mikeh wrote: ↑
18 Nov 2019, 00:01
Filippo, even if he used a deck with exactly the same trumps as that made for Malatesta, would still be able to "improve" it, in that he could, and probably would, have changed the order of the trumps, especially the cardinal virtues, to what we see in the later Lombard order.
Not if the Lombard order didn't exist...because the 14 trump ur-tarot wasn't expanded into the 22 trump deck until the PMB of c. 1451. But you know that's my theory and I don't care to rehash that here. What interests me is your first statement, on whether the CY would have differed from what I presume to be a deck from the ur-series given to Malatesta.
My assumption for linking the ur-tarot and the CY is their presumed dates. Thus the prerequisite grounds for understanding the relationship of the Florentine ur-tarot to the CY is through whom and when did the ur-tarot make its way to Milan.
Of course all we have at this point is the most likely scenario (e.g., it wouldn’t have been through the exiled Albizzi faction allied to Visconti). Given the tight relationship between Cosimo and Sforza and that Sforza was lured back into Visconti’s camp the following year after Anghiari (when I posit the ur-tarot was created, based on no earlier evidence than Giusti), I presume the agency was Sforza himself, or at least his envoys. If Malatesta was given a deck by a Medici partisan (Giusti), the overwhelming odds are that Sforza was given one as well, likely directly from a higher up (such as anyone on the Dieci
, inclusive of Cosimo himself). And again, the laudatory poems after Anghiari in Florence celebrated “the men of Sforza” although the associated battle he won was at Soncino (duly celebrated in Florence, per Giusti). My answer then as to the question of what path tarot took to Milan (perhaps just a written summary of it such as Marcello's description of Marziano) is that it was received in Milan via the agency of Sforza.
When? Let’s turn to the only person connected to the ur-taort – Giusti – and fill in the timeline via his giornali
, supplemented with other dates from Margaret King's 1994 work on Marcello:
16 September 1440:
the well-known gifting of the tarot decks made in Florence from Giusti to Malatesta. What is less talked about is the context: Giusti has followed his client mercenaries to the Romagna, meeting up with the combined Papal-Florentine army, Pietro Giampaulo [Orsini, present at Anghiari] together constituting “the Holy League” along with Venice, and Malaesta’s men for an assault on the former Malatesta possession of Forli. This can only be viewed as a favor to Malatesta as a good faith effort in having gotten him back into the fold; Giusti’s gift necessarily seen in that context. (N. Newbigin, I Giornali Di Ser Giusto Giusti D’anghiari
, 2002: 68)
9 and 12 October 1440
, due to pressures from Visconti/Piccicino, the combined allied Lega
/Malatesta army retires to the villages just outside Ravenna and at this time Giusti notes sforzeschi
among the men at arms (ibid). But why Ravenna?
24 October, 1440
Marcello, assisted with Attendolo’s men (also at Anghiari) marches on Ravenna and deposes the ruling family aligned with the Visconti, the Polenta (see M. King, 252-53). [and see my separate Ancona arch post regarding the CY "world" - why a view from Cremona looking at the Adriatic sea with Ravenna on the coast, recently lost from Visconti, would be depicted in a Milanese deck in 1441 given to a condottiero on whom hopes for regaining such lost possessions someday would be pinned]
December 1440 through February 1441
Sforza is in Venice to ride our winter and attend the Foscari-Contarini wedding.
6 July 1441
Sforza is at the Adige River, perhaps near Verona (King, 254; Marcello was also sent by Venice to keep an eye on him) but this must have been to meet with Milanese envoys in what ultimately lead to the renewed condotte and wedding to Bianca some four months later, in late October 1441).
August 12, 1441
Giusti is still with Malatesta in Rimini where he reports that ‘Gismondo had returned from Lombardy that day and married Sforza's daughter. (Newbigin, 69)
August 16 1441
, Giusti leaves Rimini for Florence (machine translation here): “because I had to leave, and the magnificent Signor Gismondo committed some of his secret things to me that I was to look after in Florence with Cosimo and with others.” (ibid)
August 17 1441
Giusti “went to see Cosimo at Careggi [Villa], on an embassy commissioned by Signor ‘Gismondo and reasoned about our facts, of which he [Cosimo] replied he was happy.” (ibid)
21-31 August 1441
, King cryptically notes “at his palace in Venice, Sforza discusses maters of state” (249). Clearly this was related to the ensuing Treaty of Cavriana (between Milan and Papacy/Florence/Venice and less powerful allies).
24-28 October 1441.
20 November 1441.
Treaty of Cavriana.
We thus have a time period from when Sforza approached Lombardy at the Adige in July and the wedding events of 24-28 October. So the maximum amount of time for the CY to be created would have been four months; likely less than three if the details of the treaty were only agreed to in August. I don't see enough time for innovation and moreover I don't see what Visconti's objections would be to any of the trumps, especially when the key ones indicating rulership - the chariot and "world" - could be easily modified to suit his interests at that time.
But look at what has transpired in the interim: Sforza has lent arms to Malatesta as part of the Holy League’s actions to pry Forli (unsuccessful) and Ravenna (successful) away from Visconti. Sforza soon after had gotten Malatesta to marry his daughter (why Malatesta visited “Lombardy” for that is interesting if unexplained detail – did Visconti have to offer no objection as part of the treaty?). Tarot cards appear for the first time ever in this context of intense Sforza-Malatesta dealings. Moreover, 11 months after Giusti’s gift of tarot to Malatesta, Giusti is personally meeting with Cosimo de Medici as Malatesta’s envoy for a secret matter he won’t even explain in his journal (approving of the marriage to Sforza's daughter or just the selling off of minor Malatesta fiefs in Tuscany? We don't know). I should also point out I did not include any of the incidences of direct involvement between Giusti and other members of the Florentine Dieci
, especially Neri Capponi, one of the heroes of Anghiari (they even met to divide up spoils after that campaign). Given all of that, I ask these questions:
1. Given the relationship of Cosimo to Malatesta (they stood together at the altar during the Duomo's consecration in 1435), did Giusti really just act on his own with no thought of Florence’s and the Holy League’s relationship to Malatesta…or was Giusti acting strictly as an agent of the Medici party? Call him a double-agent if you must, as his interests were equally with procuring military contracts with Malatesta (but note that later on Giusti turns down Malatetsa when he is offered being his chancellor because he wishes to stay in Anghiari/Florence).
2. Did allied Sforza, clearly the most powerful condottiero esteemed by Cosimo, not receive his own tarot deck following the victory at Anghiari? The presumption of point number one is that Giusti acted with Cosimo’s tacit approval if not explicit direction, and Cosimo would have certainly flattered Sforza as much if not more than Malatesta.
3. Is it just a timing coincidence that Giusti gave the tarot deck to Malatesta once the Holy League army arrived en masse at Cesena (from where they staged their campaign against Forli)? Or did that tarot deck only arrive with the Florentine contingent at that time (if Giusti already had it why didn’t he give it to Malatesta earlier since he arrived well before the army of the League?)?
Sforza’s own chancellery obviously had intense negotiations with Visconti in 1441 in order to broker the Treaty of Cavriana and marriage with Bianca. Sforza was on the Lombard border in July 1441, which would be the most likely time envoys from Milan would have seen the general showing off his cards in camp. I presume Visconti, a card aficionado ever since Marziano, got wind of the deck, perhaps even procured a different deck from Florence (a standard one without Sforza’s arms) and had one commissioned to celebrate his coup in securing Sforza away from the League in October of 1441 via his marrying off of Bianca.
Finally, pointing vaguely at the CVI or Minchiate while leveling objections against my theory as somehow discounting evidence in c.1440 Florence, when in fact I have provided granular detail, is beyond the pale, especially in light of your farcical dating of the CVI. But I'm happy to discuss any of the above in greater detail.