Re: Winged Temperance

#51
EnriqueEnriquez wrote:I find your take on the three moral virtues to be he most useful model...
Thank you again for translating that post.
EnriqueEnriquez wrote:In the Tarot de Marseille Justice and Strength ‘pose’ in front of us almost as role-models for a certain moral assets within man while Temperance as a psychopompos feels more as an external aid for the soul. Do you see the three of them playing the same role? Does a winged Temperance suggest the soul shall find moderation after death, or does it suggest that the soul should practice moderation in the afterlife? Could you share your thoughts on this?
Ah, the posture question.

Let's assume that the Pope and lower cards represent Mankind, and that the Devil and higher cards represent an eschatological epilogue to Mankind's moral allegory. In that case, then the nine middle trumps are the narrative allegory per se.

The first thing to note is that the lowest and highest cards in this group are weird. That is, they are unique when compared with most other Tarot decks. The Love card shows the requisite Cupid, but the tableau as a whole appears to be related to the Choice of Hercules, or Hercules at the Crossroads. In fact, it is closely similar to Paolo Veronese's 16th-century depiction.

Honor et Virtus post mortem floret
http://www.wga.hu/html/v/veronese/10/1allego1.html

What we see are two meanings conflated. One is the standard Tarot trump subject, an allegory of Love. The other is the choice between virtue and vice. This defines the overall theme of the middle trumps.

The triumphs of Love and the Triumphal Chariot, victory in love and war, personal and public spheres, both confer personal benefits and power over others: husband over wife and victor over vanquished. Justice, which triumphs over these two subjects, is precisely the virtue which mitigates the exercise of such advantages.

The Hermit, (not Time, the more common subject of the Old Man card), is facing the lower cards as if to advise asceticism in place of such worldly values. (This allegory of Asceticism might be analogous to figures like the Pagans Diogenes and Crates, or the Christian saints Macarius, Sisoes, or Barlaam, each for arguably appropriate anecdotes about their lives and teachings.) Fortune, at the center of the sequence, is obviously a turning point in the cycle. Fortitude is a conventional subject paired with Fortune, and is needed to triumph over both Asceticism and Fortune. Note that she faces the higher cards -- Fortitude is also required to deal with Betrayal and Death.

Death and Temperance are facing each other. They form a visual pair, just like the Fool and the Mountebank which form an easily recognizable tableau. Or the Empress and Emperor, one formally posed and the other more casually (but in a position associated with passing judgment), reaching out an almost touching their scepters. With regard to being "external", she is both internal (triumphing over Death in several ways) and external, transitioning to the eschatological section.

The uniquely winged virtue Temperance was chosen to triumph over Betrayal and Death partly because she is mixing water with wine, symbolizing the sacrament. Given wings and coming after Death, she has also been turned into a psychopomp. But as Temperance per se she reminds one of Faith, i.e., faith in resurrection as expressed by St. Paul (quoting Isaiah): "If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, 'Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die'." (1-Co 15:32) That is, if we do not believe that we are to be resurrected and judged, we may as well live like the impious and wicked. If you don't believe in Christ's triumph over Death, then live like the Pagans, drink till you puke and orgy till your balls fall off. The converse of this is, if you do believe in resurrection and judgment then be temperate. Virtue is thus an act of faith.

On a more mundane level, temperance in speech and action will prevent one from being executed as a Traitor, while temperance in other appetites will stave off the Reaper himself, at least for a time.

A bit later in 1-Corinthians we find the other key quote, from which Christians justified Nike/Victory triumphing over Death: "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise again incorruptible: and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption; and this mortal must put on immortality. And when this mortal hath put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?" (1-Co 15:52-5)

So... moderation in life is one of the ideas that seems to be suggested, both for mundane reasons and as an act of faith in the resurrection to come. This constellation of meanings, some looking back on the life cycle of the middle trumps and others looking forward to the highest section to come, all work together in a very complex and yet very neat package.

The overall design of the middle trumps shows two successes, two reversals, and two indications of downfall. Each pair is triumphed over by an appropriate virtue. The success-reversal-downfall cycle is an allegorical representation of the De Casibus narrative arc of Boccaccio, while the circumstance-virtue pairings are the allegorical version the De Remediis schema of Petrarch. Overlaid on that complex design are the conflations we see most strikingly in Love and Temperance.

LOL -- does that clarify or obscure?

Best regards,
Michael
We are either dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants, or we are just dwarfs.

Bellini's Allegories

#52
Hi, Jean-Michel,
jmd wrote:From Venice, by Giovanni Bellini (whose brother-in-law was Andrea Mantegna, by the way), is this amazing representation of Temperance - certainly far more removed than the ones I had in mind!

Image
I wondered about the series from which I suspected this bizarre image had come. Apparently Bellini created "five allegories representing Prudence (the nude woman with a dish), Summa Virtus (the blindfolded harpy), Inconstant Fortune (the woman in a boat), Perseverance or perhaps Sensuality and Virtue (the two male figures) and Slander or, according to other authorities, the Burden of Sin (the men with a monstrous shell). They were painted to decorate some piece of furniture, possibly a mirror like that owned by Catena and mentioned in his will as the work of Bellini. In point of subject matter, they are among Bellini's most uncompromisingly Renaissance Paintings, for they appear to illustrate the arcane philosophical ideas of some humanist. Yet the general effect is curiously Gothic. For, like the majority of Venetian painters, and unlike the Ferrarese and the Florentines, (there is no equivalent to the Primavera in fifteenth-century Venetian art), Bellini seems to have cared little for the intellectual ideas of the humanists. When late in life he was painting a mythological picture for Isabella d'Este he complained that he was working so slowly because he found the pagan subject so distasteful. His aim was narrower and more conservative -- to discover and depict the beauty of the world about him, to express the age-old concepts of the Church and to explore no further."
(Pages 130-1, The Companion Guide to Venice (1997), by Hugh Honour.)

Unfortunately, while somewhat helpful in understanding the context of the perverse figure, it does little to help decode the meaning of the image, beyond giving it the name Summa Virtus. I think these are the five images.

Image


Here is another description, from a 1906 book on Bellini.
The allegories in the Academy are also full of meaning. They are decorative works, and were probably painted for some small cabinet. They seem too small for a cassone. They are ruined by over-painting, but still full of grace and fancy. The figure in the classic chariot, bearing fruit, in the encounter between Luxury and Industry, is drawn from Jacopo's triumphant Bacchus. Fortune floats in her barque, holding the globe, and the souls who gather round her are some full of triumphant success, others clinging to her for comfort, while several are sinking, overwhelmed in the dark waters. " Prudence," the only example of a female nude in Bellini's works, holds a looking-glass. Hypocrisy or Calumny is torn writhing from his refuge. The Summa Virtus is an ugly representation of all the virtues ; a waddling deformity with eyes bound holds the scales of justice ; the pitcher in its hand means prudence, and the gold upon its feet symbolises charity. The landscape, both of this and of the "Fortune", resembles that which he was painting in his larger works at the end of the century.
For what it's worth....

Best regards,
Michael
We are either dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants, or we are just dwarfs.

Re: Winged Temperance

#53
Michael,
mjhurst wrote: LOL -- does that clarify or obscure?
Ha! Ha! Ha!

It certainly clarifies.

This specific part answered my question:
mjhurst wrote: But as Temperance per se she reminds one of Faith, i.e., faith in resurrection as expressed by St. Paul (quoting Isaiah): "If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, 'Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die'." (1-Co 15:32) That is, if we do not believe that we are to be resurrected and judged, we may as well live like the impious and wicked. If you don't believe in Christ's triumph over Death, then live like the Pagans, drink till you puke and orgy till your balls fall off. The converse of this is, if you do believe in resurrection and judgment then be temperate. Virtue is thus an act of faith.

On a more mundane level, temperance in speech and action will prevent one from being executed as a Traitor, while temperance in other appetites will stave off the Reaper himself, at least for a time.

So... moderation in life is one of the ideas that seems to be suggested, both for mundane reasons and as an act of faith in the resurrection to come.
It makes perfect sense.
mjhurst wrote:This constellation of meanings, some looking back on the life cycle of the middle trumps and others looking forward to the highest section to come, all work together in a very complex and yet very neat package.
Indeed!


Thanks a lot for taking the time to go over this.

All my Best,


EE
What’s honeymoon salad? Lettuce alone
Don’t look now, mayonnaise is dressing!

Re: Tarot de Marseille - Italian or French origin?

#54
Finished you once for all ?

-Btw,hello M. Hurst,it is a pleasure to see you here again.( I expect not at least this post ended)

Robert: I did not find a Gothic Temperance Angel at some cathedrals./Surely JMD has it.

* What about an Italian connection regarding the VII card ?
One can see that at Tarot de Marseille decks the wheels of the "carro" are perpendicular to it,so this "carro" can not go to anyway.
Do you or anybody here have some italian connection for this ?
The Universe is like a Mamushka.

Re: Bellini's Allegories

#55
Hi, Jean-Michel,
jmd wrote:From Venice, by Giovanni Bellini (whose brother-in-law was Andrea Mantegna, by the way), is this amazing representation of Temperance - certainly far more removed than the ones I had in mind!
Thanks very much for posting that image, (which now seems to have disappeared). Although the whole "winged Temperance" question has (IMO) limited relevance to the ostensible topic of this thread, the Bellini allegories are very interesting in their own right. So I'll just post another note on them here, even if it's off-topic, to fill in some blanks.

Not all visual cognates are meaningful cognates. For example, the "Bellini" "Temperance" figure is not Temperance. (Nobody is quite sure what it represents.) It also turns out that it's not even by Bellini. The Web Gallery of Art reproduces only Bellini's four images, and talks about them as a group of four. Several of the art reproduction sites list the fifth image, the winged "Temperance", as being by Andrea Previtali, although formerly attributed to Giovanni Bellini. Here is the WGA description:
The four panels with Allegories at the Accademia in Venice are often likened to the Sacred Allegory, but they belong instead to the artist's scanty secular production. They originally formed part of a small dressing-table with a mirror and a rack on which to hang objects, belonging to the painter Vincenzo Catena who, writing his will in 1530, left it to Antonio Marsili. The spread of this kind of furniture was so great that in 1489 the Venetian Senate prohibited its manufacture, limiting it to what was strictly necessary. Often, as in this instance, their decoration comprised symbolic representations of a moralistic character.

An unusual theme for Bellini, the panels represent respectively: Lust tempting the virtuous man or Perseverance (Bacchus who from a chariot offers a plate of fruit to a warrior); fickle Fortune (the woman on an unstable boat holding a sphere); Prudence (the naked woman pointing at a mirror); Falsehood (the man emerging from the shell). There are diverging opinions about the interpretation of the last two representations, such that they have been seen as: the Woman as Vanitas (on the basis of similar representations by Jacopo de' Barbari and Baldung Grien), and the Man in the shell as an allegory of Virtus Sapientia, since the shell might have a positive connotation as a generative principle.
Here are their pages:

Four Allegories: Lust (or Perseverance)
http://www.wga.hu/html/b/bellini/giovan ... alle1.html

Four Allegories: Falsehood (or Wisdom)
http://www.wga.hu/html/b/bellini/giovan ... alle2.html

Four Allegories: Fortune (or Melancholy)
http://www.wga.hu/html/b/bellini/giovan ... alle3.html

Four Allegories: Prudence (or Vanity)
http://www.wga.hu/html/b/bellini/giovan ... alle4.html

It seems that Previtali was a follower of Bellini. Robert Englekirk (Appreciating Italy), says that "The Allegories displayed in Room V presents five enchanting scenes. The allegories are varied: the winged half woman painted by Previtali is probably the Greek goddess Nemesis -- the avenger, goddess of fate and punisher of extreme pride; the woman in the boat represent heroic virtue and its reward; the man emerging from the shell in the grasp of the snake probably alludes to the burden of sin; the naked woman and dish -- vanity; while the emperor/god offering fruit probably alludes to deceit."

It needs to be noted that there are many divergent interpretations of the allegories, none of them very convincing and some of them just blather. Paul Joannides (Titian to 1518) explains that Bellini "had executed secular work of distinctly arcane nature, notably the suite of four opaque allegories (supplemented by a fifth by Andrea Previtali) painted for a chest which was later owned -- rather than commissioned by -- his pupil and Giorgione's friend, Vicenzo Catena." Ronald Shaw-Kennedy (Venice Rediscovered) says that the "Allegories by Bellini were painted to decorate a Restello, some sort of table ornament that supported a mirror. Several unsuccessful attempts have been made to explain the subjects and it is better not to worry about them but simply admire the supremely delicate painting."

He may be right about that, but it's still an interesting set of obscure images. Thanks very much for posting the "Bellini" "Temperance" image.

Best regards,
Michael
We are either dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants, or we are just dwarfs.

Re: Tarot de Marseille - Italian or French origin?

#56
Ah! thankyou Michael.

(I've actually had this thread open all day, but with first day of term back, I've frankly had no time to focus hereon)

It was one of those images that I have in my files and for which I had not taken the time to add notes to at the time (something I try to be careful to not do too much).

The series of images are indeed the ones I thought formed a set, but if you suspect that the attribution is incorrect, than I'll accept it, as frankly, I had never seen that image in other art references.

As to its attribution as 'Justice', I suspect that this is because the blindfold was taken as central and the rest assumed to therefore represent that virtue. If anything, the two flasks show the figure to be at least related to Temperance if (and only if) it is related to virtues at all. It may not be, after all, and instead perhaps be more cognate of some Renaissance representation of Nike (based on the images you presented earlier - thanks for those too... at least I found some of my own that were with my Greek stuff, rather than the Virtue I was looking for).

With regards to the other images by Bellini (or Prevatolli), it's probably worth adding that the snail is classically symbolically used to depict sloth. It may be, then, that each really seeks to capture in unified vision related concepts of various vice and virtues.

I had noted before that Spes/Hope has wings in a few places, and remember standing at the baptistry door in Florence for some time now nearly four years ago, in the hope of finding yet more similarities, but basically nothing 'new' seemed to emerge (except for numerous photos still totally unsorted). Though for me, one of the most fascinating aspect of those door designs was their proximity in design to the petroglyphs on Amiens Cathedral.

I'll still have to look for those other winged Temperance images I'm sure I had - they must be non-electronic versions (though Robert seems to also recall that I showed some before, in which case they could only be electronic versions!)

Apart from this, not much else to contribute at this stage...
Image
&
Image
association.tarotstudies.org

Bellini's Allegories

#57
Hi, Jean-Michel,
jmd wrote:The series of images are indeed the ones I thought formed a set, but if you suspect that the attribution is incorrect, than I'll accept it, as frankly, I had never seen that image in other art references.
I have no opinion on the authorship of artworks in general or this one in particular. I'm just reporting on the results of a couple hours of Googling yesterday, and there seems to be agreement that the series as a whole is attributed to Bellini while one of the images, the one you posted, is attributed to a follower of Bellini.
jmd wrote:As to its attribution as 'Justice', I suspect that this is because the blindfold was taken as central and the rest assumed to therefore represent that virtue. If anything, the two flasks show the figure to be at least related to Temperance if (and only if) it is related to virtues at all.
I like the interpretation as Nemesis best. The blindfold recalls Justice... or Love, or Fortune, or Death. Three of those four can be conflated easily with Nemesis. The carafes recall Temperance, who is "even-handed" and about balance. The central element of Temperance, the "mixing", could be interpreted with Nemesis being taken as the added ingredient, creating the balance. Standing on a ball recalls many versions of Fortuna including Nemesis. The two balls are an invention also suggesting more balance. The overall appearance as a harpy, an agent of Death, makes me think that Nemesis might be the best overall summary. The Nemesis interpretation seems a bit weak, but close on several counts, and the best I've seen.
jmd wrote:With regards to the other images by Bellini (or Prevatolli), it's probably worth adding that the snail is classically symbolically used to depict sloth.
For those who might want to play the game, I'll list some of the other immediately recognizable attributes of the four Bellini pics.

The snail can refer to many different things, but the two most common are Cowardice (especially when paired with a knight) and Sloth. However, the sea shell indicates pilgrimage, and the two fellows carrying the snail, one with a walking staff, are probably enjoying that attribute. Eating the snake indicates Envy -- snakes are Envy's regular diet, although hearts are apparently preferred. Therefore, at least in the most direct reading, we see two pilgrims burdened with Sloth and Envy.

The naked babe with the mirror might suggest Prudence, but because we can see a scary face in the mirror it is probably a Vanitas image. Her entourage includes a drummer and two trumpeters, the latter indicating Fame. However, they are unenthusiastic, and she stands on a pedestal with a skull, making it Vainglory rather than Fama. Perhaps this is what the pilgrims find, because of their inadequacies.

The pastey, fat charioteer wears a laurel crown and offers his bowl of delicacies to the tanned and buff warrior. General and soldier is one inescapable reading, but variations on Vice and Virtue are also obvious. Perhaps this is a choice the two pilgrims can make, either the fat laureate in a triumphal chariot (which matches the sins of Sloth and Envy) or the hard path of virtue.

Finally Fortune is perhaps the most plain and direct image. She is in a boat, her gown forms a sail, she holds a ball, all of which are conventional attributes of Fortune. Her subordinates include one with twin trumpets, suggesting a conflation with Fame. Some are clinging to her successfully, some are in the water trying to cling or apparently drowning.

Unfortunately I didn't come across a description of the Restello from which the images are isolated. They might have had an arrangement that provides more clues as to their interpretation... which takes us back to Wind's remark with which I began. In any case, the Bellini Allegories appear to be extremely well known, mentioned in tourist guides and such, and they are certainly interesting. Thanks again for bringing them up.

Best regards,
Michael

P.S. There are many many books on Bellini, so anyone actually curious about this group of allegories may learn much more than has been posted here via Google Books or, better yet, a trip to the local university library. They constitute the same kind of allegorical puzzle as the Tarot trump cycle, only harder to resolve (for several reasons), and therefore their study by various art historians might be illuminating. For example, the fifth image -- "winged Temperance" -- may belong to another series altogether. Compared to the other four, it is reportedly smaller, on a different support, shows stylistic differences and different lighting, etc. If that is the case, then its context is wholly unknown. ~x(
We are either dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants, or we are just dwarfs.

Re: Tarot de Marseille - Italian or French origin?

#59
Is a fact that Tarot de Marseille has an italian origin.
Undoubtedly it is.

* But also and this is just my opinion of course,once tarot was known in France an iconography change happened.

-For one example I drive your attention to the wheels of the VII.
There one can see in the case of Tarot de Marseille decks,that both wheels are beside the chariot and perpendicular to it.
Instead for example the Cary Sheet,where both wheels are parallel to it.

I don want to repost here,but the chariot of Tarot de Marseille only can carry us to nowhere.
The Universe is like a Mamushka.

Re: Tarot de Marseille - Italian or French origin?

#60
EUGIM wrote:Is a fact that Tarot de Marseille has an italian origin.
Undoubtedly it is.

* But also and this is just my opinion of course,once tarot was known in France an iconography change happened.

-For one example I drive your attention to the wheels of the VII.
There one can see in the case of Tarot de Marseille decks,that both wheels are beside the chariot and perpendicular to it.
Instead for example the Cary Sheet,where both wheels are parallel to it.

I don want to repost here,but the chariot of Tarot de Marseille only can carry us to nowhere.
I don't know Eugim, I'm just as inclined to think it was a matter of poor perspective by the person that drew the cards, I don't think the point of the image is to show that the chariot can't move, nothing about the image gives me that impression. Instead, I think it likely that it was the way the card was drawn.

Now, it could be French, it could be Italian, or... it could be from anywhere. Why do you think it's specifically French? Since you think it is important, can you show us other examples to indicate it's Frenchness?
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

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