Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

#11
MikeH wrote
Otherwise, it is the date of his treatise that is of interest, which would still seem to be after 1418, when Michelino returned to Milan (actually, I don't have a source for that either! It is just from Huck on trionfi.com). It also seems unlikely to be after 1423, given his apparent retirement from work, probably due to illness.
http://www.storiadimilano.it/cron/dal1401al1425.htm
1418
Michelino da Besozzo riprende la collaborazione con il Duomo interrotta nel 1404. Compare in Duomo la tavola della Madonna Idea a lui attribuita. La collaborazione continua negli anni seguenti, fino al 1442.
Italian wiki (biography Michelino)
Nel 1414 lavorò insieme a miniatori veneti al codice Cornaro, con le Epistole di san Gerolamo (Londra, British Library, Egerton 3266). La tavola col Sposalizio mistico di santa Caterina, firmata Michelinus feci (Siena, Pinacoteca Nazionale), è da datare al 1420 circa. L'altra tavola firmata dell'autore è lo Sposalizio della Vergine al Metropolitan Museum di New York (1435 circa). Più complessa è la datazione dell'Offiziolo Bodmer, forse il suo capolavoro.

Nel 1418 l'artista tornò a Milano a lavorare per il cantiere del Duomo:
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

#12
Phaeded, you're missing the bigger context of these discussions - none of these Italian historians knew about the Tractatus de deificatione sexdecim heroum, or that Marziano wrote anything at all. They still don't. It was news to Fumagalli when I wrote him in 2003, but I have not seen any reference since to either BnF lat. 8745 or the Tractatus in the fields these academics work in. Not that it is earth-shaking in any case, so it won't be headline news if it does get some traction in books and articles about the early Renaissance, but the clear and simple reason for this huge omission has been the lack of an edition of the text, which Marco and I have now remedied. The best place to publish it would be in the right journal, but we have opted first to get it out to the audience that does know about it, the English-speaking Tarot community.

Of course Franco Pratesi, foremost, and other writers about Tarot in Italian know it or of it, like Giordano Berti and Andrea Vitali, but the scholars like Rozzo and Fumagalli who specialize in the Quattrocento, Dante and humanism, do not read books about Tarot or Franco's papers on playing cards in Italian, let alone in English.

Thus their knowledge of Marziano's intellectual activities comes exclusively from inferences made from the accounts of Decembrio and Barzizza. Barzizza doesn't say anything about Marziano tutoring FMV in Dante, Petrarch, and Livy, so commentators since Tiraboschi have only been interested in squeezing out of Decembrio's sparse indications whatever can be gleaned about Dante and the humanist culture etc. in the court of Milan in the early decades of the 15th century.

Cicognara was the first to associate Decembrio's Marziano with the Visconti di Modrone, although the lack of gods and birds in that deck always struck commentators as a problem. Thus, the Ps.-Mantegna images, despite their eastern - Ferrara-Venetian - provenance, seemed to be a better place to begin imagining the kind of cards that Decembrio's Marziano in chapter LXI of the Vita might have painted for Visconti.

This is the context Donati is working in, where he feels free to speculate that the unknown frescoes in the library of Pavia might have resembled the humanist subjects of the Mantegna Tarocchi, and that therefore the ultimate inventor of the E/S Series scheme might have been Marziano da Tortona.

You have to keep that in mind when reading these guys - they know nothing at all of the real Marziano deck or the book describing it. They are writing with the understanding that the cards Decembrio described Marziano as inventing resembled the early Tarot, or Pseudo-Mantegna.
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Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

#13
Marziano's year of birth is hard to guess, but the decade 1350-1360 makes a difference for speculating about whether he may have personally known Petrarch (1304-1374) or, more plausibly, Boccaccio (1313-1375), who was in Florence 1373-4. If Marziano finished his education in Florence before 1374, then his reading of Dante with Filippo Maria could take on the added dimension of possibly having been influenced by Boccaccio himself.

It also lends this gravitas to his use of the Genealogia deorum gentilium in writing the Tractatus. We would be permitted to speculate that some otherwise untraceable line might descend from the mouth of Boccaccio.

But this depends on Marziano's having been born around, say, 1354, in order to be no less than 20 when he could have met Boccaccio.

The Sardigliano author puts both Marziano and his younger brother Francesco around 1350. From what I can read between the lines, this date may come from working with the birthday of Enrico (to become Cardinal), Francesco's second son, which is known to have been in 1388. The author then puts Enrico's older brother and Visconti courtier Urbano at arond 1380. I assume he then puts Francesco their father into the 1350s, rather than assuming the youngest possible age at every step.
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Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

#14
Thanks, Huck. I see the 1418 date repeated on other sites, too, so it seems accurate.

Thanks also for the reasoning behind the 1360 birthdate, or even 1350. If so, assuming he left Tortona no later than 1376, he then studied at various universities. I cannot imagine him being a student for the next 30 years, ending n 1406. More likely he was a tutor or had minor posts in the church or various courts. He may have been trained as a notary, since chancellors seem often to have had that background. If he studied last in Florence, he may have stayed there. So we really can't guess when he was in Florence, except that it was no later than 1406.

Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

#15
The venerable "Storia di Milano" site (Maria Grazia Tolfo and Paolo Colussi) gives the year of Michelino's return to Milan as 1417. But I still haven't found the documentary sources.

"Al suo ritorno a Milano nel 1417, Michelino da Besozzo esegue una Crocefissione a fresco per il Duomo di Monza; dall’agosto 1418 riprende la collaborazione con la Fabbrica del Duomo con l’incarico di colorare con oro, argento e azzurro ultramarino una Madonna posta nella chiave di una volta."
http://www.storiadimilano.it/Arte/minia ... %20Besozzo

It's not a significant difference in any case. I can only date the Tractatus to circa 1420, reading the lack of queens and the suppression of Vulcan to support that it was after Beatrice's execution in September 1418.
https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatrice_ ... entimiglia

For practical purposes I'd put the date of the Tractatus to between 1419-1424 inclusive. The only reasoning I can use to guess the date of Michelino's commission for the deck is the impression that Filippo Maria would have wanted it sooner rather than later, so it should have been at the same time as the book was completed. So, provisionally, the deck would also be "circa 1420."
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Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

#17
Thanks for that article, Huck. Castelfranchi's argument seems to rely on the decorations in Monza having been already in existence by April, 1417; since the crucifixion can be ascribed to Michelino, it follows that he was there then. I think that is the argument, because she does not cite a dated document with Michelino's name, except for note 13 where an inscription in the Duomo of Milan is explained as having been misread in the past as MCCCCXVIII, which she offers may more correctly be read MCCCCXLIII.

Castelfranchi's fig. 7, p. 185, shows a Man of Sorrows attributed to Michelino from a manuscript of Livy, Vat. lat. 1854, f. 1r. I have used the colour image from the Vatican library website rather than her black and white illustration -
https://digi.vatlib.it/view/MSS_Vat.lat.1854


http://www.rosscaldwell.com/marzianotex ... 001r_m.jpg

She also might have compared it to this Michelino Man of Sorrows from the Castle in Pavia, which I was overjoyed to notice on my visit there in 2004, in a lunette over a door in the south wall of the ground-floor gallery -

Bottom right doorway -


http://www.rosscaldwell.com/marzianotex ... o/DSCN0025

Details -


http://www.rosscaldwell.com/marzianotex ... o/DSCN0021


http://www.rosscaldwell.com/marzianotex ... o/DSCN0023
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Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

#18
Thanks, Huck and Ross. This article is at least a better source than "Storia di Milano", http://www.storiadimilano.it/Arte/carte_gioco.htm, given that after discussing Marziano, the same page goes on to describe the surviving cards of the Cary-Yale as "Mago, Imperatore, Imperatrice; Matrimonio, Carro; Fede, Speranza, Carità, Fortezza; Ruota del Destino, Morte, Giudizio, Mondo", with pictures of the obviously modern "reconstructions" of the "Mago" and "Ruota de Destino". Apparently Tolfo did not notice that Kaplan had these cards and another one she shows made up especially for his reproduction of the deck, so it would be "complete" (although it seems to me he did not give the purchaser a Popess, Pope, or Star, as they may have been represented in Charity, Faith, and Hope, respectively, as he says in Encyclopedia of Tarot, vol. 1, p. 87 ).

Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

#19
Much of that website has not been updated in 15 years or more, so I wouldn't call it cutting edge, although there is sometimes a nugget of information you don't see elsewhere. I have noted the reproductions posing as real - they stick out like a sore thumb.

I corresponded with Maria Grazia early on, 2002-2003. I was looking for information about Filippo Maria, I think my first question was whether he was a member of the Order of the Dragon, and whether there were any documents with his signature. I didn't know much back then, and of course there was not much online in the way of primary sources, and precious few websites dedicated to these topics. I don't remember if the spurious Tarot information was up yet when I was corresponding with her, or I surely would have pointed it out.

She also believed that the PMB was originally 14, which was independent of Huck's, and at the time it was neat to have someone else come to that conclusion (along with Ron Decker, way back).
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Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

#20
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
25 Jul 2019, 07:20
Phaeded, you're missing the bigger context of these discussions - none of these Italian historians knew about the Tractatus de deificatione sexdecim heroum, or that Marziano wrote anything at all.
...

This is the context Donati is working in, where he feels free to speculate that the unknown frescoes in the library of Pavia might have resembled the humanist subjects of the Mantegna Tarocchi, and that therefore the ultimate inventor of the E/S Series scheme might have been Marziano da Tortona.

You have to keep that in mind when reading these guys - they know nothing at all of the real Marziano deck or the book describing it. They are writing with the understanding that the cards Decembrio described Marziano as inventing resembled the early Tarot, or Pseudo-Mantegna.

Ross,
Thanks for clarifying the (non-)reception of Marziano's text among many Italian scholars and of course few of them ever reference tarot (one reason I never mention tarot myself when pestering the likes of Newbigin, Ianziti, etc. - I don't want to be dismissed as a kook; unfortunately tarot studies simply has not been integrated into mainstream Quattrocento studies, much to the detriment of the latter). However it appears Millard Meiss is at least aware of the Marcello letter (which states the deck was painted by Michelino) at the latest in 1957 and certainly Margaret King's 1994 work, cited below, is well-known, so I'm not sure what explains complete ignorance of the deck - which clearly had "sixteen celestial princes and barons" and could not be the "Tarocchi" if by Michelino - other than disdain for tarot:

“Perhaps it is through contacts in Milan that Marcello eventually extracts from the Visconti possessions a set of illuminated playing cards to send to Isabella, wife of Rene (Meiss 1957, 2-3)” [Andrea Mantegna as Illuminator: An Episode in Renaissance Art, Humanism and Diplomacy]. (M. King, Death of the Child Valerio Marcello, 1994: 263)

However, the "bigger context", as I understand Mike's original post, is not merely to nail down Marziano's whereabouts (and surely Michelino is just as important) but in establishing the plausibility of Florence-Milan inter-city influences, specifically tied to Marziano. Neither of us posit the ur-tarot before c. 1438 so Ur-tarot->Marziano- is a moot one, and the reverse influence Marziano->Ur-Tarot is fraught with problems since we know the subjects of the trumps simply do not match, with the only potential influence being the "matrix" of 16 (again, my own speculation limits the potential influence to am emphasis on "courting", with 3 males and 3 females in each suit's court cards, which - when including the pips of each suit - would match the number of 16 "trumps" of Marziano; I would further argue the human subjects of the court cards are the playthings of the gods - to be combated with virtue - just as in the Ovidian myth of Daphne).

But like the ignorance of Italian scholars, there is simply no evidence that anyone in Florence had any idea the Marziano deck existed; certainly no one in the Sforza-Marcello camp recognized it, with Marcello commenting it came into his hands and that it was invented not by Marziano but by Visconti himself who conceived the "exquisite sort of triumphs." Apparently Marziano had already become obscure enough not to be mentioned by name ("afterward [Filippo] gave the plan of this entire game to someone most learned among men"). Sforza had plenty of Florentine contacts and his own deck in the form of the CY, but all that came out of that learned milieu (as far as tarot is concerned) was to label the Marziano a sort of triumphs. So I posit again: Marziano's primary influence on tarot would have been on the PMB, a deck that would have come slightly after the rediscovery of the Marziano. Marziano's categorization as "sixteen celestial princes and barons" (not something we think of with the CY), would lend itself to the invention of cards categorized as "celestial."

The only truly new and potentially impactful evidence in this thread is evidence of the lost fresco cycle in the Castle at Pavia's library - at least that is my narrow interest here. The problem is we have a 16th century description of the rooms in that castle (Stefano Breventano, Istoria delle antichita, et delle cose notabili della citta di Pavia, Pavia, Bartoli, 1570), but aside from presuming Bembo's numerous commissions there are these very frescoes (Rodolfo Maiocchi, Codice diplomatico artistico di Pavia dall’anno 1330 all’anno 1550, Pavia, Bianchi, 1937, I), we know nothing about the commissioning of those frescoes. Michelino can be tied to a lunette design in the castle courtyard (which, to me, looks very close to Bembo's "bagatto" - perhaps Michelino's copybooks influenced Bembo), but a study of Breventano's descriptions (not Donati's summary) would be needed to see if we can glean anything else that would tie those frescoes to a certain time period.

Phaeded

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