mikeh wrote:Very interesting stuff, Huck, and perhaps good clues to understanding the pictures on the Sola-Busca trumps, if the Boiardo poem and the SB are really connected. Not that I have any idea what the clues mean, in the context of the SB...
I think, that a structural nearness of both objects (Boiardo Tarocchi poem and Sola Busca Tarocchi) suggests, that (likely) also other correlating factors exist ... for instance nearness in time, Boiardo Tarocchi 1487 as suggested, but naturally not 100 % proven, Sola Busca Tarocchi 1491 as more or less accepted) ... for instance also nearness o location (Boiardo Tarocchi very likely in Ferrara, and Sola Busca plausibly also in Ferrara).
It simply isn't a plausible theory, that the producers didn't know each other. I think, that this changes much.
Around c. 1490 is still a time, when the painting artists don't count as much as poets. Santi in Urbino, father of Raffael, writer and painter, so active in both fields, speaks with energy for more acceptance of the painting artists ... but this is a new feature, it wasn't manifested. Leonardo started to get a rather high income, but was the begin of a new area.
So we have to calculate for the production of the cards poets, which deliver the idea for the decks. Naturally ... Ferrarese poets. One poet we know: Boiardo, the most famous, in social rank positioned rather high, NOT a poor poet.
The second is hidden: ... but there is Tito Vespasiano Strozzi, with a long work called "Eroticon" ... "Among his works are the six books of the Eroticon ..." (Wiki), also a high official. His father had been a condottiero from Florence, who fought for Niccolo 'Este earlier. He's an uncle of Matteo Maria Boiardo, likely there is some logic in the assumption, that Boiardo's talent was partly developed by him.
"Eroticon" ... this should interest you.
... already Boiardo had worked to give the 4x10 suit numbers some character, possibly more than we could observe it elsewhere (... well, there's the Johannes-of-Rheinfelden deck and the Hofämterspiel .... both fill numbers with professions, and I think, that Ingold in his playing card descriptions attempts somethin similar with negative tendencies).
Tito had been responsible for Rovigo and the region around it (1473-1484), that's on the way from Ferrara to Venice, probably he organized Venetian diplomacy naturally, with possibilities to get texts from there. It was region, that got lost in the Ferrarese wars to Venice.
After the war there were negotiations about private Ferrarese property in the new Venetian territory, also property of the d'Este. The whole seems to have developed at least for some time, that both sides were content, as we definitely have sorts of friendly visits.
Studies of an old Iamblichus text in a Venetian library might have been possible, naturally. Tito would be a good man, who might have gotten it.
A fine illuminated manuscript of them, with gold initials and illuminated margins, was purchased by the humanist Celio Clcagnini from the extensive former library of the Aragonese kings of Naples, dispersed by Isabella del Balzo, the deposed queen.
Note 5: Santiago López-Ríos, "A New Inventory of the Royal Aragonese Library of Naples" Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 65 (2002:201-243) pp 210f, 230f. The codex is now in the Biblioteca Comunale Ariostea, Ferrara (MS Cl. I.368).
It's not clear, if it also had pictures beside gold initials and illumunated margins.
Isabella of Balzo (died 1533) was the second wife and only Queen consort of Frederick IV of Naples. Frederick lost the throne and died 1504 ... Tito Vespasiano died 1505. I've no information, when the Eroticon was written (and possibly distributed in one or some fine manuscripts).
A printed edition appeared after death of the author in 1513 by Aldus Manutius in Venice, "who was well acquainted with the Strozzis".
Not impossible, that the Eroticon got in possession of Isabella del Balzo in the peaceful period 1487-93, when Beatrice d'Este had first been educated in Naples, then was married to Lodovico Sforza. Contacts between Ferrara-Naples should have been logical in this time (Naples had taken side of Ferrara in the war). Isabella del Balzo got the first child of her husband in 1488 (she was second wife of Frederick IV). On 28 November 1486, Isabella married Prince Frederick of Naples ... that's very near to Lucrezia's marriage.
However: After 1504 ... "Frederick died in Tours on 9 November 1504. Isabella found a refuge for herself and younger children in the Duchy of Ferrara
under the protection of Frederick's nephew Alfonso d'Este, and lived there until her death, never remarrying."
This looks a little bit, as if the Eroticon might have been never part of the library in Naples, but was manufactured in Ferrara and always stayed in Ferrara ... at least one should take this with some care.
So it doesn't help to verify the production date ... at least for the moment.
Tito's late wife (married 1497, he himself 75 years old) became Ariost's late wife (married 1428 in secrecy, after he had already earlier a lot of relation to her): Alessandra Benucci
Mostly Tito is dead in c. 1505. He took the oath of his son to publish his writings, which this couldn't fulfill, cause he was killed 1508. But sombody else did, so we have a book with texts of father and son in 1513.
"Am 12. März ist Ariost erneut in Rom, um an der Wahl von Papst Leo X. teilzunehmen / Am 24. Juni erklärt er in Florenz Alessandra Benucci seine Liebe, die sich ihm verspricht, obwohl sie noch mit Tito Strozzi verheiratet ist / er hat Schulden / Sie drängt zur Vollendung des "Orlando" "
Alessandra Benucci loves Ariost in 1513 (in Florence), but she cannot marry him, cause she is married to a "living" Tito.
"Tito Strozzi stirbt / Ariost und Alessandra beschließen, ihre Verbindung nicht öffentlich zu machen / ab August bereitet Ariost den Druck seines "Orlando furioso" ab Oktober vor"
According this Tito dies in 1515. But the lovers don't publish their connection, cause Ariost has income as a cleric.
In 1515 Tito Vespasiano Srozzi would have been proud 91 years old, that's rather rare.
The date "1515" is confirmed here with ...
http://www.internetculturale.it/directo ... o/a45.html
... Ottobre 1515