Hello Mike, the teapot is not “adding a few years on both sides of 1444-1447”. Your teapots are here:
“We can't yet rule out that the CY or something like it was a betrothal present, before 1435. We especially can't rule out that a CY-type deck had been around for years, and the CY and Brera-Brambilla are two examples of that type, to be sure with different numbers of suit cards and different styles of swords, maybe even a different number of trumps.”
1) A teapot deck: "something like" the Visconti di Modrone deck which was a betrothal present created before 1435.
2) A a whole teapot class of decks, of which the Visconti di Modrone and Brambilla decks "are two examples", ”with different numbers of suit cards and different styles of swords, maybe even a different number of trumps”.
I realized that I might not have understood the "teapot" fallacy. So I read up on it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot
. His 1922 is a product of logical positivism. His 1958 statment seems to reflect pragmatism. I'm not sure which version you are referring to; numerous other authors have their own versions, all slightly different. Russell's is in the context of religion. Here is the 1958
I ought to call myself an agnostic; but, for all practical purposes, I am an atheist. I do not think the existence of the Christian God any more probable than the existence of the Gods of Olympus or Valhalla. To take another illustration: nobody can prove that there is not between the Earth and Mars a china teapot revolving in an elliptical orbit, but nobody thinks this sufficiently likely to be taken into account in practice. I think the Christian God just as unlikely.
I don't know how this applies to statements about human history of several centuries ago, as I don't know what "taking into account in practice" mean in that area. I don't agree with Russell that it applies to religious statements, as they are made in an entirely different context than statements about, say, physics. There is even a question of what "taking into account in practice" means when going from physics to psychology. Also, "taking into account in practice" varies from society to society. In the erly Renaissance, "taking into account in practice" in relation to religion meant considering whether you would run afoul of the Inquisition. Aside from such worries, it made no practical difference whether the earth revolved around the sun or the sun revolved around the earth. Then for a time it made no practical difference whether one believed in Newton or Einstein. Then came bombs.
For us, "taking into account in practice" might mean, "has a bearing on how we do research." Certainly, if a fact has no bearing on our research, we don't need to consider it (unless, of course, it has to do with the men's Olympic beach volleyball competition in 2012--look it up if you don't get my meaning). But surely statements about a range of dates in which the CY, or a CY-type, was made, does have a bearing on our research: e.g. on whether we need to consider such things as a marriage in 1428 or manuscript-completion projects initiated around then, or we should focus on the conflict between Florence and Milan in 1440.
Russell also has a 1922 statement invoking the teapot, but it is rather long, and it would take a while to explain its conversion it into a principle. He is again poking fun at religion--on dubious grounds, I think.
Perhaps, Marco, you can give me a link to something that explains how "Russell's teapot" applies to what we are doing. I am always ready to learn something new, if I can understand it.
When I said "we can't rule out that the CY or something like it was a betrothal present, before 1435" I was giving some small credence to Kirsch's dating of the CY Love card as "second quarter of the fifteenth century." I consider Kirsch something of a middle-sized giant in the field of Visconti and Sforza miniatures. So, to use Hurst's image, I sometimes like to climb on the shoulders of giants and report the view from up there, even though such heights make me uncomfortable. I prefer it when experts give reasons for their attributions; for me they are like the rungs of a ladder connecting me to the ground, where I feel more comfortable. That's why I said "or one like it".
When she says "second quarter of the fifteenth century" I interpret that as meaning that she is pretty sure the date isn't outside that range; and within the range, she can't say where one year might be more probable than any other. This is all relevant to her knowledge. She is a specialist on miniatures, not on playing cads. However it seems to me that hand painted playing cards are miniatures, too, so her opinions are worthy of consideration.
I take Kirsch as saying she would bet some small part of her reputation that the card wasn't made earlier than 1425 or later than 1450. Why such a wide range? While she doesn't discuss the card itself, she does give arguments for Filippo being interested in other marriage-related miniatures starting in 1427, as I stated. That tells me something of her thinking.
I am not sure how much of her professional reputation Sandrino would bet on the range 1443-1447. That depends on the context in which she said it, and the arguments she uses. I hope I can read what she says. Perhaps there was information that she knew that Kirsch didn't know. so that she could give a narrower date range for that reason. Or perhaps she was just less cautious. Or art historians' date ranges mean something different in Italy than in the US. It is hard to say, without knowing the context in which she makes the dating.
I myself tend to use "possibly" a lot, and give wide ranges for dating. Even when there is a date on a manuscript, I don't assume that the miniatures in that manuscript were of that year. They could have been done earlier or later, since the scribe is a different person from the illuminator. The date might also refer to when the author completed the writing, and he's someone else entirely. For example, there is the manuscript of "Dvx" Galeazzo Maria, showing him on the throne, dated 1464! (You can see it at http://eo.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dosiero:Ga ... _1464_.jpg
). It seems to me that the amount of relevant information we don't know about this period (I mean the 14th-15th century) far outweighs what we do know. With patience, perhaps some of it can be reconstructed from the known. But it is one thing to admire the rigorous methods used by art historians in reconstructing, say, Giotto's lost "Vanagloria" in Milan (I just read the amazing article by Gilbert); but playing cards just weren't considered as important as Giotto frescoes. While we can try to emulate art historians' efforts, our own field can probably not be as rigorous or well funded. We can unearth valuable facts (some of them in books published since 1900) and make valuable speculations nonetheless, including both sides of a contradiction (e.g. speculations about 1438-1440).
Also, Marco, I apologize for misinterpreting you. I thought you were saying that a 1441 wasn't a "teacup" date (of the kind you say "1431" is). I thought I knew what that meant; I see now that I didn't and don't. And I see now that you were just citing Kaplan for consideration. I cited Kaplan on this same point on Dec. 15 at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=906&p=13212
), although it's in a different thread. I didn't draw any conclusions either. Phaeded and I talked about the fountains and the quinces (not pomegranates, we decided) in the CY several times in the present thread, and nobody asked where they came from, so I didn't cite Kaplan again. I tend to have many citations in my posts and think I should reduce their number, if only because they are so time-consuming. I have been focusing on making sure I give citations for things that can't be looked up easily on the Web. I will try to do better to link what I say in one thread with what I said in a related thread a week or two earlier. I have been getting lax about that.
Phaeded: On Pisanello. First, about the medal of Filippo and the rider. That's been brought up several times on this Forum, I forget when, but the Forum's search engine will tell you. I first mentioned it on this Forum in 2009, but I don't think I had the rider image then. Thanks for showing it.
I think that the artistry of the medal is better than that of the Filippo coin that Huck posted, but similar in quality, given the small size, to that in the cards. That's why I'd like to see the 1442 coin mentioned by Berti. Since Pisanello was in Milan 1440-1441, this is important.
But Pisanello was also in Lombardy in 1424-1425, doing frescoes at Pavia of hunting and fishing, per Wikipedia. It's a pretty safe bet that there were pictures of horses there that anyone could make copies of. The frescoes don't exist now, of course. I noted earlier that a greyhoud in Pisanello's sketchbook was quite similar to one in a Giangaleazzo Visconti manuscript (now in Paris, hence then at Pavia). (I can scan the two if you need to see them.) So I don't think it's safe to say that the sketchbook only goes back to, say, 1430 . The same sketchbook has dresses and flamboyant hats similar to the CY's in it (see next link). People usually date these to c. 1430, but they don't say the range of the "c.".
As far as Pisanello influencing the artist of the CY, I first brought that up in 2009, at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=365&p=4604&hilit=Pisanello#p4604
. It was brought up later, 2010 I think, by someone who hadn't looked to see if there was an earlier discussion. For all I know, people brought it up before me, on forums now archived. I've thrown around Pisanello's name several times in the present discussion. Since Phaeded quotes from the thread where my 2009 discussion appears, I didn't think I needed to cite it, unless there was a good reason.
As for the miniature you reproduce, it is by "Pisanello school," not necessarily Pisanello. We don't know where it was done. Perhaps Milan, perhaps Ferrara, perhaps elsewhere. He traveled a lot "c" 1440; and where his "workshop" was I have no idea. And "c. 1440" only tells us about the manuscript, and maybe this illumination, not about the components of the image, which would have come from a sketchbook/modelbook. If it's Pisanello, we can only give a range, starting 1424. Your image, which I assume reminds you of the CY Love card, reminds me of another illumination:
Some of the information in the book I got it from is pretty speculative, I think (although stated as fact), but I will post it if you first make a guess as to who the artist or workshop was--and more importantly, why you make that attribution. The artist's name associated with it is not obscure. You might come up with a better answer than the book.
Actually, you don't have to guess. But I'll give you a few days if you want to try. It may or may not be relevant, but hey, they're cute together.