I discussed an earlier article of Poncet's at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1004&p=14956&hilit=Poncet#p14956
. All I think he shows is that the style of the Marseille II is not necessarily later than that of the Marseille I, because it is indeed similar to Baldini's. There is some similarity between Baldini's "prophets and sibyls" and certain Marseille cards. That does not show anything except that the Marseille II is probably later than Baldini (1470s Florence), an uncontroversial point.
I have no comment on the 3x7 question you post, Huck. But on the "choice of Hercules", Poncet's quotations from Ficino's Philebus commentary and his commentary on Plotinus are at least interesting. I wasn't aware of them.
Other things, to the extent I know about them, are problematic. He says, writing in 2008, there that there is "no real evidence" that the painting was for Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco. The evidence is an inventory of 1499. The painting was described as being in an anteroom to Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco's bed chamber, above the back-rest of a sofa, "which would explain not only the length of the painting but also the sharply rising perspective of the meadow on which the eight figures in the picture appear " (Barbara Deimling, Botticelli
, 2000, p. 39). A bed chamber suggests that fertility of an earthy nature is not excluded (but sex by force, like Zephyr's, is). Venus's apparent pregnancy would not seem to exclude the earthly either. That that there were two kinds of love, earthly and divine, as Plato has one of the speakers in the Symposium
say, and that the "ladder of love" goes from one to the other, did not take Ficino to make the point, although he certainly did make it. How long one may tarry at the bottom rung is another issue; given that Ficino believed in sympathetic magic, the painting might have been intended as a fertility charm. Whether Mercury's distaste (he does not even look toward Venus) is laudatory or partly a joke is another issue. Yes, the painting refers to both types of love; and yes, it could have been made for a similar place in Lorenzo's home. But there is no reason for the latter supposition. Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco was capable of reading Lorenzo's poems. And I wonder if Lorenzo's wife would have wanted a painting with Lorenzo's other ("Platonic") loves on it.
That the painting, or Lorenzo in his poem, is suggesting that a friend's tragically dead young wife was a prostitute, or even, for Lorenzo "common", "seductive", and "deceitful", seems to me a bit hard to swallow.
That the visual gaze was the main conduit of love was a commonplace long before Ficino.
On the website there is a picture of the fresco's chariot. As I've argued elsewhere, the Phaedrean Charioteer was common knowledge among humanists long before Ficino (among some by 1424, and many more after 1427). The fresco's version is not particularly Phaedrean, based on what little I can see of it (nor are Florentine Chariot cards of that era). To be Phaedrean, one horse (and one only, out of two) has to be unruly, or darker, or looking at the other horse for guidance, or else either both horses have wings, or the charioteer has wings and the horses are ascending. That's quite a large number of choices. But I don't see any of them in what I can see of the fresco. I suppose I have to read Poncet's essay on that subject, if I can find it.
Ficino's writings were more influential after his death than in his lifetime, although after the Council of Trent more in France than in Italy. If there is a connection between his writings and the "Choice of Hercules" as analyzed by Ficino, that could have been any time before the first appearance of this design, in c. 1650. Before that, the theme is simply romantic love or, after the Council of Trent, marriage (Geoffroy) or chivalry (Minchiate, Venice).
The artistic connections between Hungary
and Northern Italy have been well known for at least a century (I am thinking of Adolfo Venturi), probably much longer. That Botticelli was in Hungary
is of course a recent "discovery".