Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: ↑
20 Apr 2020, 16:39
Phaeded wrote: ↑
19 Apr 2020, 22:59
So we have:
/pleasures/Venus (at head of suit)
/virginites/Pallas (at head of suit)
But the Christian aspect does not enter Marziano's use of the symbol. He doesn't even mention it in Venus, but alludes to it with the necessity of reproduction, which was how the bird got its identification with Venus. ...
My second observation is that the pigeon/dove has two drastically different, you might even say opposed, symbolic meanings. The first is the pagan association with Venus, because the dove/pigeon is a horny bird. Boccaccio's Venus (III, 22) explains the mythology, Solomon volume 1 pages 391-393
The other is the Biblical, where both columba and turtur were mandated as sacrifices in Leviticus (see e.g. Lev. 5:11). But in the New Testament, it is a columba that descends on Jesus at his baptism (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32).
....I am sure there was a conflation with the Visconti bird and the divine mission, if not their very origin, of the dove of the Holy Spirit. I wanted to show you something, though, about that chivalric Ordre du Saint-Esprit au Droit Désir
you mentioned that Bernabò belonged to. They used a banner with a columba
representing the Holy Spirit descending, before which went rays. When the banner is white, the bird is dark. It is shown repeatedly in the 1353 copy of the order's rules. It just meant that they knew what kind of bird it was, the color was optional, adapted to circumstance.
Generally, why do no academics employ the term "pigeon"? I honestly don't know.
As for the NT having columba
for Holy Ghost, the bird for Venus in Boccaccio, arguably an important reference for Marziano, also has columba
....Cupid saw that the nymph Peristera had offered to assist Venus and therefore grew resentful, he transformed her into a dove [columbam] right there. Venus immediately took the transformed girl under her protection, and because of this it follows that doves [columbas] were always allotted to Venus. (Tr. Soloman, III.22.14. p. 393)
So the same bird name is used for the bird for the Holy Ghost and Venus
, and yet clearly Marziano wants us to associate that bird with volupatis
/pleasures. How does this not cloud matters, unless one sublimates, like Petrarch's Laura, and one's love interest is transformed into something religious; i.e., Bernardo's idea of the novus figura
When you argue "the Christian aspect does not enter Marziano's use of the symbol", you can't discount his knowledge of that symbolic significance for the sole recipient of the work, inheritor of his father's imprese:
The emblem that constitutes the primary evidence for the original ownership of Lat. 757 by Giangaleazzo Visconti is the radiant gold sun enclosing a white dove against a blue sky, worn as a pendant by the nobleman who kneels before the Madonna and Child on folio 109v, at the opening of the Seven Joys of the Virgon. [reproduced earlier in this thread what follows here is a discussion of Petrarch's involvement with the impresa and motto].....
In his Canzon morale fatta per la divisa del conte di Virtu of about 1389, the Visconti court poet Giovanni di Vannozzo explicates the emblem as follows: the radiant sun represents Giangaleazzo's power, reaching out to all; the dove symbolizes humility and chastity; the azure background denotes serenity. Each component, however, carries a second meaning: the sky invokes heaven, 'loco del padre,' the sun in Christ, and the dove the Holy Ghost. The bold full-page miniatuire at the opening of the Mass of the Holy Ghost on folio 241v in Lat.757 would have served aptly also as a frontispiece to Vannozzo's Canzon. [fn 15]
fn 15: Outside of Lat. 757, no Mass or Office of the Holy Ghost known to me is introduced by a full-page depiction of the Holy Spirit, alone, against a brilliant sun and a vast blue sky. If a full page is allotted to such a miniature, the subject is usually Pentecost or the Preaching of the Apostles. Although it is true that the rays behind the sun in Lat.757 are straight, while the Visconti sun is normally depicted with undulating rays, the latter often emits both. The dove that serves as both Holy Spirit and an emblem of Giangaleazzo in Banco Rari 397 emerges from a blue sky amidst straight rays. (E. Kirsch, Five Illuminated Manuscripts of Giangaleazzo Visconti, 1991: 19).
Lest we dismiss all this as the idiosyncrasies of one manuscript, (Lat. 757), note that the white Visconti turtur
impresa and white Holy Ghost colomba
are indistinguishable through their many appearances throughout the Visconti Hours - what the Banco Rari
refers to - even in the portion completed especially for Filippo by Bebello. The Holy Spirit dove has a halo, but when it descends in flight in the Annunciation (a version of which the Giangaleaazzzo miniature stares up at across the page with the ray's angle pointed to Giangaleazzo across the way, BR104v), it is impossible to tell the two apart.
As for the white and apparent dark versions of the dove in theOrdre du Saint-Esprit au Droit Désir
statutes: White/silver were used interchangeably depending on the circumstances, and the only way for white to show up on white is to make the superimposed object silver; to wit, how do we know the "grey" isn't oxidized silver? But the Visconti manuscripts obviously have much more relevance here at all events.
Having said all that, I'll concede that the words for turtledove (turtur
) and dove (colomba
) were meant to refer to entirely different birds, furthermore associated with continentiae
/virginites/Pallas and volupatis
/pleasures/Venus. But I cannot believe Marziano did any of this by willfully ignoring the very impresa associated with Filippo and his father, Giangaleazzo - the last preferring the dove for political reasons: "in 1378, the twenty-seven-year-old Giangaleazzo became co-ruler with his uncle Bernabo of Milan anbd it dominions, the young nephew, with his uncle's approval, for seven years confined his political activities to Pavia and to Piedmont, expressing fear of even visiting the city of Milan....[H] might deliberately have refrained from embellishing such books with his father-in-law's viper, symbol of Milan....Only in 1385 did Giangaleazzo seize all power from his uncle and make the viper his own" (Kirsch, 1991: 26-27).
We have the Visconti impresa, which in no uncertain terms, associated with the Holy Ghost and Chastity, the last meaning reflected in the Chastity jousting shield emblazoned with the radiant sun-cum-dove on the CY Chariot. All of the heroum
?) of the continentiae
/virginites suit of turtur
are chastity par excellence as virgins, the last even preferring conversion to a tree to protect her virtue. Moreover Marziano praises Eagles/Virtues and Turtledoves/Virginites over Phoenixes/Doves, which "lead to the deterioration of our station." The Doves/columba
are headed up by Venus...but columba
is also the NT name for the Holy Spirit, which leads us back in a confusing circle to the Visconti impresa, clearly equated to the Holy Ghost. And lest we forget, the deification of the Visconti themselves goes through Venus! If the turtur
suit trumps the columba
suit, how is there not an implication of a reversal of fortune, an "anti-deterioration", or uplifting of what was base to what is noble, pure, chaste....immortal? Can it not be said that the bird of Venus prefigures the bird of Christian immortality, the Holy Ghost?
Think again of our discussion of Marziano's Vesta who institutes a nun-like order: "She first established the religious life for virgins and the vows of religion, by which those avowed would be no longer permitted to return to the world....Wearing a very modest garment, like that of nuns...." (DSH your 67-68). Is this not precisely the narrative strategy of the Ovide moralise
, is reading a Christian lesson into pagan material? Or think of the the Speculum Humanae Salvationis
created in the early Trecento and remained popular through the 15th century - a medieval theory of typology, whereby the events of the Old Testament prefigured the events of the New Testament, and whose devotional illustrations were in some cases almost like luxury playing cards (Seznec even ponders in a footnote: "probably used as card games"[!], 138, footnote 36; unlikely, but what an odd statement from him):
Gethsemane: Soldiers falling; Samson and Jawbone; Shamgar; David. MS Hunter 60 (T.2.18), Bruges: 1455. f25v.
Returning to Marziano, look at how he leads off his litany of heroum
with Jupiter, whom humanists famously used to symbolically use as the Christian God - all of his activities are in a sense redeeming fallen man (presumably from the Golden Age/"Eden"): "...the race of man was still rough and wild...He instituted matrimony; and banished the abominable feats on human flesh...." (DSH, your 27). This theme of elevating man is so strong Marziano barely touches on the suit that Juno head's up, riches (clearly negative and leading to "deterioration of our station"), and instead focuses on her civilizing qualities: "...admonished young girls with the most profound authority that they should carry the sacred modesty of virginity to their husbands for the duty of matrimony....Her majesty being so greatly esteemed by the Roman city, and such her dignity, that they maintained Chastity itself to rest on the seat of the Capitoline Juno.....On the island of Samos, where she was brought up....the divinity of the goddess spread out, because she was the first to kindle woman to the excellent praises f chastity...." (DSH, your 31). Who would guess this goddess was associated with riches over the suit of virginities?
And what else is Scipio doing, first in his "Continence" act with Lucretia and her groom, and then with Massinissa (weaning him off of a latter day Dido, Sofonisba), if not elevating barbarians in both instances to being allies of Rome, partaking now in its civilization. The odd thing about the "ethnogenic project" is that it places the emphasis on an anointed dynasty, prefigured since antiquity via its Trojan roots, which it makes a twofold claim on (through Venus and the Holy Spirit's conferred "bon droit").
What I'm left with in regard to the same word for a bird being emblematic of both Venus (the dynasty's divine founder) and the Holy Ghost (the dynasty's symbol), is it had to resonate in Marziano in terms of this theme of uplifting/saving mankind (to be heroum
), that permutated through the fourfold suits individual themes. All of this is predicated on the medieval conceit that God gave his only Son during the Roman Empire for the explicit reason the empire would be his tool in spreading the Good Word.