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

#122
Huck wrote:
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.
I am impressed that the miniaturists' skill was such that they could create such detailed miniatures as the 6 PMB added cards, including preliminary sketches, in just a few hours. Perhaps they had a stamp of some kind with which to impress the tiny gold leaf patterns on the dresses. We don't know what the Ferrarese cards you cite looked like. Perhaps they were simpler, and ones the painters had done many times before in exactly the same way.

Huck wrote:
An alliance with the "Moon", Medici with Strozzi ..
I assume that the reason you brought in the Strozzi is that you are theorizing that the Moon card, along with the "Procession of the Magi" fresco, is the Medici's message of "let's bury the hatchet" to the Strozzi. If so, it is a rather obscure message. Is the woman then supposed to be the Medici, breaking their weapons? If so, why is she sad? One explanation that I have read for the similarity of imagery between the two paintings of magi processions is that the Medici meant to be showing how they could take over Strozzi initiatives for their own use and outdo them, similar to what they were doing with their legacy politically and economically.

Huck wrote:
Search for "Eberhard Ruhmer" and "Ferrara" or "Schifanoia" ... perhaps you're lucky.
You can find Ruhmer's book on Tura listed on Google by searching "Ruhmer Tura." The complete sentence in Ruhmer that Dummett (2007) quotes is (p. 27)
On the north wall [of the Schifanoia] the style of a not very talented painter is predominant; the coarse mannerism which is his particular characteristic and his preference for squinting eyes in the human faces point clearly to Antonio Cicognara of Cremona.
For Cicognara, Ruhmer footnotes Longhi 1934, although making it clear that Longhi attributes only August to Cicognara, somehing Ruhmer disagrees with, attributing to him sections of June and July, and the ceiling and two side panels, as well (footnote 71, p. 57; he also cites his own Zeitschrift fur Kunstgeschichte 1957, I, p. 94f.) He is of course mistaken in assigning any of the Schifanoia to Cicognara, according to today's consensus.

I noticed in Roettgen's Italian Frescoes: The Early Renaissance another fresco cycle that seemed to me to reflect the same style as the six cards and the ladies at the top of the August panel at the Schifanoia: namely, the Griselda cycle originally at the Roccabianca, done for one of Francesco's condittiere, Pier Maria Rossi. Here is the scene I have in mind:
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There are a few pursed lips and many high foreheads--admittedly a generic Milanese feature--that we saw in the cards and the "Triumph of Ceres" at the Schifanoia. There is also the Bembo gracefulness.

Roetggen does not say who might have painted this cycle. My Google search brought up a 1985 article by Kristen Lippincott on the astrological ceiling that is included with these frescoes. She doesn't make an attribution, but she does have an interesting footnote on the attributions that have been made (Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 48 (1985) p. 44):
Ragghanti, "Studi [sulla pittura lombarda del Quattrocento," Critica del Arte VIII, 4, 1949], pp. 288ff, suggests the Milanese painter and designer of stained-glass windows, Niccolo da Varallo. Quintavalle (I castella del Parmense, Parma 1955, p. 49) thinks the artist might be a Lombard who combined his International Gothic tatstes with elements from Mantegna, Jacopo Bellini and the "rough style" (scabra pittura) of the Ferrarese artists of the Schifanoia frescoes. M. L. Ferrari, Giovan Pietro da Cemmo, pp. 127-28, suggests it is an Emilian, possibly Ferrarese. G. C. Sciolla ("Ipotesi per Niccolo da Varallo," Critica d'arte, n.s. XII (misprinted XIV) fasc. 78, 1966, pp. 27-36 and n.s. XIII [misprinted XII] fasc. 79, 1966, pp. 29-39) stresses the Paduan-Ferrarese elements and believes, on stylistic grounds, that the same artist painted the scenes for the month of August in the Palazzo Schifanoia--the Cremonese Antonio Cicognara. Mulazzani, Corti, pp. 155-156, agrees with this attribution. Whereas there certainly seems to be a Cremonese flavour to the Roccabianca frescoes and Rossi's patronage of Benedetto Bembo, [comma in original] is evidence of an interest in Cremonese art, the invocation of the elusive artistic personality of Cicognara only complicates matters. Cicognara's authorship of the Morgan Tarocchi is problematic, his participation in the Palazzo Schifanoia is unlikely, and any relation between these diverse works and the Roccabianca frescoes is purely generic.
When Lippincott talks about "Rossi's patronage of Benedetto Bembo," she means the altarpiece signed and dated by him in 1462, originally in Rossi's Torrechiara castle. Rossi's mother Giovanna Cavalcabo, was from Cremona, and he himself became a citizen in 1466 (Roetggen p. 365). Roettgen speculates that Benedetto also did Rossi's other fresco cycle in the Torrechiara. Roetggen also speculates thatboth Benedetto and Bonifacio may have been involved. The romantic couple portrayed there is indeed reminiscent of the CY, the Brera-Brambilla, and the PMB original cards. Whether Bonifacio, as opposed to some other Bembo, was the painter is another issue.
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On the other hand, the putti are reminiscent of the PMB Sun and World card.
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If Rossi had the Bembos do one fresco cycle, then most likely he had them do the other, the Griselda, at another of his castles nearby. Benedetto is a reasonable candidate. The astrological ceiling, in that respect like the Schifanoia, might have appealed to him.

Thus all three of these works dubiously assigned to Cicognara are more credibly, although not certainly, assigned to Benedetto Bembo.

It is another question whether Bonifacio was involved in any of the works that are reminiscent of the tarot cards--or indeed whether he himself did any of the decks.

Even the attribution of the PMB original cards is uncertain. E. S. Welch, in his entry on Bonifacio Bembo in Dictionary of Art, Vol. 3 (1996), refers to a sketch on the cover of an accounts book "in the master's hand," meaning the artist who did the Lancelot illustrations and many other works in the style of the tarot decks, works attributed in Kaplan to Bonifacio. One of the first entries in the account book, on 9 April 1450, is a payment to "Magistro Ambroxo de Bembi," i.e. another member of the Bembo clan, Ambrogio. Welch adds:
Thus this body of highly stylized work may indeed by associated with this previously unknown member of the Bembo family. Characterizing Bonifacio's work becomes, therefore, increasingly problematic.
A mention of Ambrogia is in the "Bembo family" entry at answers.com (taken from the Dictionary of Art). There is also a lengthy footnote about him in La pittura e la miniatura del Quattrocento a Brescia, by Marco Rossi, p. 41, in Google Books. Tolfo talks about him, too, and reproduces what I assume is the sketch (http://www.storiadimilano.it/Arte/miniatori.htm):
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It looks to me like the sketch for a "Madonna of Humility." According to Kaplan (Vol 2 p. 136), there is a "Madonna of Humility" attributed to Bonifacio, now in the Museo Civico in Cremona. I have not seen a reproduction.

So it looks like all we can say about the PMB original cards is "Bembo workshop."

And I think that the same should be said for the CY. There is of course the similarity to the Lancelot illustrations, already discussed. Another example in the style of the "master" (whoever he is) is an "Adoration of the Magi" which Welch says, agreeing with Longhi, is part of a "coronation" triptych from the Cavalcobo Chapel of the St. Augustino Church in Cremona. ( Edith W. Kirsch has reputedly contested Longhi's reconstruction (“Bonifacio Bembo’s Saint Agostino Altarpiece,” in Studi di storia dell'arte in onore di Mina Gregori, Milano: Silvana Editoriale, 1994, pp. 47-50, 5 ill.). I have not seen Kirsch's article. It was Giovanna Cavalcabo-- the mother of Pier Rossi of the Roccabianca--who donated the land for the Sant'Augustino convent in return for the completion of the family chapel in the church (Kaplan Vol. 11, p. 129).
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This painting has several details suggestive of the CY. The soldier's shield is a red cross on a white background, the exact reverse of the Love card. (I know the colors because the Denver Art Museum sent me a color image; but it is for my "personal use" only. So I am reproducing here Kaplan's black and white reproduction, vol. 2 p. 132.)
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The cup carried by the young king is very much like the cup offered to the CY King of Cups, and the pose of the young king is similar to that of the boy offering the cup on the card.
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As Kaplan points out (p. 132), the face of the young king is similar to the face of the Knight of Cups, whose cup is also similar to that of the young king.
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Kaplan points out other tarot motifs in the two other paintings of the triptych, relating to both the CY and the PMB.

Another detail of this "Adoration" is noteworthy. In the background are the three kings again, this time looking for the star that will guide them. The figure in the middle is red, like the old king in the adoration scene. Two of them look one way and one the other.
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This is similar to the way the figures look or point in different directions on the d'Este (Ferrara) and "Rothschild" (i.e. Bologna) cards.
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This feature suggests to me that when the painting was done, the workshop was familiar with such Star cards, and probably such Moon and Sun cards as well. Perhaps the original PMB, done around the same time as the painting, had the three luminaries in the Bologna/Ferrara manner. And then later they were redone. This detail seems to support Ross's idea of Bolognese style decks pre-existing the luxury decks, at least for the Star card.

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

#123
Huck wrote:
An alliance with the "Moon", Medici with Strozzi ..
I assume that the reason you brought in the Strozzi is that you are theorizing that the Moon card, along with the "Procession of the Magi" fresco, is the Medici's message of "let's bury the hatchet" to the Strozzi. If so, it is a rather obscure message. Is the woman then supposed to be the Medici, breaking their weapons? If so, why is she sad? One explanation that I have read for the similarity of imagery between the two paintings of magi processions is that the Medici meant to be showing how they could take over Strozzi initiatives for their own use and outdo them, similar to what they were doing with their legacy politically and economically.
Well it's new to me, too ...

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That's Albizzi heraldic

The conflict of 1433 was mainly between Albizzi and Medici, but the Strozzi were involved on the side of the Albizzi.

Could one interpret it as a sun?

Putting all three shield motifs together, Albizzi-Strozzi-Medici, wouldn't then look the 6 or 7 Medici palle like stars?
Maybe this wasn't very interesting in 1465, but possibly it had been of interest for the general observation around 1433/34, when these 3 forces met each other in clinch. So this symbolic composition might have become a fact in memory.

Around 1460, all 3 elder Medici (Cosimo and his both sons) felt sick and saw death arriving, especially as the youngest and only son of Giovanni died 1461, 9 years old. Giovanni, the elder son, followed him soon in end 1463. Cosimo took his death as a theme and prepared himself with the relative young Marsilio Ficino. Perhaps one can interpret the 3 Magi chapel as a result of Cosimo's dying process - another part of the dying process, which probably also had to do with memories of the old times and a wilder youth might have been the wish to reconcile with old enemies.

Wiki:
"The Albizzi family was a Florentine family based in Arezzo and rivals of the Medici and Alberti families. They were the centre of Florence oligarchy from 1382, following the Ciompi revolt, to the rise of the Medici in 1434. The most infamous and influential members of the family were Maso and his son Rinaldo (1370–1442) who countered the rise of Cosimo de' Medici, exiling him in 1433. However, Luca Albizzi, brother to Rinaldo Albizzi, was a loyal friend to Cosimo de' Medici. As a result, Luca was permitted to stay in Florence when the rest of his clan, including his brother, were exiled under Medici regime in 1434. Moreover, in 1442, Luca Albizzi actually became the Gonfalonier of Justice and stayed a key ally with Cosimo during this time."

"Rinaldo degli Albizzi (1370-1442) was a member of the Florentine family of the Albizzi. Together with Palla Strozzi, he was the main opponent of Cosimo de' Medici's rise in Florence.
After the Volterran revolt against Florence in 1428, Rinaldo degli Albizzi was sent to 'reacquire' Volterra from rebels led by priors and Giovanni di Contugi. Afterwards, Rinaldo incited Niccolò Fortebraccio to "attack the Lucchese under cover of some fictitious quarrel"[1], an action that led Florence to the conquest of Lucca. During this campaign, Rinaldo degli Albizzi was accused of attempting to increase his own wealth through sacking. He was eventually removed from his position and recalled to Florence.
Later, in the 1430s, Rinaldo convinced several prominent nobles to strike out against Cosimo de' Medici, whom he feared was getting too powerful. Eventually, Rinaldo helped Bernardo Guadagni, a candidate for a position among the Signori, pay off his debts, which had been disqualifying him to run for office. Guadagni won the position of Gonfalonier. Through Guadagni, Rinaldo summoned Cosimo to the palace, where he was captured. After a short trial, Cosimo was sentenced to 20 years' exile from Florence.
However, with the downturn of Florentine fortunes in the war with Milan, Cosimo returned with popular acclamation barely a year later, and Rinaldo was in his turn exiled. He died at Ancona."

The Albizzi were a gigantic family with very much members, as one can learn here.
http://www.genmarenostrum.com/pagine-le ... bizzi3.htm

Giovanni, Cosimo's son, already had married an Albizzi daughter, and Luca Albizzi in higher age had a second marriage with a Medici-wife (1438).

This is the record for Giovanni.
A2. Giovanni, *3.6.1421, +2.11.1463; m.20.1.1453 Maria Ginevra degli Albizzi
* B1. Cosimo, *1452, +1461

Curious, it looks, as if the wedding had been after the son was born. Anyway, this doesn't look as too much "old distance" ... but the Strozzi matter still existed.

For the Alberti:
http://www.gap-system.org/~history/Biog ... berti.html
"Leone Battista Alberti's father was Lorenzo Alberti. We do not know who his mother was, and there is reason to believe that he was an illegitimate child. His father's family were wealthy and had been involved in banking and commercial business in Florence during the 14th century. In fact the success of the city of Florence during this period is to a large extent a consequence of the success of the Alberti family, whose firm had branches spread widely through north Italy. Not content with their major financial achievements, however, members of the family became involved in politics. This turned out to be a disaster and the family was driven out of Florence after decrees were passed to exile them. It was for this reason that Lorenzo Alberti came to be living in Genoa at the time his son was born, for there he was safe yet still able to continue his wealthy life style within a local branch of the family firm."
The Alberti were allowed to return to Florence in 1428/29 - but it seems, that they didn't gain their earlier importance in Florence beside the personal intellectual success of Leon Battista Alberti as a multi-talented superman of early renaissance.

Leon Battista Alberti had his personal meeting points with the young Lorenzo de Medici.

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Alberti family ? I don't know much about them.

Basilica of Santa Maria Novella
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_o ... lai_Chapel
"On a commission from Giovanni di Paolo Rucellai, a local textile merchant, Leone Battista Alberti designed the upper part of the inlaid black and white marble facade of the church (1456-1470)."

Alberti was as architect in Florence, but also at other locations.

Rucellai, Giovanni di Paolo (1403–1481)
"Florentine patrician and architectural patron in Florence. The Rucellai family's money came from their cloth-trading activities; Giovanni used this wealth for cultural patronage, in particular two ostentatious building works, both designed by Leon Battista Alberti: his family palace, begun in 1446, and the upper facade of the church of Santa Maria Novella (1456–70), replete with Rucellai's heraldic symbol, the wind-filled sail (a device he borrowed from the d'Este dynasty). These works, he recorded, were to the glory of God, the city, and (last and least) himself."

his son,
Bernardo Rucellai (Firenze, 1448 – 1514)
comrade of nearly same age to Lorenzo de Medici, part of Lorenzo's "banda", married a sister of Lorenzo, so brother-in-law

" .. è stato uno scrittore e umanista italiano, figlio di Giovanni della ricca famiglia dei Rucellai.
Come il padre esercitò alcuni pubblici uffici e nel contempo fu un mecenate munifico, scrivendo talvolta opere eleganti.
Nel 1466 si sposò con Nannina de' Medici, sorella maggiore di Lorenzo il Magnifico, imparentando così le due importanti famiglie fiorentine. Di questo sposalizio, passato alle cronache per lo sfarzo e la ricchezza dei festeggiamenti, ci è giunto un puntuale rendiconto di spesa, con un elenco enorme di viveri consumati.
Aprì i giardini del suo palazzo, gli Orti Oricellari, ai più illustri letterati dell'epoca, come Gian Giorgio Trissino o Niccolò Machiavelli, che qui lesse i suoi Discorsi. In questo luogo si ritrovò l'Accademia Platonica dopo la morte di Lorenzo il Magnifico (1492). L'Accademia degli Orti Oricellari continuò con i suoi figli Palla e Giovanni, ma ebbe alterne fortune per via dei discorsi politici che vi sio facevano: non di rado vi si tessevano gli elogi della Repubblica, rispetto alla signoria medicea, facendo per ben due volte piombare su questi raduni l'accusa di congiura, con i conseguenti sciogliementi e punizione dei partecipanti (tra i quali comparve due volte, seppur con pene lievi, il Machiavelli).
Bernardo fu un diligente scrittore di argomento storico nel De urbe Roma, sulle antichità della città, nel De bello italico sulla spedizione di Carlo VIII in Italia e nell'Historia de bello pisano sulla guerra che portò alla conquista di Pisa.
Bernardo proceeded with the Platonic academy after Lorenzo's death in 1492.

Marino Marini Museum Description (old San Prancazio)
(Local Name: Museo Marino Marini) The first museum in Florence to show modern art, this museum was installed in 1988 in the redundant church of San Pancrazio for the work of the Tuscan artist and sculptor Marino Marini (1901-1980).
The much modified church's façade is basically 14th c. but also has many features identified with Alberti, the architect who carried out a great deal of alterations for the Rucellai family between 1457 and 1467 and was also responsible for the Rucellai Chapel. Having spent many years as a tobacco factory and then most recently an army depot, the church started undergoing conversion in the early 1980s supervised by renowned architects Lorenzo Papi and Bruno Sacchi ...

I made a walk in Florence

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source= ... oramio.all

A - Museo Marini, that once had been San Pancrazio (with Rucellai chapel built by Alberti)
B - Palazzo Rucellai (built by Alberti 1457-67)
C - Palazzo Tornabuoni, build mid 15th century, opposite of Palazzo Strozzi, wich was started 1489
D - Santa Maria Novella - with "Rucellai sail" at the outer border - with Medici chapel
E - Capella Medici, 16th century, NOT the 3 magi
F - Palazzo Medici, build 1445 - 1460, with 3 Magi Chapel

These houses of the rich seem to have been all at the Western border of the old city - probably there was place to build such large Palazzi.

******
Why this travel through Florence?

http://www.jstor.org/stable/1512665
An jstor-article to the use of the falcon symbol by the Strozzi ... strozziere means "falconer"

Strozzi-Falcon
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Strozzi-Moon (same object)
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The story of the Medici Falcon with Diamond ring appears ca 1469 and reappears with the Medici popes.
From the jstor-articl, if you can't get it.
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Here are the diamonds-rings already with the elder Cosimo.
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And here is the Rucellai chapel in St. Pankratius, which is now a museum ... made by Alberti
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It's decorated for instance with "Piero-feathers" ... the Medici do not participate in this church, it is for the Western inhabitants. The Medici sponsor the church San Lorenzo.
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... and with Rucellai-heraldic
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... which also appear in the decoration of Santa Maria Novella, which is made precisely during the time, that we discuss ... by Alberti
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This sail looks a litle bit like a moon, but moon with the rope reminds me of the broken bow of the moon card of the Visconti-Sforza.

****

And this.

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A big Medici-picture (?) ...
http://img179.imageshack.us/img179/7835 ... agegb8.jpg
... I found it with the keyword Medici ...
and it is in Palazzo Vecchio (Florence) and shall present "Clement VII room - Francis II marries Catharine Medici (wich happened 1531 or so)", commissioned by Cosimo I., 1st grandduke of Toscana (since 1437 or so).

A man with lion, a pope and a girl-to-marry. And the lion looks very similar like the Trionfi card lion at the Hercules card.

Here is the article:
http://gssq.blogspot.com/2006_08_01_archive.html

a lot of interesting pictures from a private journey ... also the erotic pictures of Pompeii
Huck
http://trionfi.com

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

#124
Well, they mix the heraldic.

The Medici take a French Lille into their shield.
The Medici use a Strozzi-Falcon, probably around the time, when they reconcile with them.
The Rucellai add Medici-signs to their chapel.

Trionfi cards exchange, as it is suggested for the six added cards, are another form of heraldic mixing. Heraldic mixing is normal, when people marry. Bernardo Rucellai married a Lorenzo-sister. But one could make heraldic mixings just for sympathy or other interests.

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http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_art/c ... 00958&vT=1

"The reverse of most surviving birth trays shows an image of a child. This one is decorated with the armorial device of Lorenzo the Magnificent's father, Piero de' Medici: a diamond ring with three ostrich feathers and a banderole with the motto SEMPER (forever). The device, now much worn and oxidized, may signify eternal faithfulness and strength. The Medici arms are in the upper left, those of the Tornabuoni are in the upper right. Piero de' Medici married Lucrezia Tornabuoni in 1444 and their first son, Lorenzo, was born in 1449."

I found a nice article by Jstor about Medici, diamonds and also falcons.
http://www.jstor.org/stable/20168991
Huck
http://trionfi.com

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

#125
Well, one thing you have going for your idea is that in 1466 the Milanese ambassador in Florence was urging the Florentines to "settle their differences" (The Strozzi of Florence, p. 174). This policy is one that Francesco Sforza would have recommended to Lorenzo in 1465: it is very much Francesco's approach. Florence and Milan both would need all the help they could get, including whoever among the Strozzi would accept Medici leadership, in the time after Francesco's death. But the PMB Moon card still seems to me an obscure way for Lorenzo to express the point. If I were a Strozzi hearing about it in Naples, I wouldn't know what to think. There were plenty of other more direct means. One of the brothers was allowed to live just outside the Florence city gate for a while and meet with his mother etc. during the critical time--I think in 1466, but I don't have the book at hand to check right now. I don't know what happened with the Albizzi who were exiled.

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

#126
mikeh wrote:Well, one thing you have going for your idea is that in 1466 the Milanese ambassador in Florence was urging the Florentines to "settle their differences" (The Strozzi of Florence, p. 174). This policy is one that Francesco Sforza would have recommended to Lorenzo in 1465: it is very much Francesco's approach. Florence and Milan both would need all the help they could get, including whoever among the Strozzi would accept Medici leadership, in the time after Francesco's death. But the PMB Moon card still seems to me an obscure way for Lorenzo to express the point. If I were a Strozzi hearing about it in Naples, I wouldn't know what to think. There were plenty of other more direct means. One of the brothers was allowed to live just outside the Florence city gate for a while and meet with his mother etc. during the critical time--I think in 1466, but I don't have the book at hand to check right now. I don't know what happened with the Albizzi who were exiled.
The very adversary Albizzi, Rinaldo degli Albizzi (1370-1442), died in Ancona. Other members of the family might have been reconciled with the marriage of Cosimo's son Giovanni with an Albizzi daughter. And Cosimo proved to stand for a positive politic, so some might lost their opposition this way.
And generally it seems, that the family had lost in importance for unknown reasons. And the Medici turned very successful, in "international dimensions" ... so it proved better to take side with the successful.

The major point is, that the Medici with the change from Cosimo to Piero had a very active phase in matters of heraldic in the 60's ... as it was often was the case with these high ranked families, if one family ordered frescoes, the others followed. If one made Trionfi, the others followed. If one was focussed on heraldic, the others followed. They formed their trends, by observing each other. And as all had suffered during the long war period till Lodi 1454, all were hungry for the better side of life. All made much money cause the peace and the functioning trade.

The best times in Italy in 15th century had been 1420-1425, 1470 - 1476 and 1487-1493. And probably the 15th century could be called an "Italian century" - the Italian influences needed centuries to wander through Europe. The 60's prepared one of these "best times".

The situation of the 6 added cards ... They need not to be produced in Ferrara, that's only a suggestion, cause the reports about him being late looked suggestive. They also could have been produced in Milan, during the festivities. For certain political reasons Lorenzo, who isn't described as "very attractive", was very welcome there. Milan was interested to show more than politeness, and Galeazzo Maria, who was at least twice before in Florence (do you've better information ?), had been similar welcome before in Florence. If Lorenzo told in Milan something about their heraldic change at home and his card playing experiments and had possibly even a Florentine deck in his pocket, the situation could easily lead to a "creative setting" with the involvement of some artists, which hung around at such opportunities like nowadays the photographer's with their cameras. We have documents of 1.1.1441 and August 1457, when the page advanced to a Trionfi card painter and the regular Trionfi card painter got paid for the material.

We don't have objects of "very high art" there ... and if the complicated golden background already was prepared it was easy to realise these pictures in short time. And short time means a spontaneous creative action, which never aimed at the condition, that we about 550 years later would discuss this detail. And they probably weren't intended to become an object of long duration, it just happened, that the friendship Lorenzo and Ippolita and between Lorenzo and Galeazzo developed and the cards got a "memory glamour" of unknown dimensions, so that this deck was prolonged by imitation. They were simply playing cards and it wasn't unusual for these people, that playing cards were handpainted.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

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

#127
Yes, Lorenzo and Galeazzo could have worked out the 6 cards together, during the festivities--or later, in 1471, viewing the Palliaullo paintings of the virtues and vices, but still not doing anything about it, until after Elisabetta's death. There are all sorts of scenarios that include the Florentine cards, as indeed they should be.

But it was interesting what you said about Lorenzo arriving late. Did you say that before? I don't remember it.

I ran across some interesting information about one of the main Ferrara trionfi-makers, Girarda da Vicenza, the guy who was paid for two sets "da trionfi" in July 1457 and five sets in 1460, among other times. (The source given is Adriano Franceschini, Artisti a Ferrara in eta umanistica e rinascimentale; Testimonianze archivistiche, Parte I; dal 1341 al 1471, Ferrara 1993. Is that one you use?). I am taking this from Luke Tyson, 2002, "Tura and the 'Minor Arts': the School of Ferrara" (in Cosme Tura: Paintings and Design in Renaissance Ferrara); the part on Girarda is pp. 58-61. He was apparently Francesco del Cossa's teacher. He also did three Labors of Hercules, some d'Este marriage chests (one probably not by him is pictured, from the 1450's, illustrating Petrarch's Trionfi), and may have designed the "Tarocchi of Mantegna" and the north wall of the Schifanoia (where I and others have found resemblances to the six cards). At least that's what Tyson proposes. Tyson considers Girardo to be a hitherto unrecognized "big name" in the Ferrara art scene, one of those artists "who acted as designers, a rare group." And he was "in a still more select group, the designer-printmakers." These people, the designer-printmakers, in which card-designers are a subgroup, were more elite than mere painters, because they could have their work seen and emulated all over Italy and Europe---as the "Mantegna" prints indeed were. Tyson lists only Mantegna and Pollaiuolo as also in that class.

I don't know about all of that, but did you consider that maybe Pollaiuolo designed the "Charles VI" deck? And is it possible that the same person did both the six PMB cards and the "Mantegna"? That's a hard one. When Tyson compares the "Mantegna" to faces on the north wall of the Schifanoia, he points to different areas than the one formerly attributed to Cicognara: more towards the middle, vertically, of August and September, as opposed to the top. But perhaps Girardo did the Ursino cards, or the d'Este. Some of these Ferrara hand-painted cards are well done, others not.

I am starting to look at the Ferrara cards in the same way as I have been looking at the Milan ones. Isn't that a young Ercole d'Este there, as the Warsaw Knight of Coins?
Image
Compare to Ercole Roberti:
Image
And a portrait done long after his death:
Image
And the other Warsaw card: isn't that his daughter Isabella, even though she wasn't born yet when Ercole would have been the age of the Knight of Coins? And the same for the Christie single card, http://trionfi.com/0/j/d/christie/. Or are we dealing with a stereotypical way of representing rulers, regardless of how they actually looked? (That these cards would be that late seems admittedly absurd.)
Image
Image
There are also more questions of who influenced whom, once we look at the interactions between cities. For example, the PMB Hanged Man is simpler and more ambiguous (given his green color, for regeneration) than the Charles VI, which puts money bags in the man's hands. So didn't the PMB image come first, and the bags added for clarity, in the same way that "Church fathers" in ancient times added things to biblical passages to remove any hint of heresy?

By the same token, doesn't the Charles VI put underpants on the d'Este Fool, so that the d'Este comes first, with the Charles VI a kind of sanitizing of the original image? (And regardless of when the actual card was painted, since we know there were earlier ones.) Yet the risque image may have survived in the popular versions, in the form we see in Noblet 1650.

And then there is the Chariot. The CY has one woman on top and one groom (below left). The Ursino has two grooms, but with a front view. The "Ferrara single card" has five women on top and a groom on each horse (http://trionfi.com/0/j/d/ferrasingle/). The PMB has no groom, and explicitly refers to the Phaedrus, as translated in the 1420's, because of the horses' wings. Plato doesn't have grooms, just horses and charioteer.
Image
The Charles VI (below center) also has no groom, as in the PMB, but changes the person to a man, as in Plato. So is the order of the change in imagery, by these considerations only: CY, Ursino, Ferrara single card/PMB, Charles VI?
Image
And then isn't the "Rothschild" (above right) a further development yet, with its fleur-de-lys and wings on the helmet? Notice also that on the Charles VI there are seven balls and no fleur-de-lys--suggesting to me that the Charles VI is pre-1465 (by your account of the balls) and the Rothschild post-1465. Are the plumes on the horses' heads a trans-alpine innovation? (Yes, I am questioning Ross's position that this image is "conservative.") On the other hand, the "Mantegna" Mars is simpler than the Charles VI, and like the PMB has a person sitting down, both considerations suggesting that it's place is between the PMB and the Charles VI.

In short, shouldn't we be using a "form-critical" method, as it is called by the people who examine Biblical texts to resolve questions about which of various readings of a text came first? But what are its rules here? Playing cards aren't the Bible, but there are analogies.

Perhaps the "Mantegna" doesn't belong in this thread. But it seems to me occasionally to fit, and I'd like to explore it further, either here or on another thread, as I read one art historian arguing for Bologna 1550's, and the rest for Ferrara 1550's or 1560's, with Tyson even having them done by the same artist who did the triumph decks. Trionfi's investigation of the "Mantegna"--and what you yourself have posted on web forums, Huck--seems to me inadequate. To me they are intrinsic to understanding how the cards developed in the 1550's and 1560's. I'm not sure how to proceed. Is another thread in order?

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

#128
hi Mike,
mikeh wrote:Yes, Lorenzo and Galeazzo could have worked out the 6 cards together, during the festivities--or later, in 1471, viewing the Palliaullo paintings of the virtues and vices, but still not doing anything about it, until after Elisabetta's death. There are all sorts of scenarios that include the Florentine cards, as indeed they should be.

But it was interesting what you said about Lorenzo arriving late. Did you say that before? I don't remember it.
Yes, I said it.
There is a letter of Lorenzo's father Piero, who is in anger, that Lorenzo lost too much time in Ferrara and perhaps caused trouble in the festivity program in Milan by his absence. "Coming late" is VERY unpolite, especially considering the weight of Francesco Sforza - that was probably the view of Piero.
But, anything went well with Lorenzo's visit.
I ran across some interesting information about one of the main Ferrara trionfi-makers, Girarda da Vicenza, the guy who was paid for two sets "da trionfi" in July 1457 and five sets in 1460, among other times. (The source given is Adriano Franceschini, Artisti a Ferrara in eta umanistica e rinascimentale; Testimonianze archivistiche, Parte I; dal 1341 al 1471, Ferrara 1993. Is that one you use?).
Yes, Ross used it and Ortalli in "The Prince and the Playing Cards" - which is about the d'Este court.
I am taking this from Luke Tyson, 2002, "Tura and the 'Minor Arts': the School of Ferrara" (in Cosme Tura: Paintings and Design in Renaissance Ferrara); the part on Girarda is pp. 58-61. He was apparently Francesco del Cossa's teacher. He also did three Labors of Hercules, some d'Este marriage chests (one probably not by him is pictured, from the 1450's, illustrating Petrarch's Trionfi), and may have designed the "Tarocchi of Mantegna" and the north wall of the Schifanoia (where I and others have found resemblances to the six cards). At least that's what Tyson proposes. Tyson considers Girardo to be a hitherto unrecognized "big name" in the Ferrara art scene, one of those artists "who acted as designers, a rare group." And he was "in a still more select group, the designer-printmakers." These people, the designer-printmakers, in which card-designers are a subgroup, were more elite than mere painters, because they could have their work seen and emulated all over Italy and Europe---as the "Mantegna" prints indeed were. Tyson lists only Mantegna and Pollaiuolo as also in that class.
What makes Tyson consider, that Gherardo Vicenza had been a "printmaker"? The fact, that he made playing cards?
Then the argument bites its tail and is "no additional argument".
The Ferrarese had a printer, the Mantovani, probably a family from Padua originally, but it seems, that he was in Sassauoli in the Southern Ferrarese region ... If Sagramoro and Vicenza used printing techniques, then probably with the help of the Mantovani. The Mantovani family in 1430's had contact to Germany (which isn't so unusual in Padova, as it was visited by German students ... Also they had relations to Niccolo da Fabriano, a paper trader, who appears in a process around a German playing card producer in Bologna 1427.

Universities had some use for paper. So they also observe printing processes with more interest than others.

But I would like to see these 3-4 pages of Tyson.
I don't know about all of that, but did you consider that maybe Pollaiuolo designed the "Charles VI" deck? And is it possible that the same person did both the six PMB cards and the "Mantegna"? [
... :-) ... No. ... .-) ... No.

Florence had a lot of artists, not only one. And for playing cards it would be natural to look for miniaturists first.
Sagramoro's major occupation was heraldic painting. But inside the account books of Ferrara he got the most commissions. And it isn't a great name. Gherardo da Vicenza is similar to Sagramoro ... also not a big name, also much commissions. Both men for the "business as usual", not for the great works with "much attention".

For the Mantegna Tarocchi ...
What, if you read
http://trionfi.com/0/m/00

Well, it's not up to date. But probably you'll find it interesting.

...
Perhaps the "Mantegna" doesn't belong in this thread. But it seems to me occasionally to fit, and I'd like to explore it further, either here or on another thread, as I read one art historian arguing for Bologna 1550's, and the rest for Ferrara 1550's or 1560's, with Tyson even having them done by the same artist who did the triumph decks. Trionfi's investigation of the "Mantegna"--and what you yourself have posted on web forums, Huck--seems to me inadequate. To me they are intrinsic to understanding how the cards developed in the 1550's and 1560's. I'm not sure how to proceed. Is another thread in order?
... :-) ... I don't know, which Trionfi argument to the Mantegna Tarocchi you find "inadequate". But, if you want to write about it, please use another thread. This theme doesn't touch the 5x14-theory.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

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

#130
While looking for a possible engraver of the "Mantegna" among miniaturists, I came across two possibilities for the second artist of the PMB. One is suggested by Ulrike Bauer-Eberhardt, in her article, "Zur ferrareschen Buchmalerei unter Borso d'Este: Taddeo Crivelli, Girgio d'Alemagna, Leonardo Bellini und Franco dei Russi" (Pantheon, Muenchen 1997, pp. 32-45).

After discussing the title page of an Office of Mary illuminated by Franco dei Russi (Lat 823, Biblioteca Estense, Modena), she says:
Eine andere Miniatur desselben Manuskriptes - der wappenhaltende Putto auf fol.22v (Abb.25) - zeigt in ihrem Stil starke Aehnlichkeit mit Francos Darstellungen aus der Zeit um 1470; den recht feist gerundeten und modellierten Puttenkoerper gibt es auch in der von Franco signierten ausgeschnittenen Rahmenbordüre in London (British Library, Add.ms.20916, fol. 1). Darüber hinaus hat dieser Putto einen Zwillingsbruder, mit aehnlichem puppenartigen Gesicht, in einer Miniatur an ganz anderer Stelle: in der Tarockkarte "il mondo" in Bergamo (Accademia Carrara, Inv. 99: Abb.26).
My machine-aided translation:
Another miniature of the same manuscript - of a putto holding a coat of arms, in fol.22v (ill. 25) - shows in style a strong similarity to Franco's depictions of the time around 1470; his quite charming, rounded, and modeled putto's body is also in a detached, framed border, signed by Franco, in London (British Library, Add.ms.20916, fol. 1). In addition, this Putto has a twin brother, with a similar doll-like face, in a miniature of a completely different place: in the tarot card " il mondo " in Bergamo (Accademia Carrara, Inv. 99: ill. 26).
Here are the relevant illustrations, 23 and 26:
Image


In a footnote she adds that the British Library illumination may be found in G. Mariani Canova, La miniatura veneta del renascimento 1450-1500, Venice 1969, Ill. 24, Cat. 53.

Bauer-Eberhardt then reviews the history of the discussion of who did the 6 added cards., ending with:
Es war Michael Dummett, der schliesslich die ferraresische Komponente im Stil der ergaenzten Tarocchi erkannt hat und die Karten nunmehr einem anonymen Künstler aus Ferrara, um 1470, zuwies. Damit ist er bereits der richtegen Loesung nahegekommen; denn die enge Stilverwandtschaft der sechs spaeteren Karten in Bergamo und New York mit Werken von Franco dei Russi - beispielweise die "stella" oder "luna" Kartre (abb.27, 28) mit der Adam-und-Eva-Miniatur der Biblia Italica in Wolfenbüttel (Herzog August-Bibliothek, Slg.2 151, Bd. I, fol.1a) - macht deutlich, wer hier Hand angelegt hat: Franco dei Russi, Genaugenommen ein Wahl-Ferrarese, hat die lückenhaften Bembo-Tarocchi ergaenzt.
I translate
It was Michael Dummett who has finally recognized the Ferrarese component in the style of the added Tarocchi and assigned the cards now to an anonymous artist from Ferrara, around 1470. Thereby he has already come close to the correct solution; the close stylistic relationship of the six later cards) in Bergamo and New York with works from Franco dei Russi - for example "Stella" or "luna" cards (ill. 27, 28) with the Adam and Eve miniature of the Biblia Italica in Wolfenbüttel (Duke August library, Slg.2 151, Vol. I, fol.1a) - makes it clear who has put their hand here: Franco dei Russi, strictly speaking a Ferrarese by choice, has supplemented the incomplete Bembo-Tarocchi.
In footnotes she says that Dummett's assignation is in The Visconti-Sforza Tarot Cards, 1986 (p. 118); Bauer-Eberhardt is writing before Dummett's more recent attribution of the 6 cards to the early 1460's and Benedetto Bembo. The Adam and Eve may be found in Mariani Canova's book already cited, Cat. 38 and Ill. 22, 23. Dei Rossi was originally from Mantua; hence he is a Ferrarese "by choice."

If dei Russi did the 6 cards, then they weren't likely done in the 1460's, because he was in Padua, from 1462 until around 1471, although he might have visited Ferrara briefly to pick up the final payment for his work on Borso's Bible, recorded as paid out in 1465. But there is no evidence that he was there in person to pick it up. I assume that he could cash Borso's check in Padua. Then in 1474 dei Russi is working in Urbino. I haven't found any data on 1471-1474.

Personally, it seems to me that the similarity of the putti could just as well be generic. The similarities she observes characterize putti by numerous artists of this time and part of Italy. I have not yet secured a copy of Canova's book or seen the illustrations Bauer-Eberhardt cites from there. I would observe only that the landscape aspects of the 6 cards and of dei Rossi's work are somewhat similar in their brushwork and especially the use of gold.

The second candidate for painter of the 6 cards that I have noticed recently is a miniaturist who worked with dei Russi on a series of choir books initiated in Bologna by Bessarion, c. 1452. It probably wasn't finished until the late 1450's, in Ferrara, since Borso d'Este's coat of arms are found on the later volumes (Pia Palladino, Treasures of a Lost Art, 2003, p. 83). He is known only as "the Third Bessarion Master." Like dei Rossi, he uses gold paint in the way that the PMB second painter does, and if anything his colors are a bit darker, closer to those of the PMB painter. Their styles are similar. What is of interest is that he is Lombard. Bessarion recruited both Lombard and Emilian artists for his project in Bologna (Palladino, p. 78). That combination of styles fits the 6 cards. Then in 1460 his style is recognizable in a series of panels done for the Church of San Silvestro, Mantua (dei Rossi's home town), now in theMuseo Poldi Pezzoii, Milan (Palladino, p. 83). I surmise that he would have eventually returned to Lombardy, but with Ferrarese influences.

However my first choice for artist of the 6 cards remains Benedetto Bembo, for the reasons indicated earlier in this thread.

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

#131
mikeh wrote: Personally, it seems to me that the similarity of the putti could just as well be generic. The similarities she observes characterize putti by numerous artists of this time and part of Italy. ...

However my first choice for artist of the 6 cards remains Benedetto Bembo, for the reasons indicated earlier in this thread.
I agree, that the similarity between the both putti is not very striking.

Dummett's notes to Benedetto Bembo were connected to the idea, that the whole deck was made at one time around 1462-68 in a commission, which was parted by Bonifacio Bembo and Benedetto, if I remember correctly, which is contradicted by many observations made on the base of the 5x14-theory and also contradicting Dummett's own and others theories, that the Tarot found to a standard form in ca. 1450.

My earlier report:

http://tarotforum.net/showthread.php?p= ... ost1339626
Michael Dummett published in artibus et historie Nr. 56 (2007) ...

http://www.artibusethistoriae.org/?...ibusIssue&id=57

"Six XV-Century Tarot Cards: Who Painted Them? " (pp.15 - 26)

an essay about the "six added" (trionfi.com terminology) cards in the Pierpont-Morgan-Bergamo Tarocchi.

In his usual excellent manner he explores the evolution and errors about the statement of Leopoldo Cicognara, who presented a document, which couldn't be found. This takes most of the article.

In the final statement of the essay (about 1/3 of a page) he suggests as most probable for the painter of the six cards Benedetto Bembo, brother of Bonifacio, who was first mentioned 1462 and is suggested to have painted in a Ferrarese style.

Dummett than offers the suggestion, that the whole deck was produced in the range of the years 1462 - 1468. No replacement (as earlier suggested), no adding process (as the 5x14-thesis suggested), just as a unique cooperation of two brothers to fulfill a commission of Bianca Maria Visconti.

1/3 of a page in an article of 11 pages.
Dummett's major aim in this article is to solve the Cicognara case and this part is excellent. However, in our eyes the Cicognara hypothesis is a dead cow long ago, the really remarkable novelty was, that he killed his own theory of standard Tarot ca. 1450 with light hand (the PMB "from 1452" was the only real object, which gave evidence for this assumption). Considering, that this theory spread very far, was defended with long articles especially by Michael Hurst and has a long tradition, and was heavily attacked by the 5x14-theory, this was really surprising.
1/3 page ... no words about the 5x14-theory.

I don't see, that Benedetto has much preference against other possibilities for the artist of the 6 cards. Yes, he's the brother of Bonifacio Bembo.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

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