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

#71
mikeh wrote:
31 Oct 2019, 10:19
Yes, thank you. Also, I edited my comments slightly, for mor clarity, after posting them, so take a second look. Added: at the end he refers to his gift as "this new Italian invention". Here I think he is referring only to the Michelino cards, the "new and exquisite sort of triumphs".
Yes, I think that is right. He thinks that the Michelino cards are the new kind, and the Trionfi the old kind. He has no reason to know otherwise, of course. In fact we don't, either, since Michelino could have painted those cards long after Marziano's death. I don't believe that, but there is no way to know.
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Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

#72
Maybe the "by chance" would have been better rendered as "it had just so happened," like I did in my paraphrase above. This makes the sequence of events more clear.

Similarly for "these pastimes," he is just making a general statement of the utility of games, so it could be equally translated "such pastimes as these."

Every text has a subtext, and every text has to be read between the lines as well as explicitly. What is not said can be as important or more important that what is said, why they are said in a certain way and not another, that sort of thing.
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Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

#73
I did not make any baseless speculations about Rene: he was in Florence at the right time, had plenty of time, and was interested in pictures. Therefore he could have learned the game, in the sense of "he had the opportunity". Also means and motive,

But the issue is whether from Marcello's letter we can conclude that Rene didn't know how to play the game, because otherwise he would have taught Isabelle, who doesn't already know the game. That is the line of reasoning - or speculation - that I balk at, in its first premise (Isabella doesn't know the game of triumphs), which you somehow derive from Marcello's letter. Perhaps you can show me the particular text that has the subtext you insist is there. What part of the text? I can accept subtexts, but not baseless ones. Added later: Or overly speculative ones. But again, I don't know the Latin.

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

#74
mikeh wrote:
31 Oct 2019, 11:13
I did not make any baseless speculations about Rene: he was in Florence at the right time, had plenty of time, and was interested in pictures. Therefore he could have learned the game, in the sense of "he had the opportunity". Also means and motive,

But the issue is whether from Marcello's letter we can conclude that Rene didn't know how to play the game....
Ross is likely spot on regarding the Caraffa/Marcello 1449 conversation reconstruction and you were correct in saying the dispossessed-of-Naples Rene was earlier given the "cold shoulder" in Florence in 1442 (politely, I'm sure - Florence was never going to sever its relations with the Angevins/France). Nonetheless these three facts are an interesting juxtaposition:

* Florence is making tarot by 1440 (we don't know the subjects)
* The Visconti tarot of c. 1441 - the CY - features all of the virtues (yes, caveat on Prudence)
* The Florentine festaiuoli [feast directors] and their production for Alfonso's triumphal entry on February 26, 1443 featured the virtues.

Are points two and three coincidences? My Occam's razor theory is - being so close in time - is that the Milanese merely adapted the Florentine ur-tarot, embellishing it with Visconti stemmi, and created a "World"/Prudence-fama vignette appropriate to the circumstances of 1441; thus my presumption that point one, the ur-tarot, also featured all of the virtues. IF the tarot being produced in Florence, that Giusti ordered a pack from in September 1440, was celebrating the triumph at Anghiari, then the Florentine festaiuoli had a generic model for celebrating triumphs in general (inclusive of the one soon following in Naples), no? And note the title of Dati's celebratory Anghiari poem, Trophaeum Anglaricum - trophies being germane to Roman conquest/triumphs, also the theme indicated on Trevisan's medal reverse.

Rene could have been exposed to both tarot production as well as the triumphal parade preparations for Alfonso while in Florence in 1442 (there could have even been a tarot deck to accompany the Florentine contingent to Naples as a gift for Alfonso (Alfonso was himself previously a prisoner of Visconti in 1435, so possibly at least familiar with the Marziano deck). At all events, whether Isabelle was taught by Rene or not is a trivial detail in regard to tarot overall. But having brought up this context....

To reiterate the details of that Florentine portion of that triumph on this forum once again:
the third float, prepared by the Florentines, bore seven ladies who turned a large globe over which a standing male figure carrying a scepter and wearing a laurel wreath presided. The standing figure, representing Caesar, saluted the new King and then presented him with his throne and crown. (Margaret Ann Zaho, Imago triumphalis, 2004: 50).
This can be read as a sort of shorthand account of the ur-tarot, where prudence is removed from World/fama and placed back in her place amongst the seven virtues, their collective influence embodied in Caesar atop the "World"/globe, dominating Fortuna/Occasio (otherwise the Wheel of Fortune in tarot).

Jacob Burckhardt more fully described the same as follows:
The part of the procession which the Florentines then present in Naples had undertaken was composed of elegant young cavaliers, skillfully brandishing their lances, of a chariot with the figure of Fortune, and of seven Virtues on horseback. The goddess herself, in accordance with the inexorable logic of allegory to which even the painters at that time conformed, wore hair only on the front part of her head, while the back part was bald, and the genius who sat on the lower steps of the car, and who symbolized the fugitive character of fortune, had his feet immersed in a basin of water. Then followed, equipped by the same Florentines, a troop of horsemen in the costumes of various nations, dressed as foreign princes and nobles, and then, crowned with laurel and standing above a revolving globe, a Julius Caesar, who explained to the king in Italian verse the meaning of the allegories, and then took his place in the procession. Sixty Florentines, all in purple and scarlet, closed this splendid display of what their home could achieve (Jacob Burckhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance In Italy, translated by S. G. C. Middlemore, 1878: 165).

My emphasis on the detail missing in Zaho but recounted in Burckhardt - and who are these "foreign princes and nobles"? Surely the imagined renown of the triumph with notable spectators arriving from around the world, but also a nod to Petrarch and the artistic convention of how the Triumph of Fama came to be depicted: with an international coterie of wise men and famous generals in Fame's train. And we have that representation with the same focus on princes (and likewise, no wise men), with Fama restored to her place atop the globe instead of Caesar (unthinkable in Florence, especially after the Scipio-Caesar controversy) in the famous birthtray made for Lorenzo Magnifico, in the same year of the rediscovery of the Marziano deck (and I would argue that the two port cities flanking Fama in the background are the more southern/left Livorno, acquired in 1421, and northerly/right Pisa, acquired in 1406 - this last notably through conquest/triumph); Florence's expansionist worldview at the time, conceived of in Petrarchan terms (and note that the year before in 1448 Florence's coastal possessions were militarily threatened, ironically enough, by Alfonso's armies, hence the elevated significance of her seaports at the time of Lorenzo's birth):
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The above is more simply reduced (no famous heroes) in the smaller format of a tarot card, to Fama above the dominion of the Florentine contado (the hilly Tuscan countryside being an equivalent alternate to the maritime aspirations of Florence):

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

#75
Phaeded: I have no problem with the World card being Fama of a sort - the clouds suggest eternal fama rather than transitory - or with there being seven virtues in either or both of Milan and Florence by the time of the parade in Naples. What I have a problem with is that either of these decks with seven virtues would have been an ur-tarot, for reasons I have produced elsewhere. I also have a problem thinking the game originated in Angieri, as opposed to Florence, [added later: I should have said: originated in Florence, to celebrate the victory at Anghieri] and hence that Filippo would have simply taken a Florentine game with his devices, especially one reminding him of his military defeat. These issues have been discussed.

I would like to know more about why you think Ross's reading of Marcello is "spot on". That would entail that Marcello [added later: that should have been "Cossa"] didn't teach her the game, even though he would have had motive, means, and opportunity. What in Marcello's text leads you to Ross's interpretation, that Marcello thinks on reasonable authority that she doesn't know how to play the game? What I think is that Marcello doesn't assume that she knows how to play the game, which is quite different in meaning but not so different in words. I have quoted the text.

The question is of some importance regarding whether Trionfi then was already known not so much in Naples but in Provence (as "taro", presumably [Added later: please ignore that last suggestion, about "taro", as 1449 is way to early for that]) and whether it would have been known after 1449 in what was later France, among certain nobles.

Ross wrote,
Maybe the "by chance" would have been better rendered as "it had just so happened," like I did in my paraphrase above. This makes the sequence of events more clear.

Similarly for "these pastimes," he is just making a general statement of the utility of games, so it could be equally translated "such pastimes as these."
Those phrases are not the problem. In the first instance, the sentence with "by chance" in it, I will phrase my unclarity in another way: When did Marziano [added later: I meant Marcello] get the ordinary triumphs, while he was talking to Scipio or before then? Your paraphrase clears up that question for me, but it won't for anyone reading just Marcello, because your translation doesn't say that Scipio noticed the cards while they were chatting. It just says that "while chatting ... certain cards had been offered and given to me."
This makes no grammatical sense. We have to make a correction in our heads, either change the tense to "were offered", or change "certain cards" to something like "he noticed certain cards that" or "I mentioned that certain cards", but we don't know from the translation which of these he means. Perhaps the Latin is clearer.

In the second instance, with either "these pastimes" or "such pastimes as these" it is still an open question whether she has played the game he is talking about or not.

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

#76
mikeh wrote:
03 Nov 2019, 10:04
Phaeded: ... What I have a problem with is that either of these decks with seven virtues would have been an ur-tarot, for reasons I have produced elsewhere. I also have a problem thinking the game originated in Angieri, as opposed to Florence, and hence that Filippo would have simply taken a Florentine game with his devices, especially one reminding him of his military defeat. These issues have been discussed.
There is no evidence of an earlier deck than the CY, certainly none without the virtues - the onus is not on my "theory", which takes the CY evidence at face value. As for "originated in Anghiari" - not sure how you got that from me. Giusti is clear - he ordered a pair of triumph decks in Florence where they were being made. I presume, due to the timing, that the decks being made in Florence celebrated the triumph at Anghiari. The generic trump subjects don't celebrate anything specifically and the deck could be embellished with any ruler's stemmi and certain trumps (namely the chariot and world) modified to celebrate anything (if one wanted a deck to do that). Filelfo used Dante against the Medici regime and ultimately they embraced Dante; thus any cultural "commodity" is fair play. I see no problem in Visconti re-using something that originated in Florence against Florence (particularity if associated in luring away Florence's chief condottiero).
I would like to know more about why you think Ross's reading of Marcello is "spot on". That would entail that Marcello didn't teach her the game, even though he would have had motive, means, and opportunity. What in Marcello's text leads you to Ross's interpretation, that Marcello thinks on reasonable authority that she doesn't know how to play the game? What I think is that Marcello doesn't assume that she knows how to play the game, which is quite different in meaning but not so different in words. I have quoted the text."
What Ross presented was Caraffa, fresh from Isabelle, spotting the cards in the Sforza/Venetian camp outside Milan and suggesting to Marcello that he send them to her (and I would add that by the time Marcello finally sent them to her, Venice is no longer allied with Sforza and the context is that he is trying to keep Rene neutral as Venice mobilizes to go after Sforza; I would also add here my conjecture that the cards were acquired by Sforza/Venetian agents at the auctions being held in Milan by the cash-strapped Ambrosian Republic). Everything else you speak of is unknowable, but of course Rene could have brought her a deck from his Florence visit of 1442 (but if were they being made for Alfonso at the time, why would Rene bother?). Since there is no other card evidence about Isabelle I'm not sure why you are trying to press that into any theory about anything.

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

#77
Phaeded wrote,
Since there is no other card evidence about Isabelle I'm not sure why you are trying to press that into any theory about anything.
I keep saying, I don't have any theory about Isabelle. It is Ross who has a theory about Isabelle, or at least a belief, (that she didn't know how to play triumphs by 1448-9), which I can't see evidence for in Marcello's text, and certainly not enough to suggest that she didn't learn it from her husband.. If you agree with Ross, show me where in the text the evidence is, or perhaps evidnece for a subtext implying she didn't know how to play triumphs then.

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

#78
mikeh wrote:
07 Nov 2019, 12:10
Phaeded wrote,
....I don't have any theory about Isabelle. It is Ross who has a theory about Isabelle, or at least a belief, (that she didn't know how to play triumphs by 1448-9), which I can't see evidence for in Marcello's text, and certainly not enough to suggest that she didn't learn it from her husband.. If you agree with Ross, show me where in the text the evidence is, or perhaps evidnece for a subtext implying she didn't know how to play triumphs then.
I merely agreed with the Caraffa/Marcello interpretation. Isabelle would know Marziano's game. That's all we know.

I'm more interested in why Marcello created that oddly themed deck and how its timely resurfacing, just a couple of years or so before the PMB, and how it might have influenced that latter deck. Sforza, I believe the commissioner of the PMB, may have heard of the Marziano through his wife or mother-in-law, the latter certainly being a potential player of cards with Filippo. Marcello offers us evidence - sending a deck to Isabelle - that coupled with the Borromeo fresco that cards were played in mixed gender settings, at least in a Lombard context.

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

#79
Mike - the simple answer is that my overall impression is that he is introducing Isabelle to both this game called Trionfi, and also, especially since it is a heroic story, to Visconti’s Michelino da Besozzo deck. I see no reason to suspect anything else, so it is not worth my time to speculate. Evidence comes, I think about it.

But I can’t summon the energy to try any harder to convince you of my point of view. The main reason is that I believe you don’t really care. Here’re some reasons for why I think that:

- for instance, in response to your post 67 above, I pointed out that you consistently and mistakenly wrote “Cossa” when the person in question was Scipio Caraffa, but you still have not corrected your post
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1422&p=21272#p21272

In your penultimate post, number 75, above, you have clearly confused the person again:
mikeh wrote:
03 Nov 2019, 10:04
That would entail that Marcello didn't teach her the game, even though he would have had motive, means, and opportunity.
When did Marcello have any opportunity beyond this letter? He never met Isabelle, ever. Do you actually mean her husband, King René? You confused Marcello with René. But to your point, it doesn’t matter if someone, anyone, has motive, means, and opportunity, when there has been no crime. The “crime” in question would be if there is any reason to suspect that Isabelle knew the game before Marcello’s letter. If there were some hint, any evidence or suggestion, that she knew the game already, then we could suspect René. But since there is not the tiniest fleck of evidence for this, there is no crime to solve. Marcello introduced her to the game of Triumphs, that is the straightforward reading, and sufficient explanation, for all the facts we know. We don’t need to speculate any further. There are no uncertainties requiring it.

Next there is something absolutely bonkers, asserting that the name “taro” for the game might have been known in Provence in the 1440s!
The question is of some importance regarding whether Trionfi then was already known not so much in Naples but in Provence (as "taro", presumably) and whether it would have been known after 1449 in what was later France, among certain nobles.
Finally another sloppy mistake, writing Marziano for Marcello.
When did Marziano get the ordinary triumphs, while he was talking to Scipio or before then?
You take me to task for not translating the Latin just to your liking, but you yourself repeatedly make careless mistakes, confusing the Italian M-names and C-names as if it doesn’t matter anyway, we are supposed to know what you mean, and you don’t even bother to correct these mistakes when it is pointed out. And you propose nonsense as well, such as the existence of the game of Triumphs in Provence, and that we should for some reason presume it was already called "taro," in the 1440s.

This is partly why I cannot summon the concern to try to convince you of my point of view. This is my text. It is in my mind and in my heart. It has been there since 2003. It is clear from your sloppy and careless attempts to make a counterargument that you have not really taken the text to heart, thought carefully about the story and the people in it, going over it countless times, thinking long and hard for many years about it, as I have. If you had, in your mind Scipio Caraffa and Giovanni Cossa would be very different people at different parts of the story, it wouldn’t be possible for you to incoherently write one for the other. For how you confused Marziano and Marcello, I can hardly imagine how you could have done that, unless it is just those Italian M names, you know, they all sound alike. And for “presumably ‘taro’” in 1440s Provence, I simply give up trying to imagine where that nonsense came from.

It satisfies me that my other critic here, Phaeded, easily saw the common sense of my point of view about the likelihood of Isabelle knowing the game before 1449. This suggests to me that most people would take it as the obvious implication of the situation from the way Marcello tells the story. Your criticisms, on the other hand, are just true to form for how you always react to my opinions, arguing for anything but the way Ross sees it.

I love to engage with thoughtful and knowledgable criticism, one that offers new insight, as Phaeded has done. I don’t care to engage with careless, sloppy, and incoherent criticism. Especially gratuitous criticism, just to disagree for the sake of disagreeing.

Evidence is not something to be steamrolled over, flattened into whatever scenario you want. It has to be sifted carefully, weighed in the light of context and probability. In this case of Isabelle’s knowledge of the game of Triumphs, the only knowledge we have, the only tiny fragment of evidence there is, is what Marcello says about it in this letter. We have no right to speculate about what René might or might not have learned in Florence, and brought back with him. We have no right because we just don’t know - there is no basis. All that we know is that there is no evidence at all that he did learn to play the game while he was there. No direct evidence, and no circumstantial evidence. Nothing. That negative evidence might have some value as well, but it is something to be used with great care.
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