SteveM wrote: ↑
20 Jun 2017, 12:48
Pisanello made several sketches of John VIII Palaiologos during his visit at the council of Florence in 1438, for a medal he was commissioned to make for him (possibly by Leonello d'Este), on one of his sketches:
Thanks for posting this image here again and with the Arab translated - something that quite obviously stood out to Pisanello. We should also recall the Arab in the stained glass window in the Annunziata commissioned by Piero de Medici (http://www.academia.edu/6733333/_Of_Med ... ss_Window_
. What leaps out at me is all of the figures drawn by Pisanello and their similarity to the PMB's "hermit". My inference being that the contemporary "Greeks" had been conflated with the East so that these figures could be stand-ins for "Magi" (again see the Strozzi painting) . What then are the implications for the meaning of this trump, the earliest known one of the "hermit" (did not survive in the CY and I highly doubt it is "missing" - simply was not part of that deck)? The obvious answer that the "hermit" is Time in the PMB (old man leaning on cane with hourglass), still begs the question as to why his headgear and robe speak of the East, essentially in the same way Hermes Trismegistus is depicted in the Sienna duomo pavement:
I think a slightly younger contemporary, Baldini, impacted by the East-West Union in Florence, reveals the connection between garbing "Time" in Eastern clothes - where the allegory is no longer generally "Time", but Saturn:
The same headgear, but on the Prophet Haggai (where Byzantine/Biblical/Magi get conflated in dress, being from the same region; to wit, same headgear on the Phrygian Sibyl):
I've discussed this elsewhere, but Baldini does provide the exact headgear as the PMB "Time" but in the context of the procession of 7 personages. I believe the intent here is to show the standard Florentine interpretation of Petrarch's TRIUMPHUS CUPIDINIS:
See lovely Venus, and with her see Mars,
His feet and arms and neck laden with chains.
Yonder are Pluto and Proserpina.
Behold the jealous Juno, and the blond
Apollo, who once scorned the youthful bow
That dealt him such a wound in Thessaly.
What shall I say? To put it briefly, then,
All Varro' s gods are here as prisoners,
And, burdened with innumerable bonds,
Before the chariot goes Jupiter."
Instead of remaining faithful to the text (and I don't believe a single Quattrocento image of this oft-represented theme is faithful to the text), Baldini chose to show the seven planetary gods, in keeping with his interest in that subject in showing all 7 planetary gods in the context of their "children" (see Saturn above, but he did all 7 planets). Baldini's triumph of love, driving all 7 planetary gods:
How I interpreted this image in the post then (viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1062
Jupiter: the figure wearing an elaborate Byzantine robe and headdress (known since the days of the East-West Union Council in Florence in 1439) is obviously chief among the group and thus Jupiter.
Mercury: the figure preceding Jupiter, wearing the hat of a merchant or artisan (germane to Mercury’s “children”) and cut in half by the edge of the left plate edge, would be Jupiter’s messenger/herald – Mercury.
Apollo: on first glance there is little to choose between the two armored figures, but Petrarch provides the key here: 'l biondo Apollo / che solea disprezzar l'etate e l'arco / che gli diede in Tessaglia poi tal crollo.(“…the blond Apollo, / who once scorned the youthful bow / That dealt him such a wound in Thessaly”). Apollo is cupping a hand to his mouth and yelling up to taunt Cupid per the Ovid story of Daphne, where Cupid repays his taunt by inflicting an insane lust in Apollo for Daphne. In medieval depictions Apollo as often shown robed as a magistrate (such in the planetary series on Florence’s campanile), and we find an abbreviated version of that here in the form
of the mantle about him.
Mars: Mars is always shown armored with a helmet that is usually winged, such as in the illuminated Crivelli Sphaera, just as he is here.
Venus: of the two women it’s not difficult to guess why one of them was granted the favor of riding upon Cupid’s chariot – his mother, Venus.
Moon: Bespeaking to the bovine horns the lunar goddess sometimes wears, the woman who wears the two-horned hennin headdress is Luna.
Saturn: this planet was associated with old age, such as in the Guariento series in the Eremitani in Padua, and sure enough we have an extremely full beard on the male at the top of the frame. But also note the curious, elaborate hat he wears, perhaps also Byzantine; I have looked everywhere for a match of the PMB’s “Hermit”/Saturn’s hat (see the upper right hand corner of this webpage’s screen for that ever-present detail) and have only found it here…in a grouping of the seven planetary gods. Baldini and the Bembo studio must have been referring to commonly-derived pattern books with similar planetary god images, presumably lost (few working source books have come down to us).
After the Union in Florence and the increased exposure to "Eastern" dress, Saturn is also shown as richly dressed, not just an an aged man, often naked, on a crutch, in keeping with notions of the wealthy East, Magi, etc.