"The 5x14 Theory: An Investigation" part II

#1
The 5x14 Theory: An Investigation, "part II"

"Part I" happened in the Tarot History Forum of Aeclectic - more or less it had been a quite inspiring talk between MikeS and me (though some other also contributed). Mike followed my invitation to the History Forum, thank you for this, Mike.

The topic had two major lines, one was me giving a sort of introduction to the 5x14-theory (with the original title "the 5x14-theory and the 3 limumaries", if I remember correctly), which actually started itself in "Greek statues" , but Michael thought it a good idea not to flatter this article and I agreed forming a new article with the quote of our both recent texts, which did lead to the new topic. This became the start of a problem ... not really between me and MikeS, we were really pleasant in our researches. Beside that there was another topic in silence "also involved", something about birds in the Michelino deck, and for not confusing everybody, I took the decision to present some sidepath findings inside another thread about "German birds", whereby I've to say that some persons seem to get nervous when they hear the word "German" or read "untranslated German" in an English Forum ... that's already an earlier problem. And, another problem, the eagle was too big, he didn't fit with the computer window.
A nice eagle, very big, a socalled Quaterionen-Adler, who presented a sort of heraldic dictionary and was used variously, even at Bier-Humpen of considerable dimensions, ca 3-4 liter. The interesting part, however, was, that the Quaterionenadler parted the German world in groups of 4, and another point, in a matrix 4x12=48 and 48 had been the number of cards in German decks (for instance the Hofämterspiel). Additionally there are the German "trumps" 7 Kurfürsten + 1 Emperor inside the Quaterionen-Adler, that all forming an interesting observation inside our playing card observatorium. Really a theme for itself.
Of additional interest it is, that the topic Quaterionen became of interest in Germany in 1422 (there exists a poem of this time, but the structure was then not 48 + 8, but 36 + 8). 1422 and 1424 (time of the Michelino deck and with the Michelino deck the birds) were near to each other, so the observation was really of interest, especially, as inside the accompanying discussions about Michelino deck also the name "Alain Chartier" had been fallen, and Alain Chartier had many journeys, was in Germany, Italy and even Scotland and could have gathered a lot of informations. Especially he had at least also a letter contact to Filippo Maria Visconti, and he was a poet and as a poet he had written about unsatisfied love and the central theme of the Michelino deck is "unsatisfied love" with the central figure "Daphne". And Chartier had written at least two texts with a little bit Quaterionen-character, "Les Quatres Dames", and another one, in which the major figure "Dame France" is surrounded by representations of the 3 ranks of society.
So .. this all was very interesting. On the same way, as already indicated above, I attempted to locate a special observation on the Cary-Yale deck outside of the 5x14-thread, which had the name "birds in Cary-Yale" or so, which was as a theme also extractable - just my opinion. But these threads have their own logic, inside the 5x14-topic Mike asked a question or gave an opinion about Bembo as the painter, I answered that there are also other opinions and mentioned the Zavattari brothers, myself then researching the web for the relevant informations and I found interesting (and very inspiring) contexts to the time of production of paintings in a Monza church (1444 - 1446), to Theodolinda (as later perceived: an ancestor of Filppo Maria Visconti) and the presence of Theolinda's husband in the genealogy of Visconti (made by Michelino).
Then I found a story about a bird (a dove) and another story about a sea-monster, which I tried to decipher, finally coming to the conclusion, that the sea-monster is the origin of the Visconti-snake and the dove the reason for the dove in the Visconti heraldic. Mike had his own escapades and I hope he liked it and we had a splendid time feeding ourselves with the considerations of the other. In the meantime even Shakespeare was considered, who wrote a poem about a turtle (dove) and a phoenix. And even marshall Boucicaut and his red eagle and the Battle of Azincourt and the Battle of Patay.
But somebody didn't love this ... the eagle was too big. Perhaps the picture had a virus (a picture of Wikipedia). The people (readers) are confused. Why do we talk in the 5x14-thread about birds, when a Visconti-bird thread exists? The pictures were reduced to a link (who cares). The name of the thread was changed (who cares). Then he started to move threads, filled the Visconti-birds-files in the 5x14-thread. This I really didn't love, cause I wish to find the things, where I've put them. I clearly gave signs, that I didn't love that. I spare the details.

Now we proceed here ... but this thread seems to be wandering thread ... .-) Alright, this as an introduction and life in its humorous meandering ... .-)

hi Mike, to your sceptic about the Zavattari-brothers ...

Storia di Milano give this;
http://www.storiadimilano.it/Arte/minia ... 0Zavattari

Zavattari is taken as an alternative to the Bembo-explanation. Another explanation go to a relative of Bembo, cause the whole family were painters. Bembo himself is 1441 rather young, and he is noted first in 1446.

The pictures in Monza and on the cards differ, but a miniature is technically not the same as a fresco. Naturally the fresco should look better.

This for short, I've to take a nearer look at your contributions.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: "The 5x14 Theory: An Investigation" part II

#2
Huck wrote: And, another problem, the eagle was too big, he didn't fit with the computer window.
Hi Huck,

I've created a few useful tags for instances like that for the forum. There is a tag to automatically reduce a linked image to fit into the window, and another where you can scale it to fit to any size you want. See this post about [largeimg] and [scaleimg]:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=188
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: "The 5x14 Theory: An Investigation" part II

#3


And now? It ... works ... :-)

Voila, a German eagle, after he got two heads 1433 in Rome by Sigismondo. The groups of 4 present 4 of many others of similar rank, these are not all.
It would make a nice playing card game with 56 units. Perhaps it even existed once and we only don't know it. Murner made such a deck, the Swiss had shields as as suit.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... Negker.jpg
The original. you can read better there, if you desire.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: "The 5x14 Theory: An Investigation" part II

#4
http://www.ngw.nl/themes/phoenix.htm

Heraldic shields with Phoenix. The birds look different - often like an eagle.

"presently more than 50.000 coats of arms" at the page. And they say: "The phoenix is a mythological bird, which rose from its own ashes. It is thus often used in civic heraldry for cities that have been destroyed and rebuilt. "

Mike, btw., I refered with the phoenix-symbol to the situation, when Fredrick Barbarossa conquered Milan (1162) ... anothe remarkable event was, that the bones of the 3 holy kings were stolen at this opportunity and brought to Cologne then. Milan was (more or less) destroyed then. Between 1447-1450 only the dukedom had been paused.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: "The 5x14 Theory: An Investigation" part II

#5
Huck wrote: Voila, a German eagle, after he got two heads 1433 in Rome by Sigismondo.
Huck, what can you tell me about the intention behind Sigismondo's changing the one-headed eagle to a two-headed one? On a brief excursion, I can't find any explanations of the symbolism.

I would guess he is deliberately co-opting the Byzantine symbolism - but why just then? I read somewhere that Sigismund and John Paleologue made an agreement to make one or the other their heir - thus a single Emperor over all Christendom, but I can't find it now...

So maybe Sigismund took it to prepare for the Union Council and the inevitable Union of Empires...

Ross
Image

Re: "The 5x14 Theory: An Investigation" part II

#6
Hi Huck and TarotHistory. This is just to let you know that I have joined this Forum and am ready to continue. As usual, you have given me much to read, some of which I will have to translate, and think about, before I know what to ask or say. I also have to get myself oriented to this new site and its culture.

I am still very struck by the similarity of Bembo's "Lancelot of the Lake" illustrations and some of the cards, as in Kaplan Vol. 2. And remember, I didn't say the Zavatarri couldn't have done any of the cards: they might have done "Faith," for example. So what do you think of the idea that Bonifacio Bembo was an apprentice in the Zavattari brothers' workshop? Is that compelte speculation, or with some foundation?

Another thing: do you know any examples of Zavattari miniatures? Perhaps they are mentioned in the links. So far, all I see is frescoes. Painting miniatures is a very different craft from painting frescoes. if nothing else, it's a different surface, for one thing, even if you use the same general kind of paint. Did the Zavattaris even do miniatures? From Bembo, we at least have the book illustrations--in ink, I notice. Because another thing is the particular kind of miniatures that the cards are: tempera and gold leaf rather than watercolor or different colored inks. Tempera is very tricky stuff, according to Wikipedia: Get it wrong and all you have is a bunch of flakes. Perhaps that's why the cards are in such bad shape--not that they were abused by their owners, but that the artist wasn't technically experienced, just starting out; he knew how to draw, but not how to paint in tempera on laminated paper. I am assuming it's tempera. I really don't know. The Beinecke description doesn't list the medium. I have an email in to them about that. The PMB are tempera, according to a Morgan librarian who contacted a conservator for me. (Unfortunately, the librarian also said they were watercolor--not the same thing. Once I've studied up a little more, I will ask for clarificaiton.) On the other hand, do we have any good examples of tempera on laminated paper to compare them with?

With my head swimming, as usual, I will stop for now.

Re: "The 5x14 Theory: An Investigation" part II

#7
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
Huck wrote: Voila, a German eagle, after he got two heads 1433 in Rome by Sigismondo.
Huck, what can you tell me about the intention behind Sigismondo's changing the one-headed eagle to a two-headed one? On a brief excursion, I can't find any explanations of the symbolism.

I would guess he is deliberately co-opting the Byzantine symbolism - but why just then? I read somewhere that Sigismund and John Paleologue made an agreement to make one or the other their heir - thus a single Emperor over all Christendom, but I can't find it now...

So maybe Sigismund took it to prepare for the Union Council and the inevitable Union of Empires...

Ross
I would assume, that it refers somehow to the weakness of the Greek Emperor. Also I would assume, that the Greek Emperor didn't complain - or that it was possible part of a treaty. The Greek Emperor was willing to offer also a "united church", why not also the double-headed eagle? The Greek Emperor visited Italy 1424, Filippo Maria and after this Sigismondo ... perhaps then the deal was done.
Do you know the "Regesten" ?
http://regesten.regesta-imperii.de/
that's a place, where this might be cleared
you need German and in the search engine you'll meet a lot of stuff, which is totally desinteresting ... somewhat difficult, if the language is still rather slow

But your question is interesting, as the immediately leads to the time, when the Michelino deck was done. The first Quaterionen-Adler (1422) might be indirectly refering to the heraldic change or the decision to the heraldic change, as part of a discussion about heraldic changes.
If we take this for real, one should find posts to this topics possibly in 1421. Constantinople was under concrete pressure then, dangerous years.

Naturally it happened 1433 (and not before), cause Sigismondo became Emperor then.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: "The 5x14 Theory: An Investigation" part II

#8
I don't find anything combining "adler" and "1433" at the Regesten site. "Sigmund" and "1433" give two entries for him, but the years are 1431 and 1432.

Some sites propose that the first western use of it was by Frederick II in 1250, but that Sigismund only formalized the distinction between a single-headed eagle (King of Germany) and a double-headed one (King and Emperor).
Image

Re: "The 5x14 Theory: An Investigation" part II

#9
Considering the Visconti decks...

The Cary-Yale has a single-headed eagle:



And so does the Sfroza:


The Tarot de Marseille also is single-headed:


Does this tell us anything about the Emperor/Empress in tarot decks? Does it date them? Does it indicate Kings and Queens rather than Emperors?

I've brought this up before:
http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=80603

If it is off topic, I'll move it, I don't want to interrupt this discussion, but I'm still curious about this.
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: "The 5x14 Theory: An Investigation" part II

#10
My guess is that the tradition of the single-headed eagle was too well-entrenched, and too obvious, to need revision after Sigismund made the technical requirement to differentiate it from the double-headed one.

An eagle on a shield means the German King, who was the de facto Emperor, whether or not he had been crowned as such by the Pope. Although the law required coronation (by the Pope, whether or not in Rome) for the German King to style himself Emperor officially, it was universal common practice to consider the German King the "Emperor" of the Romans.

See for instance this page -
http://www.answers.com/topic/holy-roman-emperor-2
for technicalities. Scroll to the bottom to see the list of coronations - Sigismund was the first Emperor to be crowned by a Pope for over 200 years! (after Frederick II in 1220).

"The Emperor was crowned in a special ceremony, traditionally performed by the Pope in Rome, using the Imperial Regalia. Without that coronation, no king, despite exercising all powers, could call himself Emperor. In 1508, Pope Julius II allowed Maximilian I to use the title of Emperor without coronation in Rome, though the title was qualified as Electus Romanorum Imperator ("elected Emperor of the Romans")."

These formalities were observed in legal documents. But as I said, in common practice the "elect" part was neglected, and because he exercised all powers pertaining to the office, people called him "Emperor".
Image

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