mikeh wrote: ↑
20 Jun 2019, 14:21
That cassone is really interesting. Can you post close-ups of the other three virtues?
I'll post more on the cassone in another thread but the interesting factoid to me is that the wedding was between an Aldrobrandini (to be exiled in 1434) and a Benci (whose patriarch was elevated to the Medici's overall banking manager) - so if the cassone does in fact reflect Bruni's civic virtues vision it did so in a cross-partisan manner (and still can't find any info on that wedding, c. 1429-30), which I think accurately reflects Bruni's role and universal appeal, pre-Medici rise to power (after which he definitely takes a Medici slant). As for the theologicals, I only took a close-up photo of Charity (see below), but they are all fairly standard: clockwise from upper left - Fides
with chalice and cross, Caritas
(see below), Prudentia, , Sperantia
with clasped praying hands (so Charity is above Prudence on the right face of the cassone).
Or is Dante somehow involved? Please explain again, or give a link to your earlier discussion.
Yes, Dante (as utilized by Bruni and Filelfo). Link:
I assume that the planetary correspondences apply only to the added cards of the PMB, etc. and not the CY.
Yep. None of the 7 proposed planetary trumps identified are in the surviving CY/Brambilla trumps. Added in the PMB, per my theory.
I still find your idea that the CY is a close approximation of a deck created in commemoration of a Visconti defeat hard to swallow.
There is nothing essentially Florentine about seven virtues with corresponding exempli
(the anti-type is a PMB replacement trump), except for replaceable heraldry in the Chariot and "World" trumps (and court cards of course), which I assume to have featured some kind of civic stemma
(e.g., the heraldic lily, just as the Visconti radiate dove features on the CY chariot jousting shield). Also I don't see the transmission to Milan to be a direct one, but rather via Ferrara where it would have already been stripped of the specifically Florentine triumphal references. Some additional notes via a timeline in that regard, besides just the Bianca visit to Ferrara:
* May(?) 1440. Agnolo Acciaioli is the Florentine ambassador and member of the Dieci
sent to Ferrara to enlist their support for the "Holy League" of Florence-Papacy/Venice allied against Visconti (Neri Capponi and Giuliano Davanzati are the Florentine ambassadors sent to Venice, who in turn seals a condotte
with Sforza on behalf of the League; see Ermolao Rubieri, Francesco Primo Sforza: narrazione storica
, Volume 1, 1879: 302-303; and, Niccolo Capponi, The Day the Renaissance Was Saved: The Battle of Anghiari
, 2015: 176).
* May 1440. Although Acciaioli had paid 15,000 florins for a condotte
on behalf of Florence with the Marquis and set out with his brother Borso and 1,000 lances, when they reached Modena, Borso left Acciaioli and toldf him the d'Este had received a better offer from Visconti, with whom he joined forces (ibid)
* 14 June 1440. The Sforzan-Venetian army over-runs the Visconti army at Soncino and Borso d'Este is captured; this being part of the Brescia/Verona campaign (Capponi, 182-83).
* 29 June 1440. Battle of Anghiari (Venice sent a contingent under Sforza's uncle, Attendolo, while Sforza remained in the east).
* 16 September, 1440. Giusti has a tarot deck made expressly in Florence with Malatesta's arms. The context is Giusti had been directly contracting with the Florentine Dieici
for smaller mercenary units he was representing (and who fought in the Anghiari campaign) and then with Malatesta; the following year he then acts as a direct go between for Cosimo and Malatesta for a purpose he does not divulge in his journal. The presumption that Giusti was just some provincial notary acting alone outside of a coordinated Florentine foreign policy (with a keen eye on her relationships to condottieri
) seems dubious in this light.
* Oct. 1440-Feb 1441. Venice preoccupied with retaining Ravenna against Visconti sympathizers (I'd argue Ravenna is the largest town depicted on the CY "world's" Adriatic coast, but hardly something I need to insist on for my overall theory).
* 1 Jan. 1441. Bianca sails down the Po River to Ferrara where the d'Este have "14 figures painted on cotton paper and sent to Lady Bianca of Milan, to make festive the celebration of the Circumcision."
* 24-28 Oct. 1441. Bianca-Sforza wedding in Cremona. Along with notable Venetians, Agnolo Acciaioli, Neri Capponi and Luca degli Albizzi are present on behalf of Florence, in spite of Sforza's marriage to a Visconti (the marriage was seen as part and parcel of the peace, see next point, by the members of the League; Visconti would be sorely disappointed in thinking this marriage meant Sforza was now at his beck and call).
* 20 Nov. 1441 Treaty of Cavriana (Sforza's camp - the mercenary general essentially dictated the terms of the peace).
How to summarize the above? We have a concrete reference to tarot (Giusti's Florentine deck with Malatesta's arms) and the surviving evidence of a Milanese deck with Sforza's arms, which would lead one to believe the hand-painted luxury decks were especially associated with gift-giving to the all-important generals with whom the city-states' existential being relied on (presumably the woodblock printed decks for mass-consumption only bore civic symbols, not mercenary stemmi
). Then there is the problem of the 14 painted figures of Ferrara intervening between the Anghiari deck and the CY...with Ferrara being yet another mercenary princely fiefdom (like Malatesta's Rimini), but who betrayed the Florentine alliance. So let's assume the 14 "figures" were trumps and then rephrase the problem you posed: Why would the d'Este approximate a deck created in commemoration of an allied Visconti defeat in which their own scion, Borso, was captured?
at this time need to delved into more detail here...
* Leonardo Bruni, Florence's chancellor, had written the Funeral Oration for Nanni Strozzi in 1428 - but even though Nanni was from a distinguished Florentine family, he spent his career in the service of Ferrara. Florence simply lacked contemporary martial heroes, thus the literary effort.
* The year before Anghiari the Marquis of Ferrara's horse won Florence's St. John's palio
race (see Giusti's journal for that year)
* Aforementioned May 1440 Flortentine diplomatic mission of Acciaioli to Ferrara leading up to Anghiari
I could also throw in all of the Florentine humanist and artists contacts with Leonello's court, not to mention the transfer of the Church Council from Ferarra to Florence in 1438, but the point here is that Florence-Ferrara relations were exceedingly frequent if not intense in this period; ergo, a novelty like trionfi
would be known in Ferrara almost immediately. The d'Este simply appropriated the novelty and repurposed it as a gift for Bianca, likely marking it with d'Este and Visconti arms to promote that alliance (especially needed since they had soured the Venetians and and Florentines against them).
The context of Visconti sending his daughter to Ferrara - after the losses in Verona/Brescia/Soncino and Anghiari during the campaign season of 1440 - was to drive a wedge between Sforza and the "Holy League" of Florence-Papacy-Venice, with the threat of marrying her off to a d'Este prince (to entice Sforza back into his pay). Given the trionfi
series being circulated to the likes of Malatesta - a rival condottieri
family - it would make sense for an artistic capital like Ferrara to respond in kind (and I would assume Sforza also received an ur-tarot "Anghiai" deck, presented by Acciaioli or any of the other Florentine ambassadors mentioned here). Again, It does not take too much of an imagination to picture a CY-like deck embellished with d'Este stemmi
for the amusement of Bianca, being courted in Ferrara, perhaps with Visconti stemmi
intertwined (like we find on the Ercole D'Este deck, but with Aragon stemmi
, and of course like the Visconti/Sforza in the CY).
If the chariot and "world" trump variations primarily represented changes of stemmi
, the only major trump alteration between the Florentine ur-tarot/Ferrarese 14 "figures" and the later CY would have to be the Love trump: Florence could never promote a princely wedding as we find on the CY (which one assumes to be Sforza and Bianca). Ferrara, merely courting Bianca but with no contracted dowry/marriage, likewise would not have represented a fait accompli
wedding on the Love card (that would have been an affront to the Visconti). But we have a strong indication of what that Love card might have been....
I think most of us are in agreement that the CVI, oddly formerly thought of as Ferrarese, is actually Florentine (the palle
on the chariot, for instance). And in keeping with a nominal republic, there is no princely couple on the Love card in that deck but three pairs of dancing couples beneath erotes
; one can make the reasonable claim that this may represent the original subject of the ur-tarot's Love trump. Moving back to Ferrara, when Galeazzo took the same trip down the Po River, like his mother Bianca before him, he encountered triumph-like floats paraded before him for his amusement (instead of painted images); discussed in this thread: Galeazzo Maria Sforza's "quatro triomphi" in Ferrara, 1457 viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1320
And the description of one of the floats is: a triumph of Love, with Cupid in a flaming chariot and couples in stately dance below
. Certainly close enough to the CVI trump to claim the same theme, albeit a singular cupid in a chariot in 1457. We also have in that year a reference to a 70 card triumph deck, seemingly made expressly for the visiting Galeazzo, which implies the persistence of a 14 trump tarot deck, one the d'Este would have known about from virtually the beginning in 1440.
So if the PMB was an innovation in c. 1451 in expanding the trumps to 22, it would not necessarily mean universal adoption elsewhere outside of Lombardy. Its not as if the same conditions in 1440 prevailed, where there was no existing tarot game in Ferrara - since then they'd been making their own decks for a while (e.g., the other ducal records of gifts for the young d'Este princes), so they'd stick with what they knew for a period (the eventual dominance of the 22 trump model would have been bolstered by the Cosimo-Sforza friendship, the former adopting the latter's innovation in Florence, despite tarot's creation there; thus the later CVI).
So we have two inferences to 14 in the 1441 and 1457 Ferrara documents, and I would furthermore propose that Bianca brought back the 1441 "14 painted figures" with her to Milan which were used as models for a new deck featuring Visconti and Sforza stemmi
in the form of the CY "wedding-dowry"/condotte
deck for Sforza, with the important innovation of showing a princely couple instead of a generic Petrarchan cupid theme.
In contrast to the 14 and 70 references in a city, Ferrara, that we know was making tarot decks in this earliest period, where is there a single reference to 16 trumps or a 72 card deck in regard to tarot proper anywhere
at this time?