Re: Collection "How Petrarca became famous" (till 1450)

#21
Ha ...

I found Angelo Solerti, 1903, who had written about the biographies of Petrarca, after I searched with negative results before. It starts here with Petrarca at page 65::

http://www.archive.org/stream/autobiogr ... 5/mode/1up
Autobiografie e vite de' maggiori scrittori italiani fino al secolo decimottavo, narrate da contemporanei, raccolte e annotate da Angelo Solerti, Albrighi, Segati & C., 1903
I contains something about Petrarca, but it's not, what I hoped for ...

Oh, well, it's not, what I expected ...
"Le vite di Dante, Petrarca e Boccaccio", that's from 1904. This one I need.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Collection "How Petrarca became famous" (till 1450)

#22
It's already some time ago ...
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:While we're at it, here is the letter from Francesco Sforza to Antonio Trecco asking for "uno paro de carte da triumpho" for Sigismondo Malatesta in October 1452.

Emilio Motta, "Altri documenti per la libreria sforzesca", Il Bibliofilo, X (1889), pp. 107-111.


http://www.rosscaldwell.com/images/book ... letter.jpg

"Antonio Trecco.
Perchè el Mag[nifi]co Sig[no]re Sigismondo ha rechesto ad la Ill[ustrissi]ma Madonna Bianca nostra consorte uno paro de carte da triumpho per zugare, ti commettimo et volemo che subito ne debij fare fare uno paro de belle quanto più sarà possibile pincte et ornate con le arme ducali et al insigne nostre et mandaraile subito como serano facte. Apud Calvisanum XXVIIJ octobris 1452.
Non obstante quello dicemo de sopra de mandarne qui le dicte carte volemo le retegne lì et ne avisi como serano facte et similmente retegni tre berrette quale te mandarà Mattheo da Pesaro. Dat[a] utsupra."
... it seems to me, that Pizzagalli had one or more other letters:
1452 [November – Sigismondo Malatesta requests cards of Bianca Maria Visconti Sforza, recounted by Daniela Pizzagalli]:
"Gran parte del suo [Bianca Maria's] tempo era anche occupato dalla corrispondenza, perché aveva contatti personali con tutte le corti. Intratteneva carteggi paralleli spesso ricchi di argomenti che esulavano dalla politica: significativa, ad esempio, la richiesta che ricevette da Sigismondo Malatesta, nel novembre 1452, di un mazzo dale famose carte da trionfi miniate, vanto dell'artigianato cremonese…. Di far realizzare un mazzo di carte per il Malatesta, Bianca Maria non aveva affatto voglia, anzi temeva di non saper mascherare abbastanza la sua invincibile ostilità contro di lui, tanto che, quando Francesco ordino personalmente i tarocchi a Cremona, lei, ringraziando per averle `levato questa fatica dalla mano' gli sottopose il testo della risposta a Sigismondo autorizzando il marito ad apportarvi modifiche."
Ross translated:
Preliminary translation
(by Ross Gregory Caldwell)
A large part of her time was also occupied in written correspondence, she having personal contact with the whole court. At the same time she maintained correspondence rich in subjects outside of politics: shown, for example, in the request which she received from Sigismondo Malatesta, in November 1452, for a pack of the famous hand-painted trump cards from the highly praised artisans of Cremona … Bianca Maria did not have the slightest desire to have a deck of cards made for Malatesta, on the contrary she feared of not knowing how to disguise enough her undying hostility for him, so much that when Francesco personally ordered the tarocchi at Cremona, she thanked him for “lifting this burden off my hands”, in the text of her response to Sigismondo, authorizing her husband to make modifications.
... as given at http://trionfi.com/0/e/08/

Pizzagalli writes from "November 1452", but Cichus has late October 1452.

Pizzagalli uses the term "carte da trionfi miniate", which doesn't appear in the given letter.

The meaning of "Miniate" is given here:
Min´i`ate
v. t. 1. To paint or tinge with red lead or vermilion; also, to decorate with letters, or the like, painted red, as the page of a manuscript.
[imp. & p. p. Miniated ; p. pr. & vb. n. Miniating .]
a. 1. Of or pertaining to the color of red lead or vermilion; painted with vermilion.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by C. & G. Merriam Co.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Miniate

Well, "Miniate" sounds very similar to "Minchiate", this might be accident, but one doesn't know. And we don't know, where Pizzagalli got his information from.

In Minchiate we have the term "Rossi", which is explained by ...
http://www.tarocchino.com/page50.html
with
Rossi: XXXIII-XXXX (all of these cards have a red background)
... and controlling it,

XXXII ... background is not red

Image


XXXIII ... background is red

Image


... indeed, the highest 8 cards have this red background, at least in this version.
http://a.trionfi.eu/WWPCM/decks07/d05114/d05114.htm

It isn't true for this version:
Image

http://a.trionfi.eu/WWPCM/decks07/d05115/d05115.htm

When we compare the idea, that some cards have much "red" to the Visconti Sforza cards (PMB), we have a very red-background card Love, but at all the others it isn't so dominating .

Image


Generally it's assumed, that the 1452 documents address the Pierpont-Morgan-Bergamo Tarocchi, but would we say, that they are "miniate".

That's strange, but as long one doesn't know, why Pizzagalli wrote "Miniate", it's likely not worth, to get too excited about it.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Collection "How Petrarca became famous" (till 1450)

#23
mjhurst wrote:Hi, Huck,
Huck wrote:
The pictures are great, Michael. Are the dates reliable?
They are as reliable as the sources in which I found the images. I made no particular effort to verify any of them, simply taking them as they were presented.

On the one hand, one image of Vainglory is dated with the manuscript, 1379. That is both precise and probably accurate. Another image might be dated only to the 14th century, very far from precise, and even that might not be accurate -- there is some possibility that it is early 15th-century.

Best regards,
Michael
It seems to me that Michael, or his source, has the dates mixed up for the second and third images. [Added on 12/29: I do find a source with his dates, Dorothy Shorr in 1938. So Michael didn't mix them up; but it remains unclear which source is correct, the one I discuss here or Shorr. Added on 1/17: after reviewing numerous scholarly discussions of these images, it seems to me that Callman, my source below, is the one who mixed up the manuscript attributions. So ignore everything below until, "Callman also gives us a couple of bonuses," when I get out from under that mess.] The second image, which he says in Wiki is c. 1388, according to Apollonio di Giovanni, by Ellen Callman (1974), is from the manuscript dated 1379, while the third image, which is he says is 1379, is the one of less certain date, which he tentatively puts at c. 1388, although acknowledging in his post that it could be earlier or later. Michael's image has on it the number "1221" and what looks to me like "4989" (or 1989, or 1489); neither, obviously is the date of the illumination.

Callman has a photo of Michael's second image as her plate 20, which she says is from Paris Bibl Nat. Lat. 6069F) (which is what Michael gives for his third image). Here is my scan (larger at http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QMm3FYziS10/U ... anPL20.JPG):
Image

In contrast, Michael's third image is Callman's Plate 18, which she gives as "North Italian, late 14th century." She says that it is from Paris, Bibl. Nat. Lat. 6069I, 1r, which is the data Michael gives us for his second image. Here is my scan. You will notice that the two numbers "1221" and "4989" do not appear (larger at http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-YfqlvMgsE1k/U ... anPL18.JPG)
Image


Callman also gives us a couple of bonuses. First, here is her plate 25, a Triumph of Fame, c. 1420-1430, tentatively attributed to Giovanni dal Ponte, a Florentine (larger at http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xlbf6GdiYPk/U ... anPL25.JPG):
Image


I assume that this illumination is of interest to Forum participants, so here is my scan of the page where she discusses it, with her footnotes. It starts in the middle of the page; click on the image to read it:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yKKcj301L0Y/U ... manP12.JPG

None of these illuminations is of Petrarch's Triumphs, as Forum participants recognize; they are part of a tradition illustrating his De viris illustribus. Yet the iconography relates to the Triumphs theme.

Another bonus is Callman's reference to a cartoon for a tapestry, at the very end of the page I scanned, continuing onto the next, as follows:
In tapestries the Triumph of Fame was paired with the Triumph of Death (29), which it conquers, but this would be too morbid a combination for a wedding celebration.
Footnote 29 reads
29. A. Warburg, 'Flandrische Kunst und florentinische Frührenaissance. Studien', Jahrbuch der preussischen Kunstsammlungen, xxiii, 1902, p. 247, mentions that Giovanni di Cosimo de' Medici sent a cartoon of a Triumph of Death and a Triumph of Fame to Bruges to have a tapestry made, but does not give his sources.
This cartoon, morbid or not, would seem to be on the theme of Petrarch's Triumphs. I wish she'd given a date! Perhaps Warburg does. After 1438, Giovanni was running the Ferrara branch of the Medici bank (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_d ... %27_Medici).

Callman then talks briefly about Matteo dei Pasti's letter to Piero di Cosimo de' Medici about "what type of mantle Fame should wear and whether she should be accompanied by knights and maidens or only by famous old men", noting of Matteo:
He does not say in what medium it was to be but it may have been for a tapestry. Whatever Matteo's sources (in Venice, I presume), they differed from Apollonio's and the north Italian tradition of the Paris manuscripts in that the carro was pulled by four elephants and not horses.
Apollonio di Giovanni, she says, began work on his manuscript illustrating the Triumphs the year after Matteo. Callman's reference for Matteo is A. Heiss, Les Médailleurs de la Renaissance, vol. iv, Paris, 1883, p. 17 n. 1. The rest of the chapter is mostly about Apollonio.

Re: Collection "How Petrarca became famous" (till 1450)

#24
mikeh wrote:
Callman also gives us a couple of bonuses. First, here is her plate 25, a Triumph of Fame, c. 1420-1430, tentatively attributed to Giovanni dal Ponte, a Florentine (larger at http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xlbf6GdiYPk/U ... anPL25.JPG):
Image


I assume that this illumination is of interest to Forum participants, so here is my scan of the page where she discusses it, with her footnotes. It starts in the middle of the page; click on the image to read it:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yKKcj301L0Y/U ... manP12.JPG

None of these illuminations is of Petrarch's Triumphs, as Forum participants recognize; they are part of a tradition illustrating his De viris illustribus. Yet the iconography relates to the Triumphs theme.

Another bonus is Callman's reference to a cartoon for a tapestry, at the very end of the page I scanned, continuing onto the next, as follows:
In tapestries the Triumph of Fame was paired with the Triumph of Death (29), which it conquers, but this would be too morbid a combination for a wedding celebration.
Footnote 29 reads
29. A. Warburg, 'Flandrische Kunst und florentinische Frührenaissance. Studien', Jahrbuch der preussischen Kunstsammlungen, xxiii, 1902, p. 247, mentions that Giovanni di Cosimo de' Medici sent a cartoon of a Triumph of Death and a Triumph of Fame to Bruges to have a tapestry made, but does not give his sources.
This cartoon, morbid or not, would seem to be on the theme of Petrarch's Triumphs. I wish she'd given a date! Perhaps Warburg does. After 1438, Giovanni was running the Ferrara branch of the Medici bank (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_d ... %27_Medici).

Callman then talks briefly about Matteo dei Pasti's letter to Piero di Cosimo de' Medici about "what type of mantle Fame should wear and whether she should be accompanied by knights and maidens or only by famous old men", noting of Matteo:
He does not say in what medium it was to be but it may have been for a tapestry. Whatever Matteo's sources (in Venice, I presume), they differed from Apollonio's and the north Italian tradition of the Paris manuscripts in that the carro was pulled by four elephants and not horses.
Apollonio di Giovanni, she says, began work on his manuscript illustrating the Triumphs the year after Matteo. Callman's reference for Matteo is A. Heiss, Les Médailleurs de la Renaissance, vol. iv, Paris, 1883, p. 17 n. 1. The rest of the chapter is mostly about Apollonio.
Nice finding, MikeH.

The picture (Fame 1420s-1430s) is said to be (perhaps) from Giovanni dal Ponte, who is "under suspicion" to have been a playing card producer (also not confirmed).
Yes, a famous-persons-Fama only.

Giovanni di Cosimo di Medici as banker in 1438 in Ferrara surely should have had some relation to the council in Ferrara (just 1438). It's a question, if he still was banker in Ferrara 1439.
Pero Tafur in his visits to Ferrara notes, that the bankers had left the city, when the pope was gone.
I LEFT Padua and travelled along the canals, and since that country is very close to Venice, they collect the water into lakes, some of fresh and some of salt water, but these lakes have a very evil smell, and they call them the marshes, and when in speaking the Italians wish to refer to anything as noxious or stinking, they liken it to those marshes. On drawing near to Ferrara, they told me that the Pope was wishful to depart, and it was so, and on arrival I found the Pope preparing to set out for Florence. As soon as I arrived I waited on the Emperor of the Greeks, who rejoiced greatly to see me again, and I saw also the Pope's progress which was in this wise. All the archbishops, bishops, and other prelates and clergy, went on foot in procession with the crosses. Then followed the cardinals on horseback, staffs in hand, in order of precedence, and after them came twelve horses with crimson trappings, one bearing the umbrella, one the chair and another the cushion, and so on until the end. The last horse was covered with brocade, and on a rich silver saddle was a casket containing the Blessed Sacrament. This horse had a silver bell, and two prelates led it by the reins. Then came the Pope himself, upon a horse with crimson trappings. He was vested as for Mass, wearing a bishop's mitre and giving his blessing on one side and the other, while men cast coins into the street, so that those who picked them up might gain pardons. This was done to prevent the crowds from pressing upon the Pope, whose horse was led by the Marquis of Ferrara and the Count of Urbino.

It was rumoured that the Duke of Milan was lying in wait to capture the Pope, so that the Marquis escorted him that day to a hermitage a mile from there with a great company of armed men, making it seem that the Pope was travelling with troops to one of his cities, where he had arranged great festivities. But in fact he rode with him in a different direction, and in two days brought him safely to Florence. They say that for this service, and others that the Marquis did, the Pope reduced the tribute payable by the Marquisate to 3,000 ducats, and confirmed all its privileges, as appears in the Bull which the Marquis had engraved in stone and set up in the great church at Ferrara. I remained two days in Ferrara and desired to depart, and I could not do otherwise than go to Florence, for all the banks were closed and the bankers had gone away.

http://trionfi.com/pero-tafur-ferrara-milan

[Added later: Generally one has to smile, that the 17-years-old Giovanni di Cosimo di Medici in 1438 shall have had managed greater banking deals in Ferrara in 1438. Likely he assisted Lorenzo de Medici the elder to get some banking experience and being introduced to other personalities of some rank, connections, which might be of value in the future.]

Giovanni di Medici had (later) some stronger relations to the art dealer Bartolomeo Serragli and Bartolomeo Serragli seems to have traded with Trionfi cards from Filippo di Marco (1453-58) ... the most expensive of the Florentine cardmakers, in the recorded income comparable to the recorded sales of Trionfi cards of Gerardo da Vicenza at the Ferrarese court.
http://trionfi.com/filippo-di-marco

The tapestry of Bruges activities likely also belong to a later time. Giovanni was 5 years younger than Piero.

*****************
It was a suspicion, that Filippo di Marco might be a brother to Giovanni di Marco (= Giovanni dal Ponte), but it couldn't be confirmed.
It was another suspicion, that an Antonio di Dino, who owed money to Giovanni dal Ponte in 1428, was the cardmaker Antonio di Dino, who worked for the silk dealers in Florence, but this was definitely another "Antonio di Dino".
So none progress with the question "Was Giovanni dal Ponte a cardmaker or not".
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Collection "How Petrarca became famous" (till 1450)

#25
Thanks for your information about Giovanni del Ponte and Giovanni di Cosimo de' Medici, Huck.

Another issue brought up by what Callman says is that of how early the animals associated with the six different triumphs became part of the iconography of those figures. She says about Matteo dei Pasti's letter to Piero di Cosimo de' Medici (I quoted this earlier):
Whatever Matteo's sources (in Venice, I presume), they differed from Apollonio's and the north Italian tradition of the Paris manuscripts in that the carro was pulled by four elephants and not horses.
Looking at MJ Hurst's Triumph images on Wikimedia Commons, I don't see any elephants until 1465, Dominico di Zanobi in Florence. Callman (p. 13) mentions another example, later than 1441, from Milan, given to Francesco d'Antonio de Cherico, in Milan Biblioteca Trivulziana, cod. 905, illustrated in G. Caradente, I trionfi nel primo rinascimento, Turin 1963, pl. V. I have already mentioned this series briefly myself, at viewtopic.php?f=23&t=390&start=20#p6467; according to Mariani Canova, they are from 1456. Yet elephants apparently were already part of the imagery for this Triumph in Northeastern Italy by 1441! This suggests to me that at least in Northeastern Italy, there was already a tradition of illustrating the Triumph of Fame with elephants rather than, as in Milan's and Florence's earlier, illustrating the De viris illustribus, with horses.

To be sure, elephants were associated with triumphal processions already in classical literature (Diodorus, Pliny, Athenaeus); they were associated with the legendary first triumphal procession, by Dionysus returning from India (from which the word "triumph" derives, from "thrambos," the Dionysian triumphal hymn). But I doubt that an artist would have read this material (only Pliny was in Latin); he would have had to be directed by a humanist--and not Cosimo, since Cosimo hadn't specified the animals. Another possibility is that they were part of a tradition illustrating Scipio's triumph, again not something Matteo would come up with on his own.

Another question is whether Piero in 1441 requested the six Petrarchan Triumphs or only the one Triumph associated with the De viris illustribus. In the latter case, Matteo's letter wouldn't count as showing an awareness of the six Petrarchan Triumphs as a subject for visual art. Matteo seems to be asking only about one illustration.

And finally, even apart from Petrarch, what is the iconographic tradition before 1441 about the other five types of creature pulling carts? Petrarch himself has horses pulling Love's cart; that would have been well known, as the Love/Chastity group was circulating even before he thought of writing the others. The others, in Petrarch's poem, didn't even have carts. Chastity is associated with unicorns already, we know from Flemish tapestries and medieval stories. I don't know of any pulling carts, and in the CY and PMB, we see horses pulling the Chariot, in conformity with the De Viris illustribus tradition. However, it is easy to imagine an artist deciding to give each Triumph its own animal. In that spirit, it easy enough to associate the four creatures of Ezekiel (bull, lion, eagle, angel) with the Triumph of Eternity, as eventually was done in the late 15th century--there was already a tradition for associating them with Christ. But where did oxen get associated with Death, and reindeer with Time?

Note: I have corrected the second to last paragraph since I originally wrote it,

Elephants

#26
I have made some slight progress on the elephants in the Triumphs of Fame, thanks to some scholarly essays. First is Dorothy Shorr, who gives us a quote from Matteo de’ Pasti’s letter to Piero de’ Medici in 144 (“Some Notes on the Iconography of Petrarch’s Triumph of Fame”, Art Bulletin 20:1 (1938), p. 107):
I do not know whether you wish the seated lady in a long skirt or whether in a cloak, which I should prefer. All the rest I know how to go about doing, namely, four elephants to draw the car. Nor do I know whether you wish maidens and soldiers to follow or merely famous men of old.

She says the letter is to Cosimo de’ Medici; that is somewhat misleading: it is to Cosimo’s son, Piero di Cosimo de’ Medici.

In any case, it is clear here that he is intending to draw a Triumph of Fame, since we have the conventional seated lady and the car, after which are famous men of old. The elephants are, at this early date, an innovation, since earlier Triumphs of Fame merely had horses. But is it one of several, to illustrate the Trionfi or just the one?

Lynn White, Jr. ("Indic Elements in the Elements of the Iconography of Petrarch's Trionfo della Morte," in Speculum 49:2 (April 1974), pp. 201-221) favors the idea of just one (p. 208f).
...in 1441 Matteo de'Pasti says that he has painted for Piero de'Medici an apparently isolated Triumph of Fame in which the chariot was drawn by four elephants (42). [Footnote 42: Easling and Muentz, op. cit., p. 136. Contrary to the opinion of these authors, this picture is not extant; see Weisbach, "Petrarcha," p. 276. Roberto Weiss's recovery of a lost version of the Trionfo della Fama does not assist our search; see his Un inedito petrarchesco (Rome, 1930).

The works cited are Prince d'Essling and Eugene Muentz, Petrarch, ses etudes d'art, son influence sur les artists, ses portraits et oeux de Laura, et l'illustration de ses ecrits, (Paris, 1902), and Werner Weisbach, "Petrarcha und die bildende Kunst," Reportorium fuer Kunstwissenschaft , xxvi (1903).

Actually, we don’t know from the letter if he actually carried out the commission, or even if it was a painting as opposed to a tapestry. White's opinion is that it was an isolated Triumph of Fame. If so, it would not necessarily be in connection with Petrarch's Trionfi, since this isolated Triumph was a feature of illuminations to his Viribus Illustratus.

However Francis Ames-Lewis (“Matteo de’ Pasti and the Use of Powdered Gold”, 1984, relevant page at http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2 ... 1481514303) says that Matteo did indeed do six Petrarchan Triumphs:
It is clear that these were representations of the Trionfi of Petrarch, since Matteo de’ Pasti wrote that his depiction of the Triumph of Fame included, as in Petrarch’s own description, four elephants.
I wish Ames-Lewis had given a quote or line-number for Petrarch. I have looked several times in his Trionfi and have found no reference to elephants (in Italian, elefante)—or even to Fame being seated on a chariot.

Ames-Lewis even knows what book Matteo was illuminating: a Canzione now in Paris, which “almost certainly formerly belonged to Piero de’ Medici.” Ames-Lewis continues:
Unfortunately the full page illuminations of the Triumphs themselves, which are a standard feature of quatrocento Florentine Petrarch manuscripts, have all been cut out of Bibl. Nat. MS ital. 1471 and are now lost.

I was not aware that full-page illuminations of editions of the Canzione--a different work from the Trionfi--standardly contained illuminations of the six Triumphs in that period. I wish he had given an example.

Then there is the question, where did the idea to put in elephants come from, given that preceding Triumphs of Fame had horses? It is not clear from what I have seen of the letter that Piero suggested them. Ames-Lewis says that Matteo resided in Florence and only briefly was in Venice:
It is not clear from his letter why Matteo was in Venice while working on the Petrarch manuscript, but it may seem that he had to leave Florence due to some misdemeanor, for he wrote “...I warmly beg you to forgive me for what I have done, because you know I was forced to do so. Resolve the matter as you wish...”
If he learned his trade in Florence, elephants might have been a Florentine tradition. The quotation from the letter, however, does not indicate where he moved from, if indeed that is what he had been forced to do. Frustratingly, I am not able to verify Matteo’s whereabouts before Venice. He was born in Verona c. 1420 and is documented for 1444-1446 in Ferrara (http://www.answers.com/topic/matteo-de-pasti, citing Oxford Grove Art; http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matteo_de%27_Pasti). He then moved to Rimini, where he did a portrait medal for Malatesta (Wikipedia article just cited) with an excellent elephant on the verso. He worked with Alberti on the Malatesta Temple in Rimini and died there 1467-1468 (British Museum website, note for Alberti’s “winged eye”, de’ Pasti’s most famous work).

So it is just as likely that he was working in Ferrara before Venice. Italian Wikipedia notes a portrait medal of 1440 (unconfirmed elsewhere); he would likely have learned his technique in Ferrara, where Pisanello had brought it.

Also, Ferrara (unlike Florence, as far as I can determine) had a manuscript of the Trionfi from before 1441: according to Wilkins (“Manuscripts of the Canzione and the Triumphs in American Libraries,” Modern Philology 45:1 (1947), p. 24): his item 27 is a manuscript with both texts (CT, in his abbrevation, for Canzione plus Triumphs):
Howard L. Goodhart, New York City. 1432-1434: Ferrara and Venice. (Footnote: This MS was finished at Ferrara on October 14, 1432. It is bound with other MSS, most of which were written by the same scribe. (See the Census.)

I looked to see if Ames-Lewis’s various claims have been questioned in the literature. All I found was endorsement, in the Oxford Grove reference just given and also in an article based on a Princeton Ph.D. dissertation (“The Medici-Touranbuoni Desco da Parto in context,” Metropolitan Museum Journal 33 (1998), by Jacqueline Marie Mussacchio). Mussacchio says that Ames-Lewis “has presented a convincing case” (p. 150, note 66).

But for me the question remains: why elephants? White, writing in 1973 (long before Ames-Lewis), does not cite Petrarch but instead says that elephants offer three virtues relevant to Fame, as they were seen at that time: first, an excellent memory; second, a long life, up to 300 years, according to the Florentine Brunetto Latini; and third, the propensity to trumpet, since trumpets are associated with the iconology of Fame. Here is White:
I can find no earlier medieval stress on this trait (45), but the intention of some of our artists is clear. In Lorenzo Costa's great Triumph of Fame painted in 1488-1490 in San Giacomo Maggiore of Bologna, Fame herself is blowing a small trumpet (46) that by its shape seems to echo the trunks of her elephants. In a miniature in Milan, Biblioteca Trivulziana, codex 905, fol. 182v, the intention of the artist, Franesco d'Antonio del Cherico, is unambiguous: one elephant at least is clearly trumpeting, and in the margin two heads and a putto are blasting with horns shaped like elephants' trunks (47) (fig. 2). Obviously, no animal is more appropriate than the elephant for this particular iconography.

White's reference for the picture is the book by Caradente that I referred to in my last post, plus Catarina Santoro, I codice miniati della biblioteca Trivulziana (Milan 1958), p. 81. Here is White's fig. 2:

Image

According to Canova, whom I cited in my last post, this was one of six specifically for Petrarch's Trionfi, done in Milan in 1456. I myself can't make out what the elephants' trunks are doing. Perhaps someone can make the image clearer, or has a better image. White does not seem to be aware of the various references in classical literature to elephants in triumphal processions. Trumpeting elephants in Milan, if we could see them, would be of interest not only for understanding the iconology of the Petrarchan Triumphs, but maybe also of the Cary-Yale's lady with the trumpets, done not long before.

Mussacchio shows us a Florentine Triumph of Fame with elephants, which she says is dated to c. 1450. If so, it is earlier than the Milan; but is not clear to me why that date should be chosen, as opposed to, say, 1450-1460. (Her footnote 65 cites G. Landolfi, “’I Trionfi’ petraresche di Palazzo Davanzati: un esersizio di lettura iconografica”, Antichita viva 32 (1993), pp. 5-17.) The elephants don’t seem to be trumpeting.

Image


Mussacchio says of this panel (p. 144):
An intriguing group of four curved panels attributed to Scheggia also illustrates Trionfi. In this case, there is an individual panel for the Triumph of Love, Fame, Death, and Eternity (65). These panels, dated to about 1450, probably made up part of a piece of furniture that has since been dismantled.

Scheggia (1406-1486), also known as Giovanni di Ser Giovanni, is the artist who did the Triumph of Fame birth tray for Piero (on the occasion of Lorenzo’s birth) in 1448 or 1449; it is without elephants (http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1995.7)

Mussacchio has no trouble explaining why there are elephants on the panel:
The white-robed figure of Fame is surrounded by a mandorla and seated on a chariot, which is pulled, as Petrarch specified, by elephants.
Ah, yes, that elusive Petrarch reference!

Looking at 16th century Triumphs of Fame, it seems clear that some artists by then did make a connection between elephants and trumpets. A French or Flemish tapestry, for example, gives the elephants a trumpet-shaped proboscis (reproduced in “The Triumphs of Fame and Time,” by James J. Rorimer, Metropolitan Museum Bulletin 35:12 (Dec. 1940), p. 242).

Image


But this is later, not at the beginning.

So much for the literature on the Petrarchan elephants. Not much is resolved. At least I got to post a few new pictures.

Cows, bulls, oxen, and buffaloes

#28
Thanks, Steve. That's one of White's sources; it's good to have it available. I see that trumpet-like trunks (as in the trumpets of Fame) were drawn even in the 13th century, at least in England. Unfortunately most of the illustrations are English.

I turn now to the animals associated with Death: horses, cows, bulls, oxen, and Indian buffaloes.

Here Lynn White, Jr.’s essay, “Indic Elements in the Elements of the Iconography of Petrarch's Trionfo della Morte," (Speculum 49:2 (April 1974)), is quite helpful. He presents an impressive survey of the medieval figure of Death, and before the 14th century finds no animal whatever associated with Death besides the horse, which he says is the “pale horse” of the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse. It would have been logical for the illuminator, having painted white horses for Love, to have painted black ones, or perhaps pale ones, for Death. And indeed in 1414 Bologna (I get the date from another source) that is just what we see, horses that White says are colored light violet and pink (p. 212) in the first known illustration of Petrarch’s Trionfi.

Image


Yet in 1442 we see what appears to be oxen (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: ... -death.jpg).. What is the history of that animal's association with Death?

In 1323 Amiens, France, White finds Death riding a cow.

Image


Of this figure he says:
The motif must have been known before 1323, because in the missal of St John's Premonstratensian Abbey at Amiens, illuminated in that year, among the many fantastic and grotesque figures
in the margins appears Death wielding a spear, carrying a coffin, and riding a very uddery cow (fig. 192).73 No artist would have produced such a lampoon if his audience had not already known the motif of Death riding a bull or ox.
However another scholar (Lilian M. C. Randall in “Originality and Flair in an Early Fifteenth Century Book of Hours: Walters 219,” Gesta 20:1 (1981), p. 238) gives a different explanation of this figure:
The subject of Death riding a bull appears in an amusing variant in two marginal drolleries in a Missal for Amiens dated 1323. In these earliest known Gothic images, the illuminator Pierre de Raimbaucourt may have been inspired by the Fourth Rider of the Apocalypse sculpted in a voussoir of the Last Judgment tympanum at Amiens Cathedral.
But White notes that the bull or ox continues to appear in French illustrations of Death:
In 1340,
Jehan de la Mote's Voie d'enfer et de paradis, speaks of a corpse mounted on a "boeuf chevauchant moult lent." (74) There are other such occurrences, both in literature and art. (75) (Footnotes: (74) Comte A. de Laborde, La Mort chevauchant un boef: Origine de cette illustration de l'Office des morts dans certains livres d'heurs de lafin du XVe siecle (Paris, 1923), p. 16, n. 5... (75) Ibid., pp. 15-21, or his "Origine de la mort chevauchant un boef dans les livres d'heurs de la
fin du XVe siecle," Comptes-rendus des seances de l'Academie des inscriptions et belles lettres (1923),
pp. 100-113; Liliane Guerry, Le theme du "Triomphe de la Mort" dans la peinture italienne (Paris, 1950), p. 37.
Finally in the new century we have Death on an Italian bull. White continues (p. 215):
All are northern, however, until soon after 1415 (78) when Lorenzo Monaco, in a panel of the predella of the high altar of Santa Croce in Florence,showed Death astride a bull charging furiously in pursuit of a mounted and fleeing victim (fig. 13). (Footnote 78: Georg Pudelko, "The Stylistic Development of Lorenzo Monaco, II," Burlington Magazine, LXXVI (1939), p. 77 and Plate Ia.
Here is White’s fig. 13:
Image

From here it is a short step to the oxen pulling Death’s cart in 1442. But what is the connection between bulls and Death? White theorizes that Christian missionaries to Central Asia came into contact with Buddhist monks, who told them of the Hindu god of death Yama riding a water buffalo. Returning to France, the missionaries then told their fellow monks, who used ordinary bulls.

This theory seems to me rather far-fetched. Besides the improbability of Christian missionaries caring that much about Hindu images to pay attention to them, remember them and tell their illuminator brothers, why would an illuminator decide to use such a pagan image?

The other theory, mentioned by both White and Randall, is that Death and the bull were associated in Christian imagery. Randall points to an image in a Book of Hours (Walters 219) done 1410-1420, either by an Italian artist in France or an Italian-trained French artist (due to both French and Italian motifs). Death riding on a bull (upper left of the illumination) intrudes on a garden party of people enjoying themselves. The accompanying text is from Psalm 123:3, “forte vivos deglutissent nos” (p. 238).
Image

But this does not explain the bull.

It seems to me that the bull would have been associated with Death in two ways. First, the bull’s horns suggest the Devil; it is not only Death that is to be feared, but eternal damnation. The horned animal is a reminder of that fact. Second, bullfighting was practiced then (at least in France and Spain), and even apart from that, the bull was a death-dealing animal. White mentions the first of these reasons, but rejects it because at that time “to a Christian, death is a rite of passage that is indeed a crisis but that it inherently neither good nor evil” (p. 212, n. 59). True enough, but death is when unchristian living reeps its reward, making it all the more fearsome.

It is now a small step from Death on a bull, once we have the motif of a cart pulled by animals, to Death’s cart pulled by bulls (as in http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: ... -death.jpg). The association would have been reinforced by illustrations to Dante’s Purgatorio X.56, which showed the Ark of the Covenant on a cart pulled by oxen, which, according to II Samuel 6:6, Uzzah steadied and was struck dead for his concern (mentioned but rejected by White, p. 211, although he describes a Dante illustration in which two brown oxen pull a cart bearing the ark, while Uzzah lies dead and the accompanying priests and Levites are calm).

Then in 1450 there is another change, which White seizes on. The oxen appear to be replaced by Indian water buffaloes (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: ... -death.jpg). Such creatures were actually ubiquitous in Italy at that time; Pisanello drew it, c. 1430:

Image


White does not say how Indian buffaloes are to be distinguished from oxen, but it is presumably by their long horns that go straight back but can protrude forward if the head is lowered enough.

White argues that Florentines knew that the Hindu god of death rode a water buffalo and adjusted their depictions of Triumphs accordingly. There were any number of Italians in India, one of whom in particular, the Venetian Niccolo de’ Conti, came to Florence in about 1444 and dictated his adventures to Poggio Bracciolini, who included it in his De varietate Fortunae. It does not appear that the item about the water buffalo is there, because White would surely have quoted it. He says only “Niccolo was the kind of man who might well have known that Yama, the Hindu god of death, was associated with the buffalo, a beast common in Tuscany” (p. 219). But I can well believe that Indian buffaloes would have made a fine addition, in Petrarchan illustrations, to unicorns (which White says are of Indic origin) and Indian elephants.

Re: Cows, bulls, oxen, and buffaloes

#29
mikeh wrote: Here Lynn White, Jr.’s essay, “Indic Elements in the Elements of the Iconography of Petrarch's Trionfo della Morte," (Speculum 49:2 (April 1974)), is quite helpful. He presents an impressive survey of the medieval figure of Death, and before the 14th century finds no animal whatever associated with Death besides the horse, which he says is the “pale horse” of the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse. It would have been logical for the illuminator, having painted white horses for Love, to have painted black ones, or perhaps pale ones, for Death. And indeed in 1414 Bologna (I get the date from another source) that is just what we see, horses that White says are colored light violet and pink (p. 212) in the first known illustration of Petrarch’s Trionfi.

Image

I know two pictures from the 1414 Bologna version and I had the opinion, that there were only two. I identify this not as Morte, but as Fame.

http://www.bildindex.de/obj00074106.html#|home

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=868&p=12922&hilit=1414#p12922
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Collection "How Petrarca became famous" (till 1450)

#30
Thanks, Huck. I'd forgotten about that image. I think you're right: it's a Fame with horses, and a Death with no animals at all.

I have one animal left, those that draw the chariot of Time. I called them reindeer, but I suppose it would be better to say they are stags. White says simply (p. 209),
...the chariot of Time is drawn by the swiftest of creatures, the stag (48). (Footnote 48: Weisbach, "Petrarca," p. 283.)
The reference is to Werner Weisbach, "Petrarca und die bildende Kunst," Repertorium fuir Kuntswissenschaft,
xxvi (1903),

The connection of swiftness to time is of course its fleetingness, which allows it to triumph even over Fame. Petrarch himself comments (http://petrarch.petersadlon.com/read_tr ... en):[quote]
An arrant vanity it now appeared
To set one's heart on things that Time may press,
For while one thinks to hold them they are gone.
Therefore let one concerned about his state
Take careful thought, while yet his will is free,
And set his hope on that which will endure.
How swiftly Time before my eyes rushed on
After the guiding Sun, that never rests,
I will not say: 'twould be beyond my power...[/quote]
Thus:
And Time dissolves not only visible things,
But eloquence, and what the mind hath wrought.
And fleeing thus, it turns the world around...
But where is it said that the stag is the swiftest of creatures? I thought the unicorn was, which is why it could only be caught by a virgin. Perhaps Weisbach can tell us. In any case, stags are swift enough to work as an analogy for time. Yet I haven't seen medieval references to their exceptional swiftness, or their association to time in art, verbal or visual, before the 1442 Triumph of Time by Apollonio.di Giovanni (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: ... 5-time.jpg).

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