"The 5x14 Theory: An Investigation" part II

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

Postby Huck on 21 Nov 2009, 08:09

hi Mike ..

mikeh wrote:
16 - Milan (Filippo Maria) ca. 1425 - Michelino deck
14 - Ferrara - Milan (Bianca Maria) - note from 1.1.1441
16 - Milan (Filippo Maria) marriage deck 1441 (reconstructed Cary Yale)
14 - Milan (Bianca Maria) Bembo cards ca. 1452
14 - Ferrara - Milan (Galeazzo/Borso) 1457 (70-cards deck)
16 - Florence (Lorenzo de Medici) Charles VI ca. 1463

so 14 appears in Ferrara and in the Milan of Bianca Maria
and 16 in Florence and in the Milan of Filippo Maria Visconti


Your inclusion of "Milan" for 1.1.1441 is your speculative conclusion and interpretation of the data; likewise for 1452 and 1457. Just because 14 special cards are made for someone from Milan was doesn't mean it was for a Milan deck. You are inserting your conclusions into your premises.


... :-) ... What is conclusion, that I've the opinion, that Bianca Maria and Galeazzo are persons from Milan? And for the Bembo cards in 1452 - there is a letter indicating card production in Cremona. Dummett threw the old theory away with his recent Benedetto article, but earlier three persons agreed in "Wicked pack of cards", that a sort of standard Tarot existed in ca. 1450 ... and this could only have been formulated on the base of the existence of the Pierpont-Morgan-Bergamo deck and WITH THE INTERPRETATION, that the 6 added cards were replacements and not added cards.
What else reason they should have followed? With Dummett's Benedetto explanation this idea was dropped ... so Dummett has to be asked, what he imagines, what happened with the deck production in 1452. Lost and gone with the wind as the theory of the standard Tarot in 1450?
It seems, that the 70-cards-note from 1457 finally made some silent impression ... :-)

Wickson (http://jducoeur.org/game-hist/wicksontarot.html) gives some of the rules for determining points according to the 1637 Rule. They are complex. Individually, only Kings, Fool, Magician, and World earned points.

???? It's very usual for Tarot, that also Queens (4 or 3 points), Cavallo (3 or 2) and Page (2 or 1) count direct points. The higher or lower worth depends on the system of counting. If you take 1+2+3+4 for the courts and 4 for the fool-pagat-world, 4x10+12=52 ... if you use 1/3 point per card you have 78:3 =26 and you have with 52+26 = 78 .... do you again believe in the great accident? ... :-) ... this appears, as far I know, in a game for 3 players, so 1/3 per card has the logic, that one trick counts one point.
If you take the higher value with 2+3+4+5, usually each other card is counted as 1 point, than you have 78 (for the cards) and 52 for the courts+3 specials, together than 130 ... accident?

... :-) ... if you take a 5x14-deck and the counting per card as 1/4 , then you've the usual 52 + 70/4 = 69.5 points - so nearly 70. Accident? 1/4 seems to indicate, that the game was played with 4 players.

Other court cards and trumps earned points in combinations. In such combinations, the various trumps had an equal number of points, of varying number depending on how many . All this was at the beginning, before any cards were played.

This combination counting is not the basic game, I would assume, that it is an Italian favor, probably resulting of imports from other games with similarity to Poker.

For points won during play and at the end, there were other rules, which Wickson does not go into, except for mentioning bonuses for capturing the Magician or a King in the last trick. De Gebelin also talks about the added points during and after the hand in his Article III, sections 3-5 (http://tarotpaedia.com/wiki/Du_Jeu_Des_Tarots); the French is a little easier to read. I'm not sure what the total number of points per hand would be, but it certainly isn't the total of the trumps' numbers added together.


This are external points, which change only the value of the exchanged money. The internal points (as shown with 78, 130 etc.) only decide, who wins the game, the external or extra points (for instance for capturing the pagat) can reduce or increase the game value, which is paid at the end of the game (or noted at a game list). Extra points are mighty and can cause a Null-Spiel (nobody wins, nobody loses).


Who among art historians called either the added cards or Benedetto "Ferrarese style"? I'd like to know more. I know Dummett did, but he's no art historian, and all the characteristics he found in common to the cards and Benedetto--pursed lips, high forehead--are actually characteristics of Milanese International Gothic.

You have the Dummett article and it points to the Cicognara-problem, who was assumed to have worked in Ferrara. Likely the idea was born with this problem.
I personally rarely collect art historians - too much contradictions to other art historians. One doesn't really know, whom you can trust.

...
what use should an elder lady like Bianca Maria around ca. 1462 have for card deck? Probably she would order another sort of art.


I am not wedded to a particular date.
I think, Dummett suggested something like this

As far as I'm concerned, the added cards could have been c. 1475 Galeazzo. The workshop would have kept their sketchbooks around indefinitely. If she did loan it her deck--and there is no reason why she needed to--it would have been to provide decks for the next generation, other branches of the family, and perhaps even wedding gifts. Incidentally, Bianca wasn't very "elder" in 1462. She was 38 with a 6 year old daughter. She would have played cards with her children.


She had many children, much responsibilities and she doesn't look young - we have a portrait. The persons in this time could have a short life. They were often "old" with 40.

Surely he knew about Sforzinda - the Medici and the Sforza had all their diplomats and spies and there were considerable exchange, what who was doing, what were his favors and interests and how one could possibly influence him.


Yes, you are right. I hadn't read Wikipedia's article on the architect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filarete). Sforzinda wasn't exactly a secret. Filarete was a Florentine who had come to Milan on Cosimo's recommendation. He dedicated the book, finished in 1464, to Piero; Florence's copy is dated 1465 (what you would call perhaps not a coincidence). Also, the shape of the walled city on the World card is eerily similar to the design reproduced in the article.

Actually the Sforzinda suggestion was made during the LTarot discussions the first time, as far I know. Nonetheless there are insecurities in this idea.

The only question for me is, would they really have thought to design a World card around that theme? It still strikes me as more Galeazzo's style, and more in the tradition of the CY design (which I still call a Grail motif), as compared with the Florentine card. However they did have a major stimulus for such a design staring them in the face, in the morning' post, almost literally. And while I think of it, why do you call the Grail theme for the CY card "impossible"?


"Impossible" is nothing. ... .-) ... but a lot of (stupid ?) ideas would follow, if we desire to try this cake ... a private fight between Sforza and Piccinino has much more smilies.

Wrong. Tristano died 1477, Beatrice lived till 1497 - in Milan. ****


I was trying to distinguish the Beatrice d'Este that married Tristano from the one that maried Ludovico. Ludovico's was Ercole's daughter, born 1473-1475 (accounts vary), died 1497. Tristano's was Ercole's sister, born 1427, died 1492-1497 (accounts vary). I did write 1477 by mistake for her date of death; I should have just given the date of birth. The 1492 date is from Art in Renaissance Italy by Paoletti and Radke 2005, p. 551, in Google Books, which has a good family tree showing the relationships and marriages.


... :-) Eleanore of Aragon married Ercole d'Este in 1473 and immediately got her younger daughter ... :-)
Do you know http://genealogy.euweb.cz/
The both Beatrices died the same year.
Si reca a Milano per visitare la madre Beatrice d'Este che sta per morire
http://www.condottieridiventura.it/cond ... ICCOLO.htm


You are probably right about Ercole in 1462, because he was then on his own. But it certainly served Borso's interest; the Pope wasn't in the Italian League, and Borso was angling for a dukedom from him. I find it harder to believe that Ercole acted on his own in 1466 and 1467. He was leading Ferrarese troops in 1466, according to Tuohy (Herculean Ferrara, p. 13, at Google Books). I can find no verification of your claim that Florence and Cosimo sided with Anjou in 1462. Most sources simply say that the alliance formed at Lodi in 1455 (with Milan, Venice, Florence, and Naples all on the same side) continued during this time. The sources list times when the alliance was broken, and the war of Ferrante vs. Anjou was not one of them. I do find on the Web Jamison saying (Italy - Medieval and Modern - A History, p. 203, in Google Books): "But for him [Cosimo] Florence would have certainly supported Rene of Anjou in the Neapolitan succession wars" That is, Cosimo prevented Florence from supporting Anjou.

Cosimo wished to engage for Anjou, but Sforza wrote a letter, warning against too much influence of France in Italy. This was interpreted by historians as great wisdom of Francesco, as his son Ludovico prepared his defeat with a similar action.
In 1467 we have "COMPAGNIA DI VENTURA, VENEZIA against FIRENZE, CHIESA, NAPOLI, MILANO" (so without Ferrara)
http://www.condottieridiventura.it/tabe ... a/1460.htm
and for Ercole we have before

August 1466
Con il fratello Borso, aiuta Luca Pitti ed altri congiurati contro i Medici; alla testa di 300 cavalli e di molti fanti e balestrieri, giunge a Fiumalbo nel Frignano ed in Lunigiana, per sostenere l'azione dei fuoriusciti. Questa termina presto con un nulla di fatto.
So Borso is at Ercole's side at the begin of the conflict ... but this is only against the Medici in Florence

April 1467
Con Niccolò Contrari, segue Bartolomeo Colleoni contro i fiorentini. Si reca a Venezia con 200 famigli.
Ercole follows Colleoni

May 1467
I veneziani gli riconoscono una condotta di 600 cavalli, aumentabili a 1000 in caso di conflitto. La ferma è stabilita in due anni ed in uno di rispetto; gli è riconosciuta una provvigione annua di 12400 fiorini e la facoltà di giudicare i soldati delle sue compagnie. Si obbliga a militare in qualsiasi parte d'Italia. Si piazza sull' Idice.
Ercole gets a condotta from Venice

In July 1467
Al comando del primo squadrone, si batte contro Federico da Montefeltro alla battaglia di Molinella. Con la sua cavalleria salva il Colleoni, che sta per essere sopraffatto dai nemici: perde tre cavalli ed è ferito da un colpo di schioppetto al malleolo del piede destro, mentre sta cercando di trattenere i suoi che si danno alla fuga. Il suo comportamento in combattimento è lodato da Ludovico Ariosto nell'Orlando Furioso. Trasportato a Ferrara, in condizioni allarmanti, è curato in maniera da potere camminare. Nello scontro vi sono quasi 600 morti; nei giorni seguenti per tutta la campagna si sente il lezzo dei morti perché i cadaveri sono lasciati marcire nei fossati.
He is wounded in the battle and taken to Ferrara for medical help.

So Borso avoided to be involved in a direct conflict with Milan - although he were in the way, that Florentine exiles found a new home on Ferrarese territory.

Ross's next sentence, which you omitted from your quote is, "Franscesco Sforza's son Galeazzo Maria commissioned a copy" (http://www.angelfire.com/space/tarot/hercule.html). Ross doesn't say whether it was an illuminated manuscript that Galeazzo commissioned, or a printed version, which you say was 1475. I would assume that the verb "commissioning" implies a manuscript. To me it makes little difference, since 1475 is about when I would date the card. I misspoke about Borso ordering the manuscript. I was trying to paraphrase Ross and put down the wrong name: I meant Niccolo. Sorry. Ross didn't say who Galeazzo ordered the copy from, or when.


Well, our theme was Borso and his behaviour.

I doubt if the Medici told Pollaiuolo for his later miniature to put in a club and not a torch--they would have asked for a small version of the large painting. Pollaiuolo just left out the fire for some reason, which was in the prior wall-hanging. And I know that Hercules was often shown with a club. My point is that he was not shown with a club in the fight with the lion that Pietro and Lorenzo saw every day in their house, nor was he shown with a club in any of the three big wall-hangings there. So they probably would not have inserted a club in their instructions for a card showing Hercules' famous fight with the lion.


Wasn't your time for the wall-hangings not a little bit insecure? Even, if they had wall-hangings with specific motifs with Hercules without club, why shouldn't have the prefered Hercules of Lorenzo a club, especially as this club he might have found in many card decks (probably from Spain) or in private favor for the giants Morgante or Margutte, who used similar tools to educate some enemies.
You're occasionally in your conclusions very specific, aren't you? ... .-)

Lorenzo was 15 in 1465 ... and he could be a rather arrogant young asshole still in 1467, if you read some of his writings. Nowadays this phase in life is called puberty. When you go back to your personal puberty, wouldn't you have felt well with a strong club to beat the drum? ... :-)

But this iconography isn't the argument - if the fortitudo would look different, then it would be different, and one would have to explain that. You've a manifested style to make trionfi decks (14 or 16 trumps ... if you trust the 5x14-theory ) and you've the creative change of this earlier standard ... who in Italy was responsible for creative changes - usually? People of Florence or the house of Ferrara... both in friendship with Milan, at least before Francesco's death. Milan wasn't known for creativity ... beside Filippo Maria himself. In Florence we've indications of the card creativity, in Ferrara also, but not so logical. Borso was an older man, and the creativity for card playing should have come from the youth. The scene around Pulci and Lorenzo in Florence is ideal. Then we've the change from 7 to 6 palle at a specific time, and the known facts of playing card notes is organizable around this dated feature. Then you've the living contact between Florence-Milan just precisely in this interesting time, when the reason to think about heraldic changes is logical. Then you've Lorenzo's journey to Milan via Ferrara and the letter of his father, why Lorenzo stays so long in Ferrara.
There's no problem to assume, that Lorenzo hired a Milanese painter from Bembo's workshop ... that's just a possibility. It wouldn't change the basic assumptions.

And if you want that Galeazzo had made it ... later, maybe 1475, as you suggested ... who cares, you've a right on your opinion. Gather your arguments, publish them, if you feel strong enough.

Generally the Trionfi cards research profits from the 5x14-theory - even if it would be wrong. A lot of things had been and are and will be researched, which otherwise had found no interest. And even if somebody takes an engaged counter-position it enriches the process.
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Huck
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Re: "The 5x14 Theory: An Investigation" part II

Postby mikeh on 24 Nov 2009, 21:44

Hi Huck:

I wrote: "Who among art historians called either the added cards or Benedetto "Ferrarese style"? I'd like to know more..."

You replied:

You have the Dummett article and it points to the Cicognara-problem, who was assumed to have worked in Ferrara. Likely the idea was born with this problem.


Thanks for referring me back to Dummett (in Artibus Historiae 56, pp. 15-26)). I hadn't bothered to read the earlier part of the article, because I thought it was just about Cigognara. It isn't. He refers to two interesting contentions by Longhi. First, in 1928 Longhi noticed a resemblance between all three decks (Brera-Brambilla, Cary-Yale, and PMB) and "a triptich whose central panel is at Cremona and whose two wings are at Denver, Colorado" (Dummet p. 16). He argued that Bonifacio Bembo painted the triptych. Longhi believed that the cards were all done before Filippo's death in 1447; yet that early date "did not rule out an identification of the painter with Bonifacio Bembo in his youthful period" (Dummett p. 16). The triptych is the one whose central panel Ross posted on ATF as an example not of Bonifacio but of Benedetto Bembo. (However I notice that the Denver Art Museum still attributes the wings to Bonifacio.) I copied it here (p. 7 of this thread). As I explained earlier (p. 7), I find some similarity between it and the six added cards but not to the others. Venturi, in the 1931 English translation of his book The North Italian Painting of the Quattrocento: Lombardy, Piedmont, and Liguria, called it a "fragment of a polyptych" (p. 12) and identified the artist as Benedetto but later than his 1462 altarpiece. I have not seen reproductions of the two wings.

The other interesting contention of Longhi’s is his 1934 recognition that the six added cards were by a different artist, whom he identified with Cicognara. Moreover, he saw a resemblance between the six added cards and the female figures in the "August" section of the frescoes at the Schifanoia in Ferrara. That is a major part of the argument that Cicognara painted in the Ferrarese style--it was thought that he painted that section of the frescoes. Here is Dummett, p. 17:

He [Longhi] supported his speculative attribution to Antonio Cicognara of the "August" section of the murals in the Schifonaia Palace in Ferrara by the similarity of its female figures to those of the six supplementary trumps. (Footnote to Longhi, Officini ferrarese, 1934, note 79).


Nobody believes any longer that Cicognara painted any of the Schifanoia. So at least there is not that basis for connecting Cicognara with Ferrara. Yet there is still the issue of his "Ferrarese style." The London National Gallery's Web page for Cicognara still says that a certain painting of Christ is by Cicognara because of its "Ferrarese inspiration". (http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/serve ... bject.2486 ). Dummett doggedly tracks down every argument associating Cigognara with Ferrara and shows them groundless. All that is left is Marco Tanzi's 1990 conclusion, which Dummett paraphrases: "Ferrarese influence on Cicognara did not come to him at first hand, he [Tanzi] said, but was mediated by Benedetto Bembo (a brother of Bonifacio) and Paolo Antonio da Scazoli" (p. 19). In so far as Cicognara's base can be documented, it boils down to Cremona (see e.g. http://www.answers.com/topic/antonio-cicognara-1). That was also the home base of the Bembos and da Sczoli.

But what still remains interesting about Longhi's thesis, something Dummett does not pursue, is the resemblance between the female figures in the "August" fresco and the six added cards. That seems to be the source of the idea the cards show a Ferrarese style. And if we knew who really did paint these figures, then perhaps we would know who did the added cards. Here are the women in question; it is one part of a "Triumph of Ceres" (scanned from Roettgen’s [i[Italian Frescoes, the Early Renaissance[/i]:

Image

And here are the cards:

Image

You will notice the same pursed lips and high foreheads that Dummett called attention to at the end of his article, as similarities between Benedetto's work and these same cards. But as I tried to show in my critique of Dummett (p. 7 of this thread), these similarities are shared by the Zavatarri, Michelino, and much of Lombard art. The two together are not characteristic of Ferrara, other than these very figures. You will not find them together elsewhere in the Schifanoia.

There is another interesting resemblance between the fresco and the cards: the cliff below the female figures. It is very much like the cliffs at the bottom of the three cards. Here is the whole right side of this section. The cliff repeats lower down, on the far right, with its contrasting green and brown.

Image

There are many cliffs in the Schifanoia frescoes, but none is anything like the ones in this section. It would appear that we have something like a match: the cards and these parts of the fresco could have been painted by the same artist. Moreover, this style of cliff also appears in the original PMB, most clearly in the Death card, but also in other cards, such as the Fool:

Image
Image

So there is a definite suggestion of the Bembo workshop.

Who do art historians today think did the work? Well, I have just begun to investigate, but so far it looks as though nobody knows. Roettgen (p. 412) says that Cosimo Tura, Borso's official court painter, probably was responsible for the overall design, probably by means of a series of drawings. She points to a similarity between the figure of Ceres and one of the paintings Tura was doing at the same time in the Ferrara Duomo, for the organ wings.

Image

I see as well a similarity to the left side of the “Triumph of Ceres,” between St. George's dragon and the fantastic animals that pull Ceres' triumphal cart (and the cliff reappears here, but higher):

Image

Such resemblances are superficial only: the Duomo painting is far superior in execution. Ceres is flat and lifeless by comparison, and even the dragons are not as vigorous. And there are other crudities in the fresco: the perspective is often wrong: wheels look closer together than they should; one wheel, on the grain cart, looks like it couldn't pull anything (rather like the ones on the Marseille Chariot card). As Eberhard Ruhmer said about this “Triumph of Ceres” in his 1958 book on Tura: "the style of a not very talented painter is predominant" (quoted in Dummett, p. 17). Another point is that in a famous letter, del Cossa objected to being paid the same as everybody else, by the square foot, because the others were all inferior artists (Roettgen, p. 410f). He was being flamboyant, of course, but he wouldn't have said that if Tura, Borso's official court painter, had been painting there.

There is little chance that Bonifacio Bembo was there: he was kept busy at Pavia in those years, 1469-1471 (Lubkin). Maybe Benedetto came to Ferrara in hope of work and landed a job with Tura. And while he was at it he learned a thing or two about the "Ferrarese style," i.e. perspective, the use of shading to create depth, a sculptured look, and maybe something about the Schifanoia style of mysterious allegorical figures (I am thinking of the Schifanoia decans and the PMB Moon card). He never quite got the hang of it, as the rather crude sculptural effects of the Cremona triptych show. The frescoes and the cards likewise show a Lombard painter, perhaps attempting a Ferrarese look, whether Benedetto or someone else.

So now I know how it came about that the six cards show a “Ferrarese style.” It was their similarity to the figures of the Schifanoia, which actually look more Lombard and Bembo than Ferrarese.

After this new stuff, let me go back to commenting on Huck's comments:

I wrote: "Your inclusion of "Milan" for 1.1.1441 is your speculative conclusion and interpretation of the data; likewise for 1452 and 1457. Just because 14 special cards are made for someone from Milan was doesn't mean it was for a Milan deck. You are inserting your conclusions into your premises."

Huck replied:
What is conclusion, that I've the opinion, that Bianca Maria and Galeazzo are persons from Milan? And for the Bembo cards in 1452 - there is a letter indicating card production in Cremona-


The conclusions are that Bianca Maria helped in the design of the 14 paintings she was given in 1441, (b) that Galeazzo helped in the design of the 5x70 decks produced while he was in Ferrara in 1457; and (c) that the 14 paintings in 1441 correspond to the special cards in 1452. It is also a conclusion that these occurrences of 14 are only about Ferrara. The evidence is simply that 14 paintings were given to Bianca Maria in Ferrara, etc. The rest is theory, which can't be used as evidence of itself.

So Borso avoided to be involved in a direct conflict with Milan - although he were in the way, that Florentine exiles found a new home on Ferrarese territory.


The question at issue is whether Borso would have wanted to support the Medici-Sforza alliance by lettnig Lorenzo examine a pack of cards from Milan. Ercole was with Borso in 1466, and went with Ferrarese troops to support the conspiracy against the Medici. Borso was still the head guy in 1467 when Ercole joined Colleone of Venice against Milan and Florence. The Pope didn't give Borso a dukedom just because of his Bible. It was his military contributions that impressed him.

Wasn't your time for the wall-hangings not a little bit insecure?


The date of 1460 for the Hercules wall hangings is pretty secure. Wright gives 1457 as the earliest possible date, And there is some 1462-1464 Sienese work that seems "scarcely conceivable" without them, Wright says. Pollaiuollo himself gave 1460 as the date, when recollecting in 1494; it was the high midpoint of his 68 year career. Wright's argument is in Google Books: when I do a Google search for "Pollaiuolo Hercules canvases 1460" I get the relevant page--read the first two paragraphs under the section "The Commission," p. 79--and two or three other credible references.

If Lorenzo went to Cremona in 1465, that might solve some problems. But then we have to allow time for Lorenzo to see the sketch-books of the other Milan decks, have their fine points explained, come up with new designs, and wait for the workshop to do the work. What is he going to do in Cremona all that time? And would no one leave a record of such a guest's visit to that small city? His job is to be charming in the courts; he is on a diplomatic mission. Left to his own creative impulses, he could indeed be something of an asshole, as you say: all the more reason for Pietro not to entrust him with such a mission as coming up with new cards. Pietro might have had a Florentine workshop do such a thing, under his supervision, including a Sforzinda-inspired World card, but such cards would not have had the references to the earlier Milan cards that we see in the 6 added cards. (For example, I didn't notice the cliff on the PMB World card until I posted the PMB bubble and the Sforzinda design.) They could at most be an early "first draft" for the added cards, closer to Florence's design's than Milan's. As time went on, even with trionfi as a game just for the rich, there would have been room in the Milanese milieu for several decks and cards, some wearing out, some damaged, others replacing them. Galeazzo wanted his imprint on everything artistic. Still young, in his 20's and early 30's, he was quite creative in his visual programs--to the point of excess, so that much didn't get done. As an egocentric former trionfi player, he would have redone Florence's designs in his own way, reflecting the decks he knew.

I did a search for information about the 1465 Mantova deck. You seem, in an old Aeclectic post, to imply that the cards noted there in 1465 may have been dropped off by Lorenzo on his way to Milan. (http://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.php? ... stcount=19). So Lorenzo may have had Florentine-style decks with him, to give out at various courts. That would have been a nice present in Milan, too.

Since the Star, Moon, and Sun reflect the iconography of Hope, Faith, and Charity, I am wondering if maybe I was wrong in thinking that the theological virtues were not present in the original PMB. Maybe they were there, and that's why the iconography of the Star, Moon, and Sun reflects these cards: the designer knew them because he (Galeazzo) had played with them. In that case the original PMB would have had at least 17 cards, with 3 more added by the original artist soon after and 6 replacements by the second artist (the 3 luminaries replacing the 3 theological virtues).

Generally the Trionfi cards research profits from the 5x14-theory - even if it would be wrong. A lot of things had been and are and will be researched, which otherwise had found no interest. And even if somebody takes an engaged counter-position it enriches the process.


Yes, exactly. This process has been very enriching for me. Trionfi sets an excellent standard in its research. I also from this interchange get a sense of what additional facts are pertinent, and so have reason to go digging into the history some more, for which you give me leads. Thank you also for the links, e.g. the great genealogy site.
mikeh
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Re: "The 5x14 Theory: An Investigation" part II

Postby Huck on 24 Nov 2009, 23:39

mikeh wrote:As Eberhard Ruhmer said about this “Triumph of Ceres” in his 1958 book on Tura: "the style of a not very talented painter is predominant" (quoted in Dummett, p. 17).


Search for "Eberhard Ruhmer" and "Ferrara" or "Schifanoia" ... perhaps you're lucky. I remember a rather good finding

So now I know how it came about that the six cards show a “Ferrarese style.” It was their similarity to the figures of the Schifanoia, which actually look more Lombard and Bembo than Ferrarese.


... .-)

After this new stuff, let me go back to commenting on Huck's comments:

I wrote: "Your inclusion of "Milan" for 1.1.1441 is your speculative conclusion and interpretation of the data; likewise for 1452 and 1457. Just because 14 special cards are made for someone from Milan was doesn't mean it was for a Milan deck. You are inserting your conclusions into your premises."

Huck replied:
What is conclusion, that I've the opinion, that Bianca Maria and Galeazzo are persons from Milan? And for the Bembo cards in 1452 - there is a letter indicating card production in Cremona-


The conclusions are that Bianca Maria helped in the design of the 14 paintings she was given in 1441, (b) that Galeazzo helped in the design of the 5x70 decks produced while he was in Ferrara in 1457; and (c) that the 14 paintings in 1441 correspond to the special cards in 1452. It is also a conclusion that these occurrences of 14 are only about Ferrara. The evidence is simply that 14 paintings were given to Bianca Maria in Ferrara, etc. The rest is theory, which can't be used as evidence of itself.


a. 1.1.1441 is not a conclusion, it's a mentioned possibility, which I even regard as probable.

b. 1457 ... I didn't speak of document 16 (70 cards), but of document 17 mainly (page painted cards during Galeazzo's stay) http://trionfi.com/0/e/17/

c. we earlier already talked about the relation between the deck of 1441 and the deck 1452 and I took the position, that these might be similar. "Might be" is usually not used to express "conclusions", or? It leaves the door wide open, that they could be totally different.

So Borso avoided to be involved in a direct conflict with Milan - although he were in the way, that Florentine exiles found a new home on Ferrarese territory.


The question at issue is whether Borso would have wanted to support the Medici-Sforza alliance by lettnig Lorenzo examine a pack of cards from Milan.


In 1465 Francesco Sforza was living and Florence not in revolutionary conditions ... you should differentiate the situation of May 1465 and of summer 1466. In May 1465 Lorenzo was a guest in Borso's house and treated with great politeness.

Ercole was with Borso in 1466, and went with Ferrarese troops to support the conspiracy against the Medici. Borso was still the head guy in 1467 when Ercole joined Colleone of Venice against Milan and Florence. The Pope didn't give Borso a dukedom just because of his Bible. It was his military contributions that impressed him.


This specific pope Paul had one very big interest and this was money. The crusade was "intended" and could wait.

If Lorenzo went to Cremona in 1465, that might solve some problems. But then we have to allow time for Lorenzo to see the sketch-books of the other Milan decks, have their fine points explained, come up with new designs, and wait for the workshop to do the work. What is he going to do in Cremona all that time? And would no one leave a record of such a guest's visit to that small city? His job is to be charming in the courts; he is on a diplomatic mission. Left to his own creative impulses, he could indeed be something of an asshole, as you say: all the more reason for Pietro not to entrust him with such a mission as coming up with new cards.


... :-) ... Cremona is on the way between Ferrrara and Milan, but I don't believe it. Also I don't believe, that Lorenzo wasn't man enough to order some cards by his own ideas.
A complete card deck did need about 10 days (in 1454 at Borso's court) ... so six cards might be not too much, especially if the card backgrounds possibly were already prepared. This might have been a matter of 1 day or few hours and some time to get dry colors.

Pietro might have had a Florentine workshop do such a thing, under his supervision, including a Sforzinda-inspired World card, but such cards would not have had the references to the earlier Milan cards that we see in the 6 added cards. (For example, I didn't notice the cliff on the PMB World card until I posted the PMB bubble and the Sforzinda design.) They could at most be an early "first draft" for the added cards, closer to Florence's design's than Milan's. As time went on, even with trionfi as a game just for the rich, there would have been room in the Milanese milieu for several decks and cards, some wearing out, some damaged, others replacing them. Galeazzo wanted his imprint on everything artistic. Still young, in his 20's and early 30's, he was quite creative in his visual programs--to the point of excess, so that much didn't get done. As an egocentric former trionfi player, he would have redone Florence's designs in his own way, reflecting the decks he knew.


I don't think, that he played much trionfi and I don't think, that Lubkin gives reason to believe this.

I did a search for information about the 1465 Mantova deck. You seem, in an old Aeclectic post, to imply that the cards noted there in 1465 may have been dropped off by Lorenzo on his way to Milan. (http://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.php? ... stcount=19). So Lorenzo may have had Florentine-style decks with him, to give out at various courts. That would have been a nice present in Milan, too.


Yes, true ... surely Lorenzo didn't travel alone and perhaps the whole meeting was also made for backstage businesses of all kind.

Since the Star, Moon, and Sun reflect the iconography of Hope, Faith, and Charity, I am wondering if maybe I was wrong in thinking that the theological virtues were not present in the original PMB. Maybe they were there, and that's why the iconography of the Star, Moon, and Sun reflects these cards: the designer knew them because he (Galeazzo) had played with them. In that case the original PMB would have had at least 17 cards, with 3 more added by the original artist soon after and 6 replacements by the second artist (the 3 luminaries replacing the 3 theological virtues).


... .-) ... if you think it especially funny to play with theological virtues ...
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Re: "The 5x14 Theory: An Investigation" part II

Postby Huck on 26 Nov 2009, 21:44

Just for the 6 added cards:

It's actually not necessary to assume that the 6 cards, which were added, are precisely the six cards, which we have nowadays in the Pierpont-Morgan-Bergamo Tarocchi.

We have the somehow relative clear fact (at least in my opinion), that the 5x14-theory explains the existing documents better than the usual assumption of an 22-special-cards deck, which existed at the begin of the development of the Trionfi cards - which has no evidence to exist till the time time of the Boiardo Tarocchi poem.

So ... assuming, that decks with different compositions and game structures, which used 14 or 16 trumps (both have, if not clear, but at least some evidence of being existent in the relevant time), it's necessary to conclude, that these decks once changed to the later successful structure with 22 special cards.

If we take 1457 as the latest sure evidence of the 5x14-structure and 1463 at least as a plausible suggestion for the existence of decks with 16 special cards, we have to assume "as theory about the main stream of trionfi card editions", that between 1457/1463 and 1487 something happened, which made this change.

Pulci's letter of 1466, when he used the name Minchiate for a game (and this word is repeated in 2 other documents 1471 and 1477 in the Florentine region) is the clearest sign for a structure change, that we have in the collected documents.
Pulci used words similar to Minchiate in poems (and as far as the search engines are informed) it seems, that he was the only one who used these words.

... we don't have much other worthwhile indicators - so assuming a greater change for "before 1466". So essentially
the major line of research is determined by

    Pulci's 1466 note
    heraldic change of the Medici in May 1465, which included the "6 palle"
    2x3-system in the 6-added cards .. 3 cardinal virtues + star-moon-sun
    similarity to heraldic ideas in Medici symbolic including the finished state of the Medici chapel in 1464
    Lorenzo's "right age"
    the coincidence with a great social event in May 1465
    the coincidence with the French King Louis political problem's in France
    the necessity of Milan and Florence to have an alliance to help Louis

... and the damn question, who painted these stupid 6 cards is of very minor importance in this concert ... :-)

The marriage of Ippolita was a golden opportunity to have necessary backstage discussions for political orientation ... and this was "of importance". If Louis would have fallen victim to the political instability in this summer 1465 this would also have have decided the destiny of a lot of careful prepared investments on Milan's and Florence's side. The Medici would loose a big banking business and many Florentians would have not - as it happened in reality
- searched their business luck in Lyon in the following years. Sforza would have gotten problems in Genova, Galeazzo Maria wouldn't have married Bona of Savoy.

That the situation was really dangerous for Louis, you might learn from battle descriptions of Montlhéry 16th of July 1465 ... not far away from the start of the wedding entourage in early June 1465.

Also dangerous in the situation of Florence 1465 is the public mood against Piero de Medici, which later leads to rebellion 1466 and the Florentian war of 1467.

Interesting in this situation is the return of the Strozzi family. It's not, that I understand it in its details.

But in 1434, after Cosimo de Medici returned from his exile, some of the more important Strozzi were forced to go to exile - with many others. Other members of the family were kept out of official duty, so reduced in their political freedom.
Before the Strozzi were considered as even richer than the Medici.
In the period 1453-1458 it seems, as if the Medici influence in Florence had been weakened with the danger to loose control completely in 1458, but the Medici recovered in 1458.
In the same year 1458 the exile for the Strozzi was prolonged for 25 years, probably as part of the Medici recovery.

In 1465 the Strozzi mother aimed to use the contacts of the Naples delegation to Ippolita's bride journey (the Strozzi had a stronger position in Naples) to beg Francesco Sforza to engage with good words and strong influence for an allowance of a return of the Strozzi family to Florence. This was probable a minor (but also important point) at the backstage talking in May 1465.
The bride journey got it's complications, cause Ferrante meanwhile had killed Jacopo Piccinino in Naples, and Francesco stopped the wedding activities till a lot of other talking occurred. The wedding finally finished in as a real result in October 1465.

And the Strozzi returned back in 1466 (for the moment I'm not sure, when precisely). Probably Pietro got the the opinion, that this new alliance might help him in his current conflicts.

An interesting feature is found in the Strozzi heraldic ...

Image

... that's from an hour book made in Naples 1478, the description is at ...

http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/gallery ... mes/4.html

It's difficult to see, but it seems, that it is a single moon.


Image
heraldic 1480 - 1600

and again ...
Image

but also in this way (see 3 moons in the border) in the Strozzi chapel in Florence :



... it's worth to take a look
http://www.wga.hu/index1.html
... and search for "Filippino Lippi" and "Strozzi chapel"





That's a picture from 1423, made by Gentile da Fabriano and ordered by the humanist Palla Strozzi (same Strozzi family) - who also was exiled in 1434.


It has some rather specific similarities to the way, how the 3 holy kings were painted by Benito Gozzoli in the Medici Chapel around 1459-1464 (especially the younger and the middle-aged king).

Image

Image

... similar in the dark clothing

Image

... generally similar, at least in my spontaneous impression.

So it looks a little bit like an offer of reconciliation from Medici family to Strozzi family, although the letter exchange inside the Strozzi, which had been researched in detail by Ann Crabb in "The Strozzi of Florence: widowhood and family solidarity in the Renaissance" (as far it is visible at ...

http://books.google.com/books?id=l3TCnL ... q=&f=false

.. ), doesn't allow the conclusion, that this happened so early ... or was known by the Strozzi.

But it seems, as it was discussed by us already earlier, that Medici in 1458 (after the death of Alfonso of Aragon) wished to go against Naples (and with that against the Strozzi family, who had their major bank there), but by the interference of Francesco Sforza dropped this plan. Ferrante reached his objective ca. 1462 and stabilized the situation to his favor and with that it became interesting at Medici side to think about a reconciliation with the old enemy Strozzi with the aim to have good business relations in Naples for the future.

An alliance with the "Moon", Medici with Strozzi ...

in 1463 (Charles VI Tarocchi)

Image

and in 1465 (added six cards)

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

Postby Ross G. R. Caldwell on 28 Nov 2009, 14:11

Tarots, 1440s to 1460s (Tarot de Marseille ordering, Fool to World) -

Bram-0000100000100000000000
VM...-0001101100010100000011
VS...-1111111111111110011111
ChVI.-1000111111011110101111
Cat..-0000000101000010000001
Roth.-0000100000000000000000
IW...-0000000100000000000000

(Brambilla, Visconti di Modrone, Visconti-Sforza, Charles VI, Catania, Rothschild (Emperor only), Issy-Warsaw (Chariot only))

Taken together, within 20 years (1443-1463) give or take a few years, all of the standard trumps are attested, with the exception of the Devil. The Steele Sermon could have been written as early as the 1460s, and attests to all of the standard subjects.

I think the theory that there was a standard set of subjects of which these packs are all fragmentary witnesses, is simpler and more reasonable than assuming that each of these decks is either complete as 14, 16, 20 (or 1, 2 or 4) trumps, and that there were also all kinds of "carte da trionfi" with a range of different subjects and orderings that never survived.

All of the packs are in fact fragmentary - some or most of the trumps are missing, and some or most of the 56 suited cards are missing. But a bit of both the trumps and regular pack is present in all of them, showing that there was once a complete pack.

The VM is an expanded pack - both the number of court cards and trumps are expanded. The dating 1443-1445 is given by Sandrina Bandera (taking into account Bembo's Lancelot and Filippo Maria's failing eyesight after 1445). The additional court cards in the VM are female. The Theological Virtues suggests to me that the game was made for ladies, for use in a type of setting represented by the Palazzo Borromeo fresco. That the Theological Virtues were suitable for a "Lady's Triumph" is clearly illustrated by Piero della Francesca's Triumph of Battista Sforza. Yet Fortitude is also among the cards, suggesting to me that the standard Cardinal Virtues were also there once, and that the Theological Virtues were added just as the additional court cards were added.

Marcello in 1449 recognized an old kind of Triumph cards, to which he compared Filippo Maria's "new kind". I think he would not have said "new kind" (genus) unless the old were a standard kind, since if there were no standard, every kind could be new or old, they would all be different anyway.

"Ludus triumphorum" was the name of a card game, so the trumps had to have a recognized order and set of subjects to be playable. If someone said "let's play triumphs", it would be a burden to expect to have to learn a new set of subjects and order every time.

So I take the model of diffusion from a single original design to be the most parsimonious theory. The 5xX (14, 16 etc.) theory posits a gradual or sudden coalescence, across Italy, of the same trump subjects, decades after the first attestation of the game. It is an improbable scenario. The Dummett theory, that the VM was the original kind, and that the standard resulted from removing the extra court cards and the Theological Virtues, also assumes a very limited diffusion in the 1440s. It also seems implausible, since the earliest documented date, 1442 in Ferrara, is probably exactly contemporary with or slightly earlier than the VM. Does this theory assume that the Ferrarese "carte da trionfi" were like the VM? Did both courts more or less simultaneously remove the extra court cards and Theological Virtues, or was one influenced in this decision by the other? Is Marcello's game and the Florentine game of 1450 VM, or the shortened model? This theory then also raises too many difficulties for the attested spread of the game in the 1440s. The simplest explanation is that the VM is a unique experiment, an adaptation and expansion of the standard pack, not the original from which the standard was derived.
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Re: "The 5x14 Theory: An Investigation" part II

Postby Ross G. R. Caldwell on 28 Nov 2009, 15:12

Huck wrote:For your loved Bologna theory - which you according my knowledge never presented in a complex form (if you had, you must show the way), I don't see a base in Bologna for Trionfi decks, as there is no strong family which makes Trionfi events. I also don't see enough evidence to make Bologna a big production place for playing cards already in this time, later production doesn't really count. For the Burdochi cards I see it as more logical, that the cards were from Ferrara. All I told you earlier about it.
Nonetheless it's not impossible, that something was before 1441... and Bologna is not far from Ferrara. So according my own evaluation it's not wrong to search there and somehow a worthwhile occupation. On my own notebook I've for the earlier experimental phase:

1422 - Ferrarese deck possibly a 5x13 deck
1423 - Ferrara, Imperatori deck, 8 special cards
1424 - Bologna, Alberti's Philodoxus has 20 scenes, which seem to be organized according a Trionfi scheme
ca. 1425 - Michelino deck, 16 trumps
1426 - first note Karnöffel in Germany
1432 - Meister Ingold deck with strange court cards

This is, what I see, what existed as earlier experiments, far before your range of 5 years. And it seems, that the time before 1425 had been better for playing card experiments as the period between 1425 - 1441. The likely reason: before 1425 was (more or less) peace.


My range of <5 years is for carte da trionfi, documentary or physical evidence. From 1442 to the 1480s, there is no period of more than 5, and possibly 3, years that is absent of some evidence of it. Before 1442, nothing.

Your examples show various things, but none are carte da trionfi. 1422 is your interpretation - I don't accept it is a 5x13 deck - does anybody else you know? I guess the Liechtensteinische game gives some weight to that interpretation, if not for this Ferrara entry, at least for the existence of such packs.

1423, again, your interpretation. The entry doesn't say "8 cards", it says she paid for a kind of pack called "8 Imperatori". I interpret it to mean that this pack was used to play a game called "8 imperatori", and that it was like Karnöffel. In any case, the figure "8" never appears again, and the name that seems to continue is just "Imperatori".

1424 is again part of your theory, it does not refer to cards and nobody is obliged to consider it relevant.

Marziano is relevant, in my opinion. It has a permanent set of trumps (not called as such, anyway). We don't know when Michelino painted it though - it could have been after Marziano's death.

I think Karnöffel is relevant - I think, if it is the "Emperor's game" it may have suggested the idea of permanent trumps to Filippo Maria at least, and also why not to other people? It was being made in Florence in the early 1420s, perhaps as a kind of German suited cards, maybe the 5x13, or maybe just a four-suited pack for playing the "Emperor" (German)'s game.

But in any case, I see no evidence for carte da trionfi - a real name for a real identifiable thing - before 1442. Whatever conceptual precedents it had, it is its own thing, and I think I am on firm ground to place its appearance not before 1437. I think every reasonable person will accept that, based on the evidence, with no speculative or theoretical arguments necessary. Just plot the evidence, and draw the conclusion.

My theory on the other hand, with an interpretation of the Bolognese sequence, demands a date between late 1439 and mid-1441. If someone finds evidence of carte da trionfi before then, It'll demand a rethink.
If early 1439, I will be bemused.
If 1438, I will be somewhat puzzled.
If 1437, surprised.
If 1436, astounded.
If 1435, shocked.
If 1434, dumbfounded.
If 1433 or earlier, floored.
I'm sure I'll survive, though.

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

Postby Ross G. R. Caldwell on 28 Nov 2009, 16:32

Huck wrote:For your loved Bologna theory - which you according my knowledge never presented in a complex form (if you had, you must show the way), I don't see a base in Bologna for Trionfi decks, as there is no strong family which makes Trionfi events.


The only place I have discussed it at length (maybe not enough) is here -
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=334

My plot of the evidence convinced me of a fairly tight dating, so I could look as closely as I wanted at the events in the likely origin-places of the game. Bologna is my preferred place, but Florence is possible. I base this on the "equal papi" rule being more likely Bolognese (with a stronger hatred of the papacy than Florence had, as well as for Imperial/Visconti rule) than Florentine, but of course it is possible for some Florentine to think that way. Whichever it was, I believe Bologna preserves the original form of the game.

Milan is in third place for me. I think the political and dynastic ties between Milan and Bologna 1438-1441 allow for an easy and likely scenario for transmission of the game. Likewise for the axis Ferrara-Bologna-Florence, and Ferrara-Milan. I don't think the quick spread of the game between these centers poses any problem at all.

I think the date "not earlier than 1437" is the most reasonable deduction yet, and I am firm on it. Beyond that is my theorizing, an interpretation of the sequence as if it were a commentary on the events of the time (in particular Visconti's takeover of Bologna, and the Councils of Basel and Ferrara/Florence). I see it as a political allegory.

The "middle section" can be given an "ekphrasis" (a verbal equivalent of an iconographical program - one of Michael's favorite words) as such:

TRIUMPHATOREM, QUAMVIS VIRTUTIS PLENUM, FORTUNA CUM TEMPORE TRADIT
(The Triumphator, although full of Virtue, Fortune, with Time, Betrays)
or more elegantly in English -
Although the Triumphator is full of Virtue, Fortune with Time Betrays him.

I was inspired for this ekphrasis by the allegory used by the publishing house of Borde in the 17th century -
Image

Here is the earliest and best version, I think -


We discussed it here -
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=344&start=10
(starting in middle of second page)
The caption reads Semina Fortunae Geminat Cum Tempore Virtus
Virtue, with Time, doubles the seeds of Fortune.

It is a literal translation of a motto into images, or vice-versa, which I have tried to do with the tarot middle section here.

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

Postby Huck on 28 Nov 2009, 17:17

Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:Although the Triumphator is full of Virtue, Fortune with Time Betrays him.





... .-) ... did you read meanwhile the Philodoxus of Alberti?
Btw. ... this was written in Bologna in 1424.
And it contains a "triumphator", triumphal processions, Fortuna, Time

http://parnaseo.uv.es/Celestinesca/Nume ... umento.pdf

huck wrote:1424 - Bologna, Alberti's Philodoxus has 20 scenes, which seem to be organized according a Trionfi scheme


Ross wrote:1424 is again part of your theory, it does not refer to cards and nobody is obliged to consider it relevant.


Well, you're somehow right ... "nobody is obliged to consider it relevant". That's somehow a good (freedom is a nice thing) and a bad state (the state of "not listening to arguments" doesn't fill the conditions and ideals of communication) ... :-) .. good and bad, but for whom?

But why complain ... We've researched with some intensity a specific object (origin of Tarot) and got a lot of results, which didn't exist before. Now the mass of explorations is so big, that innocent people with some interest have difficulties to find their personal entry to the theme, so they stop active participating, stop listening and stop to understand anything, what we did.

.. :-) ... Alberti also had his problems with public attention ... :-), it's not really a new problem.
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Re: "The 5x14 Theory: An Investigation" part II

Postby Ross G. R. Caldwell on 28 Nov 2009, 17:31

Huck wrote:Well, you're somehow right ... "nobody is obliged to consider it relevant". That's somehow a good (freedom is a nice thing) and a bad state (the state of "not listening to arguments" doesn't fill the conditions and ideals of communication) ... :-) .. good and bad, but for whom?

But why complain ... We've researched with some intensity a specific object (origin of Tarot) and got a lot of results, which didn't exist before. Now the mass of explorations is so big, that innocent people with some interest have difficulties to find their personal entry to the theme, so they stop active participating, stop listening and stop to understand anything, what we did.

.. :-) ... Alberti also had his problems with public attention ... :-), it's not really a new problem.


Sorry, you're right. I even printed it out when you first brought it up some months ago, I thought it interesting and worthy of further reflection but had other things to do and forgot about it. It may help in illustrating the context, time-period and possible humanistic concerns, since I imagine the inventor to be a poet-jurist (or notary) like Malatesta Ariosti. He could also have humanist interests, but I am not sure I see them explicitly in the Tarot. I mean I don't see the Triumphator and his relationship with Fortune and Betrayal (for which I think Julius Caesar is the most apt example) to be particularly humanist, although in fact the debate between Poggio and Guarino on the relative merits of Scipio vs. Caesar is right in this context, and was a very famous debate at the time.

In other words, I don't know if it helps me yet, at least in developing my theory.

You're right too, that people forget or just pillage the information, forgetting the sad state of things on the internet when we began in 2003. Now these things are making their way into books and into the "general consciousness", so I am happy for that.

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

Postby Ross G. R. Caldwell on 28 Nov 2009, 17:55

As far as Philodoxus is concerned, I haven't gone beyond what was said in this AT thread in March -
http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=115018

..... except for printing it out, and the Latin as well.
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