 1450, Sforza's investiture date as Duke of Milan, Bianca and Francesco have two children, symbolized by two putti holding Milan idealized New Jerusalem in the PMB "World", typical of types in the Visconti Hours (and the first putti pointing at himself represents the heir Galeazzo Maria, that middle name taken from his grandfather and fellow former Count of Pavia, Filippo Maria) :



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

Well, I have no idea about whether the 1428 marriage is being referred to. It is certainly not that couple for which the deck was made, you have no argument there. Otherwise, It depends in part on whether this design with the two flags was a generic one applying to all triumph decks sponsored by Filippo, such as the Brera-Brambilla) or just this one. Since we don't have the Love card from that deck, we can't say. If the reference included the 1350 marriage of Galeazzo II Visconti to Bianca of Savoy., the design could even be for this deck alone. It is an ambiguity - between Savoy and Pavia - designed to cultivate Francesco's hopes either way, it seems to me.

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

Phaeded wrote:
31 Jan 2019, 05:02
That leaves the Papi-Ur theory with 18th century rule-playing sources, Piscina and a hypothetical Bologna-Piedmont axis, with no concrete 15th century evidence with which to root this theory anywhere at a specific time…besides Piscina. But let’s allow the Bologna-Piedmont connection in light of Piscina, without the “axis” appendage (which unnecessarily drags Milan into the bargain). What we know: by 1565 the Papi and Papi-rule are in Piedmont. Let‘s also assume Bologna played by those rules first since there is clearly a strong tradition there ...So we are left with a Piedmont/Savoy reliance on Bologna before 1565 – that, I believe, can be stated without controversy, and without recourse to an intermediary. Separated states interacted directly with one another all the time, and certainly there must have been occasions when Savoy dealt with Bologna, and vice versa, sometime before 1565. Was it the novelty of the Papi itself that further prompted Piscina to write about the game he saw ladies playing? Or had the game been around for a least a generation?

In March 1530, Charles V of France’s brother-in-law, Charles III of Savoy, was one of the dozen of rulers included in the peace of the Treaty of Bologna where he was jockeying to have his principality upgraded to a kingdom – a serious and noteworthy endeavor for the Dukes of Savoy. As part of his entourage’s ceremonial entry into Bologna he paid to have wife Beatrice (a Portugese princess) received in Bologna ‘con gran pompa et bella comitiva’ (Kenneth Setton, The Papacy and the Levant (1204-1571, Volume III, the Sixteenth Century, 1976: 338). I believe you have referenced this next work several times, but apparently within it (I’ve not had a chance to look this up yet) you can find an account of Beatrice’s “triumph” in Bonner Mitchell, Italian Civic Pageantry in the High Renaissance: A Descriptive Bibliography of Triumphal Entries and Selected Other Festivals for State Occasions, 1979: 19-25.

A third source that emphasizes Emperor and the pope in Bologna at this time and the significance for Bologna:
The imperial coronation of Charles V in Bologna on 24 February 1530 was one of the most importantly ceremonial events of the sixteenth century. It anointed Charles V as political leader of the Christian world, it formalized the newly established peace and collaboration between the emperor and the pope, and it provided the context for a number of political agreements that were to determine the course of European history for the reminder of the century, if not beyond….The ceremony was carefully observed by the throngs of illustrious invited guests who crowded into the basilica of San Petronio, where the central moments of the coronation were staged, as well as by the large crowd that filled the open-air spaces through which the pope and emperor passed. And it was carefully examined, at a distance, by those interested persons and governments throughout Europe who read the narrative of the event in the printed and manuscript descriptions that were circulated at the time. [perhaps influencing the papi at this time?]
For Bologna and the Bolognese, the coronation of Charles V marked the high point of that extended moment when the two most important leaders of Christendom were concurrently residing in the city.

(Konrad Eisenbichler, “Charles V in Bologna: the self-fashioning of a man and a city”, Renaissance Studies, Vol. 13, No. 4, Special Issue: Civic Self-Fashioning in Renaissance Bologna: historical and scholarly contexts, DECEMBER 1999: 430-439)

I came across the below engraving that reminded me of this old post that begged for a print or manuscript description that might underscore the theory that the "four Papi" were invented in 1530. The image is one plate, 10, from a series of 38 etchings that form the complete frieze of the procession of Emperor Charles V into Bologna for his coronation by Pope Clement VII on 24 February 1530, engraved by Nicolaas Hogenberg and published by Hendrik Hondius II in the same year (viewable on-line here: ... -60&page=1 ). The key detail are the four papal hats held aloft, the relevance of which is described in regard to triumphs in general:
If the spolia recalled past victories, the regalia, carried directly in front of the king in all coronation processions, could be compared with relics. It visually recalled the power possessed by the monarch and the essential elements of his sovereignty: the crown, the sword (sometimes doubled and tripled in appearance to emphasize still more its importance, but also to requite the desire of several officials of the court to participate in the ceremony), the globe, the scepter, the main de justice (for French kings), the oriflamme, the several caps of the pope (Fig. 27 [same plate below, described in this work as "the four pope's hats" or Quatuor Pontificis Capella per the Latin on the engraving itself]) (which had the same significance as the several swords).
Sergio Bertelli, The King’s Body: Sacred Rituals of Power in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, Tr. R. Burr Litchfield, 1990, 2001: 95-96)
Sure, this is just one detail from a joint Imperial/Papal procession in 1530, but it is another reason for positing "Pope" in a fourfold manner in that year, significantly in Bologna with Charles III of Savoy present, before the 1565 Papi and Papi-rule are evidenced in Piedmont. And hats have certainly not been minor sources of discussion on this board - from the crown held by Fama in the CY "World". to the Franciscan habit of the PMB "Popess."


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

In addition to my last post above regarding the 1530 papal coronation of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in Bologna, some related context, and perhaps even an explanation for how the idea of a "Moor" would have ever been associated with the "Papi." The theory here is that - pressure to get rid of papal references in tarot notwithstanding - was there a possible reference to "Moors" in a 16th century deck, now lost (like so many other decks)? The opening for a replacement of one of the four "Papi" might have been the Empress, as Charles V's wife, Isabella of Portugal, died in 1539, with Charles so devastated that he locked himself up in a monastery for two months, never recovered from her death nor remarried, and dressed in black for the rest of his life. Thus the lack of an empress after 1539 was very much a public matter.

But why add a "Moor" as a replacement?

The Siege of Vienna in 1529 was the first attempt by the Ottoman Empire, led by Suleiman the Magnificent, to capture the city; Charles V's imperial troops could take some of the credit for the defense, and it was that "victory" that led to the rapprochement between Charles V and Pope Clement VII, and the ensuing Pope's coronation of Charles V as Holy Roman Emperor on February 24, 1530 (the post above of the engravings of the triumphal "ingresso" into Bologna actually happened on 5 November 1529).

In the very same year of the Turkish invasion the rebelling protestant leader was equating the Turks to the Papacy:
“...Luther was ready to give the Antichrist pope a “companion” and in a letter written the same year (1529) to Wencelaus Linck, he paired the pope with the Turkish ruler as the “final Gog and Magog.” Comparison’s between the papacy and the Turkish emperor and their tyrannies became favorites." (Carina Johnson, Cultural Hierarchy in Sixteenth-Century Europe: The Ottomans and Mexicans, 2011: 65)
Quite obviously in Catholic Italy such equivalences would not have been made, but the point is the Ottoman Emperor was elevated in status as a subject of discourse to that of other "Papi" trumps. Before the 1454 fall of Constantinople the Ottomans would have been further off of Europe's "radar"; but after 1529 and the Ottoman's incursions into Hungary they would have received renewed currency, being very much the talk of the day.

For Charles V's part, he inherited the Order of the Golden Fleece and used it as a means of rallying support for crusades against the Turks, convening the order en masse as well as local chapter meetings on numerous occasions. Charles high point against the Ottomans was his conquest of Tunis in 1535, celebrated with triumphal pomp in several cities back in Europe. The Ottoman emperor continued to elevated in status in Europe however as the next year In 1536 Francis I of France allied himself with Suleiman against Charles. While Francis was persuaded to sign a peace treaty in 1538, he again allied himself with the Ottomans in 1542 in a Franco-Ottoman alliance. During that period the Ottomans won a great victory: The naval battle of Preveza, where the fleet of the Holy Alliance organized under the next pope (including Spanish ships sent by Charles) was defeated in Ionian Sea, ominously , symbolically speaking, in the same area as the Battle of Actium that allowed Augustus to essentially create the very office of the Roman Emperor in the first place, now occupied (in the minds of Europeans) by Charles V. Significantly this battle occurred the year before Isabella's death, in 1538.

So after 1539 we have no empress, but a Turkish Emperor in the forefront of European consciousness. One might envision a tarot deck that wished to reflect that European state of affairs: Pope, (Holy Roman) Emperor, and Church ("Popess") aligned against the Turkish Emperor, in place of an Empress that had ceased to exist and had not been replaced. Especially in a place like Bologna that had seen the birth of the Charles V/Papal alliance in 1530.

Iconographically, Charles V'would have sported a crown that was vertically elongated and thus similar to the tiaras worn by Pope and "Popess"/Church:


Compare his crown to the emperors of the the "Papi":


We are now quite close to an equivalent look of four "Papi," save for the Ottoman Sultan/Emperor....and yet he too sported a famous crown that equally looked "Pope-ish." I draw your attention to Exhibit A, Süleyman the Magnificent's Venetian Helmet
Süleyman the Magnificent's Venetian helmet was an elaborate headpiece designed to project the sultan's power in the context of the Ottoman–Habsburg rivalry. It was acquired by the sultan in 1532.[1] The rivalry with the Habsburg Monarchy was one of the most significant political and military relationships addressed by the sultan during his reign....After the 16th century, the helmet was long known only from the closely similar prints by Agostino Veneziano and others (it is not entirely clear which of these first created the image). These appear to combine the features of Süleyman lifted from other portraits available in Venice, while the helmet itself was recorded when it was exhibited in Venice, before it reached the sultan. The helmet was widely thought to be a fanciful invention of the printmakers, until 20th-century scholars rediscovered the records of the real object.....The helmet-crown consisted of four crowns set inside an Austrian-style helmet, and was topped by "a plumed aigrette with a crescent-shaped mount".[3] ...The helmet was probably conceived as a response to the coronation of the Habsburg ruler Charles V as Holy Roman Emperor two years previously by Pope Clement VII.[7] The helmet’s design suggests it was a direct rebuke to both Charles’s crown and the three-tiered tiara worn by the Pope.[8] The four tiers of the helmet trumped the Pope and advertised Sultan Süleyman’s claim to world domination. The helmet was delivered on May 12, 1532 to Ibrahim Pasha from Venice.[9]....The helmet played a role during Süleyman’s campaign against the Habsburg capital, Vienna, in 1532. As part of a larger set of objects, including a bejeweled saddle and throne, the helmet was meant to advertise to a European audience not only the Ottoman sultan’s vast wealth, but also his claims to the title of Emperor and universal sovereignty. Contemporary accounts state "an enormous fortune was spent to exhibit the sultan’s magnificence" as the helmet and other regalia were paraded from Istanbul towards Vienna. In Belgrade, streets were decorated with triumphal arches in the style of the Roman Empire as Süleyman marched through along with a retinue of pages dressed in finery, including one that likely wore the helmet. In the city of Nish, Habsburg envoys were made to watch a similar procession from the top of a minaret. Later, those same envoys appeared before the sultan. The carefully choreographed audience left the envoys "speechless corpses" as they gazed on the helmet, together with an associated collection of gold and jeweled items laid out in the Sultan’s reception tent. The impact of this parade lasted long after the campaign of 1532. Woodcuts of the crown were partly responsible for Süleyman’s title of "Magnificent" in the West. The image of the crown also seeped into European plays and operas of the time. ... ian_Helmet
Agostino Veneziano's 1535 engraving (that would have furthered the dissemination of this crown):

A good article here on this tiara, with reproductions of other engravings of this crown that persisted into the mid-17th century (with a later example below): ... power.html
Sultan with tiara.JPG
Sultan with tiara.JPG (49.45 KiB) Viewed 115 times

So was the replacement of "Papi" by "Moors" In 1724 in the Bolognese Tarocchino completely random, or was a hypothetical deck already featuring the Ottoman Emperor in existence? Again, the Empress ceased to exist from 1539 until Charles V's death in 1558 (an Emperor dedicated to crusades against the Ottomans, yet the latter were allied to France), so a pre-Moors hypothetical deck showing an Ottoman Emperor, with a papal-like tiara (that in fact famously existed), would have dated to that period. Failing that conjecture, perhaps the mere renown of Süleyman's tiara was suggestive enough of a pope to have allowed that leap in changing the iconography to "Moors", albeit in traditional garb, at a later date.


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