I don't think anyone disagrees with the close resemblance between the Lancelot of the Lake illustrations of c. 1445 (attributed to B.Bembo) and the CY deck, so could either one of you explain how the CY deck could celebrate events decades before or after c. 1445?
Well, if I understand you correctly, here's my short answer: It's not hard for a 1445 deck to celebrate an event that happened decades earlier: it's called a commemoration, i.e. a celebration of something that happened a while back: years, decades, centuries. It's also not hard for a 1445 deck to celebrate something that will happen decades hence, as well as commemorating an event that occurred 1445 or earlier: you simply wait until the event you want to celebrate, and make a copy of the c. 1445 work. I will explain the techniques they had for copying later in this post.
Now the longer version. At the end I reproduce Welch’s essays, for reference.
First let me explain how commemoration was done. In those days, commemoration was done by imitation and repetition. A writer commemorated his favorite Latin author by writing in his style; he could commemorate his favorite author in Italian at the same time, by placing his composition at the anniversary of the date the previous author's work was placed, Easter Sunday, for example. Similarly, when Bona and Galeazzo had themselves painted as Anna and Joachim, they were commemorating at least one previous Visconti marriage as well as their own, one that had also been portrayed as Anna and Joachim. (I say "at least one" because the marriage of Anna and Joachim was a theme of Francesco and Bianca's as well, in e.g. a 1464 fresco sometimes attributed to Bembo.) Why would they do so? It was a continual imperative for the Sforza to present themselves as inheritors of the Visconti (as you are aware, Phaeded). They still didn't have their Dukedom from the Emperor, and the nobility of Lombardy and Europe still regarded them as usurping commoners. To be sure, imitating is not the same as duplicating. And by 1468 times had changed; perhaps no one any longer cared about the ornate gold of the CY, or had the skill or the fingers to do the job. But Galeazzo Maria was just capricious enough as to require such a feat. Here is what Welch says about Galeazzo's taste. The artist he is referring to is Bonifacio Bembo. Emphasis added:
The artist was probably popular with the Sforzas for his ability to imitate and repaint earlier works commissioned by the Viscontis. He usually worked with associates and a strong individual style was not encouraged. Bembo, Bugatto, and Poppa were criticized by Galeazzo Maria Sforza for not fully integrating their separate manners in the frescoes in S. Giacomo fuori Pavia.
The last part gives us a clue as to why it is hard to say whether something is one artist or another. I will get to techniques for duplicating cards later.
The CY could also have been done before the 1440s, as early as 1427 or so. The painting of frescoes (mostly lost), for which Bonifacio is chiefly credited, involves different skills from the painting of miniatures. Miniaturists and fresco painters even belonged to different guilds, although I don't know that that would have prevented an artist from doing both. I don't know why Kirsch dates the CY Love card to the "second quarter of the 15th century." But if such an artist did the CY, the Brera-Brambilla, and the Lancelot, and Bonifacio or some other was skilled in continuing the same graceful style for the Sforza, the earlier artist could have been active from the 1420s to at least c. 1445, and probably supervising others after that. We don't know who he would be. In 1986 (The Visconti-Sforza Tarot Cards
, p. 12) Dummett could seriously entertain (without agreeing or disagreeing) the possibility, advanced by Algeri in 1981, that Zavatarri did the CY, the BB, and the Lancelot; his dates of known activity go from 1417 to 1453 (p. 13). With Welch, I am merely shifting the hypothesis to an unknown artist--or artists--of the Bembo workshop. For example, there is Bonifacio's father, active from 1425 to 1449. And for the period after c. 1440-1450, there is also Ambroxio Bembo, about whom little is known except a 1450 drawing in an account book that begins with his name, very much in the style of the CY and the Lancelot (see Welch article; I thought I posted this Ambroxio drawing somewhere, but I can't find it now or remember where I found it).
Dummett admits that "there is little attributed with certainty to Bembo, save the frescos in the Cavalcabo chapel in the church of S. Agostino in Cremona" (p. 12). If Welch's survey of scholarly opinion is accurate, Dummett is wrong about the frescoes in the Cavalcabo chapel; what is certainly by Bonifacio, Welch says, are the fresco portraits in the chapel of SS Daria and Grisante of that church. The Cavelcabo frescoes have "little in common" with the two portraits, Welch says. But when Dummett says there is "little attributed with certainty" to Bonifacio, he is right.
It used to be thought that Bonifacio could not have painted the CY because Filippo would not have entrusted such an important task to an artist just starting out (Dummett raises this objection in 1986). Welch even gives “fl. 1447-1478” for his dates. However in looking at other Visconti commissions, I see that they clearly did give the work of painting miniatures to artists just starting out: Michelino in 1403, Belbello
in the 1420s. Probably it was cheaper that way.
On the other hand, there is no indication, other than the cards, that anybody in the Bembo family ever worked for Filippo Visconti. In an undated letter, Bonifacio recollects that he supported Sforza in Reggio Emilia and Brescia in 1447 (Welch on Bonifacio, first sentence). Whether that implies that he had worked for the Visconti but wished to display his loyalty to Sforza I leave to others.
Perhaps Bonifacio did do the CY and the other work attributed to him. In that case, the CY would probably have been painted (or painted first) in the 1440s, because Bonifacio would have been too young earlier. Yet it could still be a copy, with adjustments and variations, of an earlier deck now lost, and so commemorate marriages or betrothals of an earlier time as well as celebrating either a marriage or a christening in the present. Since they weren't anticipated to be collectors' items, these earlier decks would not have been saved by later generations. Perhaps they weren't as fancy. Or they were destroyed because of bad memories (as Marie of Savoy might have had).
I am back again to copying; so now I will focus on that. We need to look at how artists' workshops functioned at that time; they relied on model-books. The technique is explained briefly by Frances Ames-Lewis in Drawing in Early Renaissance Italy
, chapter 4. Here are a few sentences:
Most medieval working drawings were probably made on prepared wooden or wax tablets. Very few drawings made on loose sheets of paper or parchment before the fifteenth century survive...
The late Gothic model-book stemmed from the tradition of the medieval pattern-book, and had similar functions...Like medieval pattern-books, however, they contributed to the spread of forms and motifs by the process of copying, which was a regular part of the activities not only of the apprentice but also of the artist who wished to increase the range of exemplars for transfer to finished works. Few of the studies found in model-books were done from life; most are copies of other drawings which themselves may have been at several removes from the original model...
A bear in the Bergamo model-book, for example, reappears almost line for line in Giovannino de' Grassi's Book of Hours for Giangaleazzo Visconti.
In the 15th century, parchment was used rather than wood or wax. In that century, too, model-books gradually got replaced by sketch-books. An artist would make preliminary sketches for himself, either from life or from other work, in preparation for later work. Ames-Lewis gives Pisanello as an early example of the sketch-book artist. A later example might be Duerer, in a work we discussed over on the Unicorn Terrace. He actually traced part of an engraving by the Sola-Busca Master (per art historians) into his sketch-book and enlarged upon it with the idea of making an engraving of his own. Art at that time was changing from being a collective and anonymous effort to being the expression of an individual artist known in his own right, albeit without copyright protection. The signature at the bottom of a work was changing from being that of the head of the workshop, certifying its origin from that workshop, to that of a single artist claiming that his personal artistry is responsible for the entire process (not, however, that he himself did the entire process: artists had assistants, and making woodcuts was a trade that Duerer hired out).
At this time in Lombardy—and even in the time of Galeazzo Maria, we have seen--individual differences were not prized: there is little to distinguish the frescoes of the Zavatarri from other work of the time (and from the Bembo under Sforza, who were considered good at imitating outmoded styles, Welch says). That is not to say there weren’t differences. I notice that the same graceful style of the portrait of Filippo in the Visconti Hours
appears in the cards and the Lancelot--as opposed to, say, the miniature of Francesco Sforza and Bianca Maria that I posted earlier, or the one work that is agreed by all to be the work of Bonifacio Bembo, their portraits from the Chapel of Daria and Grisante in Cremona. But these differences might also just be different styles of one artist—or workshop!
In any case, card-makers would have continued to use model books throughout the century. The Bembo workshop's use of model-books in the 1450s is discussed in Dummett's article "Six XV-Century Tarot Cards: Who Painted them" (Artibus et Historiae
28, No. 56, 2007, pp. 15-26), p. 22. First, he discusses the various copies of the PMB, produced later in the century. The PMB is the deck he calls the "Colleone", while the CY is what he calls "Visconti di Madrone":
Art historians have given much attention to the three hand-painted Tarot packs generally attributed to Bonifacio Bembo. None, to my knowledge, has paid any attention to the many other fragments of such packs that can be associated with Milan or with Lombardy generally. Among these sets, several (about a dozen) contain, or wholly consist of, cards copied from the Colleoni pack, sometimes reversed, sometimes with the original orientation; one of these, consisting of four cards, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum. (38) In most cases, the inclusion of one or more cards copied from the Colleoni pack provides the only ground for associating the pack from which the set is derived with Lombardy. In every set which includes a card illustrating one of the trump subjects for which the six supplementary cards were supplied, that card is invariably a copy of the corresponding supplementary card, showing that the card was copied from the Colleoni pack as we have it (save for not lacking the four cards that are now missing). It is always the Colleoni pack that is copied, never the Brambilla or Visconti di Modrone pack. This fact demands some explanation, but I know of no art historian who has adverted to it, let alone explained it.
I'm not sure what he means by "not lacking the four cards that are now missing" from the PMB. It is often said that none of the copies has the Tower or the Devil. Another feature of the copies is that the heads on the court cards, especially the kings, are noticeably different from on the PMB. I speculate that it reflects a difference in who they were for or when the cards were made, in the way that British currency changes according to the reigning monarch: the king cards are reminiscent of Lodovico Maria. See below, for the King of Cups in the Biedack, PMB, and von Bartsch versions (Kaplan vol. 1 p. 105 and 101 for the first and third)
These cards really deserve to be looked at by anyone interested in how hand-painted decks were made. Here is the World card, in the PMB, Bomoni (Kaplan vol 2 p. 23), and Guildhall (Kaplan vol. 1 p. 104) versions.
I don’t know how the "reversed" copies were made. Was it by means of an optical device, such as a camera obscura? After the 1450s, I would expect that device to have made its way to Lombardy from either Florence or Flanders: the contemporary British artist David Hockney has pointed out signs of its use in paintings in those two places from c. 1430. According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockney%E2 ... lco_thesis
), the camera obscura was described in the 13th century by Roger Bacon and again by Leonardo da Vinci in his notebooks 1478-1512. A reversed image is projected against an opaque surface, which can be reversed again through the use of a mirror. Then the image can be traced if paper is put on the surface illuminated.
Or perhaps there was no optical device, but just someone good at reversed images, like there are people good at writing backwards. Such talents would have been useful in making woodblocks. However the reversed copies were made, they are quite close to the original.
Dummett then offers an explanation for these PMB-type decks:
From a letter of 1451 from Bianca Maria Visconti to her husband Francesco Sforza, asking him to send to Sigismondo Malatesta, lord of Rimini, a pack of Tarot cards of the kind made in Cremona, which he had asked for the previous autumn, we may infer that Cremona was especially renowned for hand-painted playing cards of this kind. [Footnote 39: Gregory 1940 [Winifred Terni de Gregory, Bianca Maria Visconti, duchessa di Milano], p. 157, quotes this letter, asking the Duke to send to Sigismondo Malatesta a pack of "carte da trionfi de quelle fatte a Cremona", together with a straw hat, another speciality for which Cremona was famous. She quotes it again in Gregory 1958 [Pittura artigiana lombarda del Rinascimento], p. 32, where the phrase is given slightly differently as "quelle carte da trionfi che se ne fanno a Cremona".] Sandrina Bandera, in the catalogue to the Brera exhibition of the three packs by Bonifacio Bembo, emphasizes the production by the Bembo workshop of paintings and of decorated objects of all kinds; she also stresses the use by such workshops of "sketch-books" containing standardised motifs which could be used in different works. [Footnote 40: Bandera 1999, pp. 16, 26.] Almost all of the fragmentary sets are probably authentic, and if the packs from which they derive were painted in Cremona, it thus seems likely that in the later XV or early XVI century the Colleoni pack was held in Cremona, and was available for artists to copy from. It must have been given to the city by some member of the ducal family who had a particular connection with Cremona.
Dummett has in mind Bianca Maria, of course. I do not know how firm this conclusion, that the deck itself was available for copying, should be. It depends on how detailed and faithful the images in the model-books (or the sketch-book for that particular product). The workshop would have kept sketches, models, and instructions in case the patron wanted another copy but wanted to keep the original in the meantime, or in case the deck was lost or stolen. (And in case of regime-change, they might make some easy money on what would have been considered unauthorized copies.)
It seems to me that there would have been a similar process available in the case of the CY, although more freely done. One deck could beget others. And the styles could be extremely similar; any differences in style from one artist to another, in the same workshop, could perhaps, in this period of greater collectivization, be undetectable. Also, heraldics could be added and subtracted as required by the commissioner.
An example of this looser style of copying might be in the CY Charity card: the suckling child resembles Bartolomeo’s 14th century Grammatica.
A similar but looser copying generates the PMB additions to the CY from Giotto’s Virtues and Vices series in Padua, so as to add negative cards to the CY’s positive ones.
So there are various ways in which the CY or an earlier version of it could have been done in the 1420s or 1430s, or as a later version in the 1460s, based on known techniques of the time. For us, it is a matter of tolerating the existence of the unknown--artists as well as decks and other artworks--in relation to theories we are disposed to disagree with as well as to those we do not (my variation on a Bertrand Russell quote, http://thinkexist.com/quotation/what_a_ ... 38995.html
). And let me be clear: I am not giving a theory as to the origin of the tarot: I am only to 1427-1431, and that is only halfway to 1410.
Addendum: Welch's Bembo entries in the Grove Dictionary of Art
(1996, but with 1992, 1998, and 1999 bibliographic entries added to the electronic edition) do not seem to be widely read by the tarot history community. So I give two of them below (omitting the one on Benedetto), for research purposes only. In the article on Bonifacio, the word "Sforza" in the second line of the paragraph beginning "Mulazzani" should undoubtedly be "Visconti". There are a couple of notable omissions in her survey of the literature. She does not mention Algeri; nor does she mention an insightful essay about the so-called "Longhi Triptych"by Edith Kirsch in 1995: "Bonifacio Bembo's Saint Agostino Altarpiece", in Studi di Storia dell' Arte in onore di Mina Gregori
, pp. 47-50. Kirsch argues in much more detail for the interpretation Welch adopts (without, however, discussing the attribution question).
Italian family of painters. At least nine artists with the name Bembo were active in Cremona between 1425 and the end of the 16th century. The two best known, (1) Bonifacio Bembo and (2) Benedetto Bembo, were the sons of Giovanni Bembo (fl 1425–49), a master who worked both in his home town and in Brescia. Another son, Andrea Bembo, also a painter, became a Brescian citizen in 1431, and a further member of the family, Ambrosio Bembo, is recorded in Cremona in 1450. (3) Giovan Francesco Bembo is thought to be the nephew of Bonifacio.
M. Caffi: ‘Di alcuni maestri di arte nel secolo XV in Milano poco noti o male indicati’, Archv Stor. Lombardo, v (1878), pp. 82–106.
C. Bonetti: ‘I Bembo, pittori cremonesi’, Boll. Stor. Cremon., i (1931), pp. 7–36.
A. Puerari: La Pinacoteca di Cremona (Cremona, 1951)
G. Lonati: ‘Cremonesi a Brescia nel secolo XV’, Boll. Stor. Cremon., v (1953), pp. 157–72
S. B. Bistoletti: ‘Documenti per i Bembo: Una bottega di pittori, una città ducale del quattrocento e gli Sforza’, A. Lombarda (1987), pp. 155–81
E. S. Welch
(fl 1447–78; d before 1482).
In an undated letter Bonifacio recalled his support for Francesco Sforza’s cause in Reggio Emilia and Brescia during the conflict between Milan and Venice in 1447. By 1455 he was in the service of the Sforza family, although the exact nature of his work is not recorded. The following year he was called to Pavia to carry out a number of commissions, including touching up and repainting a hunting fresco dating from the time of the Viscontis, the previous rulers of Lombardy, in the castle’s great hall. Work was slow and in 1458 the artist was ordered to take on assistants to complete the job more quickly.
Francesco Sforza was eager to emulate his predecessors and their artistic monuments. In the letter referred to above, Bembo mentioned that he had added two figures to a series of baroni in the Palazzo Visconti–Sforza in Milan. The frescoes have disappeared, but later writers recorded the signature and date De Bembis de Cremona 1461. Francesco and Bianca Maria Sforza also commissioned Bembo to produce original work. He provided an altarpiece, erected in commemoration of their wedding day, 25 October, the feast day of SS Daria and Grisante, for their chapel in S Agostino, Cremona. Bembo was paid in 1462 from tithes gathered in honour of the two saints, but in 1469 he was still owed money for the altarpiece. In 1467 he was paid for the high altarpiece of Cremona Cathedral along with the woodworker Pantaleone de Marchiis. This has recently been identified with the Virgin and Child with Angels (Cremona, Mus.Civ. Ala Ponzone). After the succession of Galeazzo Maria Sforza in March 1466, Bembo’s work for the court increased. He was recalled to Pavia in 1468 and worked for three years on secular decorations, including scenes of the Duke and Duchess hunting, dining and performing official duties; he also undertook further retouching of the Visconti frescoes. He may have been involved in similar projects to fresco the Castello Sforzesco, Milan, between 1471 and 1474, but in August 1471 Bembo, who had returned to Cremona to answer persistent law suits, was told that he was no longer required in Pavia or anywhere else.
A year later, however, Bembo was again working for Galeazzo Maria alongside Leonardo Ponzoni of Cremona and Zanetto Bugatto on a chapel outside Vigevano, and in 1473 he directed the work in the newly built ducal chapel in the Castello Sforzesco. The frescoes of standing saints and the Annunciation along the walls as well as the Resurrection in the vault survive, although they have suffered from extensive restoration and repainting. Bembo’s precise role here is difficult to assess; while he showed the Duke drawings for the chapel, several other artists, including Stefano de’ Fedeli (fl 1472–81), who completed a sixth of the frescoes, worked either for or alongside him.
It was common practice in Lombardy to set up temporary teams of artists for such large-scale projects, and Bembo often worked with associates. In 1474 he collaborated with Giacomino Vincemala on a chapel in the church of S Maria da Caravaggio and with Vincenzo Foppa and Zanetto Bugatto on the polyptych designed to hold over 200 relics in Pavia. In 1476 he produced, with Foppa and Bugatto, a large cycle of 21 episodes from the Life of Christ for the church of S Giacomo fuori Pavia. After Galeazzo Maria Sforza’s assassination in 1477, Bembo’s work for the court practically ceased. He was still trying to obtain payment for the chapels in Caravaggio and Vigevano many months after his patron’s death. In 1482 his son Lodovico Bembo, also a painter, was recorded as ‘filius quondam magistri Bonifacii’.
Despite considerable documentation, Bembo’s oeuvre is difficult to assess. His only secure works are two badly damaged fresco portraits of Francesco Sforza and Bianca Maria Sforza, originally on pillars facing the altar in the chapel of SS Daria and Grisante in S Agostino, Cremona. Subsequently transferred to canvas and in ruinous condition, the works now hang inside the chapel. While the two kneeling figures have dry, severe profiles with little sense of weight or depth, the relatively well-preserved head of Francesco Sforza reveals the hand of a competent portrait painter. Details such as the mole on the Duke’s cheek, the folds of his chin and the thin, pursed lips are carefully moulded with shadowy lines.
The earliest work attributed to the artist, the Cavalcabò Chapel in S Agostino, Cremona, has little in common with these portraits. Giovanna Cavalcabò paid for its decoration in 1447, stipulating that the work was to be completed within five years. Although there is no direct connection between Bonifacio and the chapel, his name has been associated with it since Wittgens’s publication (1936). The Cavalcabò artist had a fine decorative style showing the influence of Michelino da Besozzo and the Zavattari brothers. The vault and apse of the chapel contain elaborate frescoes of the Evangelists, the coronation of Christ and the Virgin, and various saints, angels and figures representing theological virtues. Bright colours predominate and the doll-like figures are drawn with thin, curving lines. The hand at work here was prolific and influential. The same highly refined graphic style can be seen in numerous small-scale works such as the illuminated History of Lancelot (1449; Florence, Bib. N. Cent., cod. Palatina 556) and a series of ceiling panels of scenes from the Old Testament (Cremona, Mus. Civ. Ala Ponzone). The chapel of Bishop Carlo Pallavicino in Monticelli d’Ongina (Lodi) shows a similar method of working in fresco. Other related works include several sets of tarot cards (Milan, Brera; New Haven, CT, Yale U., Beinecke Lib; Bergamo, Gal. Accad. Carrara; New York, Pierpont Morgan Lib.).
Mulazzani (1981) attempted to reassess the works attributed to Bembo. Correctly noting that the Brera tarot cards were produced for Filippo Maria Sforza in the first half of the century, he suggested that they, and all other works related to the Cavalcabò Chapel, be given to the Master of the Visconti Tarocchi. The problem has been further complicated by the discovery of a small sketch, in this master’s hand, on the cover of a Cremonese account book. One of the first payments recorded (9 April 1450) is to ‘Magistro Ambroxo de Bembi’. Thus this body of highly stylized work may indeed be associated with this previously unknown member of the Bembo family. Characterizing Bonifacio’s work becomes, therefore, increasingly problematic. Mulazzani assigned the triptych (Cremona, Mus. Civ. Ala Ponzone; Denver, CO, A. Mus.) reconstructed by Longhi (1928) to Bonifacio and centred the rest of the oeuvre on this. According to Mulazzani, Bonifacio was also responsible for the Castello Sforzesco Chapel and for the frescoes (1476) of the Procession of the Magi and the Annunciation in the Collegio Castiglione Chapel, Pavia. But the Longhi Triptych, with scenes of the Meeting of Joachim and Anna, the Adoration of the Magi and the Coronation of Christ and the Virgin, is one of the most problematic pictures attributed to Bonifacio in both style and iconography. Mulazzani’s assessment is based on Bandera’s mistaken belief (1977) that the painting is the altarpiece produced for the chapel of SS Daria and Grisante in S Agostino and can, therefore, be dated to the early 1460s. However, the central scene is not the crowning of SS Daria and Grisante, but a peculiar Cremonese rendition of the dual coronation of the Virgin and Christ. This unusual iconography also appears in the Cavalcabò frescoes, as well as in the remains of a small portable triptych, attributed to Bembo (Avignon, Mus. Petit Pal.). While the Longhi Triptych differs from the small-scale works, many common elements remain. The painting contains much of the Gothic elegance seen in other 15th-century Cremonese works although tempered with a greater sense of spatial depth and highly individualized portraiture.
The problem of identifying Bonifacio’s work arises from the more general difficulties of the nature of Lombard patronage. The artist was probably popular with the Sforzas for his ability to imitate and repaint earlier works commissioned by the Viscontis. He usually worked with associates and a strong individual style was not encouraged. Bembo, Bugatto and Foppa were criticized by Galeazzo Maria Sforza for not fully integrating their separate manners in the frescoes in S Giacomo fuori Pavia. Cremona produced a flourishing school of 15th-century painters, most of whom are known only through written records. Bembo is the best documented of these artists, and the tendency to group these similar works under his name is understandable. But without further investigation, the traditional attributions to Bonifacio should be considered cautiously.
R. Longhi: ‘La restituzione di un trittico d’arte cremonese circa il 1460 (Bonifacio Bembo)’, Pinacotheca, ii (1928), pp. 79–87
F. Wittgens: ‘Note ed aggiunte a Bonifacio Bembo’, Rivista d’arte [prev. pubd as Misc. A.], xviii (1936), pp. 345–66
N. Rasmo: ‘Il codice Palatino 556 e le sue illustrazioni’, Rivista d’arte [prev. pubd as Misc. A.], xxi (1939), pp. 245–81
S. Bottari: ‘I tarocchi di Castello Ursino e l’origine di Bonifacio Bembo’, Emporium, lvii (1951), pp. 110–24
M. Salmi: ‘Nota su Bonifacio Bembo’, Commentari, iv (1953), pp. 7–15
F. Wittgens: ‘Un dipinto ignoto di Bonifacio Bembo nel Museo di Worcester’, A. Lombarda, i (1955), pp. 69–71
R. Longhi: ‘Un cornice per Bonifacio Bembo’, Paragone, lxxxvii (1957), pp. 3–13
F. Voltini: ‘Tre tavolette di soffitto di Bonifacio Bembo’, Paragone, lxxxvii (1957), pp. 54–6
L. Puppi: ‘A proposito di Bonifacio Bembo e della sua bottega’, A. Lombarda, iv (1959), pp. 245–51
A. C. Quintivalle: ‘Un ciclo di affreschi di Bonifacio Bembo’, Crit. A., viii (1961), pp. 45–56
S. Bottari: ‘Una aggiunta al maestro della Resurrezione della cappella del Collegio Castiglione di Pavia’, A. Ant. & Mod., vi (1963), pp. 321–2
G. Moakley: The Tarot Cards Painted by Bonifacio Bembo (New York, 1966)
A. C. Quintavalle: ‘Gli affreschi di Bonifacio Bembo a Monticelli d’Ongina’, Boll. Stor. Piacent., lxviii (1973), pp. 129–33
S. Bandera: ‘Persistente tardo-gotico a Cremona: Fra Nebridio e altri episodi’, Paragone, cccxxiii (1977), pp. 34–72
G. Mulazzani: I tarocchi viscontei e Bonifacio Bembo (Milan, 1981)
M. Boskovits: ‘Bottega dei Bembo [Ambrosio Bembo?]’, A. Lombarda, (1988), pp. 176–7
L. Bellingeri and M. Tanzi: Bonifacio Bembo della Cattedrale al Museo (Brescia, 1992)
L’oro e la porpora: Le arti a Lodi nel tempo del vescovo Pallavicino (1456–1497) (exh. cat., ed. M. Marubbi; Lodi, S Cristoforo, 1998)
S. Bandera, ed.: I Tarocchi: il caso e la fortuna: Bonifacio Bembo e la cultura cortese tardogotica (Milan, 1999)