Re: Context Counts

#61
mjhurst wrote:
Phaeded wrote:She is either offering up her chastity to her suitor (making herself defenseless against love), offering the charge of protection to her suitor by way of the shield (Sforza to be Filippo’s captain general),
So, contrary to the centuries of pervasive sensibilities and the obvious symbolism of this subject triumphing over Love, you think that this is a Slut Card? Instead of A Bon Droyt there should be a banner reading Do Me Now! Hmmm...
Offering oneself to one’s betrothed does not make one a “slut” (where do you come up with some of this snarky material?). If she were depicted according to the “obvious symbolism of this subject triumphing over Love” then where are the standard unicorns and bound eros such as you posted in the Martini chastity painting? Holding out the shield (embossed with the coin suit symbol) clearly differs from all other Chastity images – the gesture is not meaningless. The only other CY figure to hold a similar shield is the Empress whom signifies imperial sucession that was of utmost importance to an imperial fiefdom such as Milan (in fact the lack of the imperial diploma was to become the bane of Sforza's existence for the rest of his life - only his son was able to acquire imperial investiture).

Ultimately the context and meaning of the CY Chariot comes down to the meaning of the radiant dove emblem and why the Coin suit and Chariot both display that symbol. But there is a further contemporary context and that is the very same symbol appearing on Filippo Visconti’s person in the form of Pisanello’s 1441 medal: “….embroidered on the sitter’s sleeve over his favourite impresa of a dove (Decembrio 1983, p.70 [chap. 30]; Welch 1995, pp 112, 208).” (K. Christiansen, et. al., The Renaissance Portrait: From Donatello to Bellini, 2011: 247). I don’t think any of us clearly understand what the meaning of the radiant dove is at the moment but the CONTEXT does strongly suggests the promise of “succession” - Filippo identities himself with this symbol and his daughter is offering the same in her outstretched arms. All we are sure of is that Filippo’s favorite symbol is both on himself and on what is presumably his chaste daughter (the full symbolism of Chastity is missing in the chariot - eros appears unbound, firing away at the couple in the Love card now that chaste Bianca has been delivered to her betrothed in the act of marriage ), married off to Sforza with the dowry of Cremona. The obverse of Sforza’s own Pisanello medal of 1441 advertises both the dowry of Cremona and that he is now a Visconti. “Gratuitous” indeed.
Image

Phaeded

Re: Context Counts

#62
Phaeded wrote:Ultimately the context and meaning of the CY Chariot comes down to the meaning of the radiant dove emblem and why the Coin suit and Chariot both display that symbol.
Gesture is everything... that and a conventional Visconti device forced into a wedding-deck interpretation. Perfect.

That is a perfect example of taking details out of context and twisting them into a preconceived theory.

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

Re: Context Counts

#63
mjhurst wrote:
Phaeded wrote:Ultimately the context and meaning of the CY Chariot comes down to the meaning of the radiant dove emblem and why the Coin suit and Chariot both display that symbol.
Gesture is everything... that and a conventional Visconti device forced into a wedding-deck interpretation. Perfect.

That is a perfect example of taking details out of context and twisting them into a preconceived theory.

Best regards,
Michael
What you introduced here was the issue of context and then without a trace of irony went off on your own preconceived Petrarchan interpretation: the Chariot, despite having only a single attribute that is associated with Chastity (significantly layered over with another symbol, the radiant sun), is simplistically that and nothing more, despite your inability to explain why the other standard attributes of Chastity - bound eros and the unicorns - are missing (especially where we'd most likely see them; re. the equines).

The immediate and most important context for the only emblem in the Chariot card, the radiant dove, is other uses of it within the deck itself (the coin suit), the only other figure holding a jousting shield (the Empress) and the radiant sun's use by Visconti in a contemporary medal, likely minted in the same year as the CY deck. No, no, only Petrarch is relevant, the dove is only meaningful in terms of its generic meaning outside of Filippo's use of it, etc.. Riiiiight....

Re: Context Counts

#64
Hello Phaeded,
I think the context Michael is talking about is the sequence of the trumps.

A lady trumping Love has been seen as Chastity on the basis of this context alone, even in absence of other specific attributes. For instance, Gertrude Moakley and Robert Place, who wrote about the Visconti-Sforza deck, made this association (and similar considerations have also been posted on this forum). This is the main element suggesting that some Chariot cards could be related with Petrarch's Triumph of Chastity.

What Michael Hust has added is the presence in the Visconti di Modrone Chariot of two attributes that Petrarch explicitly links to Chastity in his poem “I Trionfi”: the shield and the white dove.

When you take these three things together (1. a Lady trumping Love, 2. a shield, 3. a white dove), the identification of this card with Chastity is extremely convincing.

In my opinion, the fact that other symbols conventionally linked to Chastity (such as the unicorns) are missing do not necessarily need an explanation. What must be explained is what is present, not what is absent. Anyway, I think that unicorns are not mentioned by Petrarch, so, if we really want to infer something from their absence, we could conclude that this particular representation of the Triumph of Chastity is closer to the Petrachian text than to other graphical representations.

A thing that I find particularly lovely is how in this card the white dove conveys multiple meanings:

* the Visconti (the commissioners of the deck)
* Petrarch (who was said to have invented the emblem for Giangaleazzo Visconti)
* Chastity (in the poem the white dove is a symbol of “purity”)

Re: Visconti marriage & betrothal commemorations

#65
When considering the appropriateness of positing a Petrarchan influence, if not inspiration, for the Tarot trump sequence, I think we have to remember that it seems, from what we know (us here, that is), that when the sequence was invented some time before 1440 the Trionfi poem was not yet widely known, and the canonical iconography, like that seen on the cassoni and in fully illustrated manuscripts, had not yet been developed. It seems that the reputation of the poem was known, but probably not its details - including, perhaps, the exact number and sequence of the six poems that Petrarch intended. People, like those who commissioned the artists or even the inventors of the game, may have had one or two poems of the cycle, or even just a notion that "Petrarch wrote Triumphs", without knowing anything else. The date of the final, "standard edition", is not yet settled, to our knowledge, is it?

Even if the trump sequence and the canonical Petrarchan imagery from workshops like Apollonio di Giovanni's were inspired, ultimately, by Petrarch's poem I trionfi, both quickly took on a life of their own, they went their separate ways.

So we can't expect that the Unicorn-Chastity iconography would be present in Tarot. It has always seemed a plausible suggestion, to me, that the Chariot following Love represents Chastity (actually perhaps, "Virtue" in general, just as the Petrarchan "Eternity" was more often called, and illustrated as, "Divinity", and Petrrach's Laura was interpreted by Illicino in the 1460s as Reason, which must have been a widely shared opinion - i.e. you can't afford to be too literal about it, when people read and visualized the poem within a broader definition of those concepts). The things that held me back from being firm about it were the lack of the ermine flag and palm frond, both essential attributes of Chastity in the conventional iconography. But it seems possible that the Tarot iconography was invented without even an intimate knowledge of the poem, so that the mere idea that Virtue trumps Amor is enough - and then, the artist/inventor was free to do as he wished.

Another important analogue to the Cary Yale Chariot is the Issy Chariot, which seems to be just about as sumptuous as the Cary Yale. It is attributed to Ferrara, 1450s, because of its obvious affinity with the style of Cosimo Tura.


http://www.rosscaldwell.com/images/visc ... hariot.jpg
(sorry about the quality, it's the best I've got)

I can see her as representing Virtue, hence including Chastity, personified as a young woman with her companions.
Image

Re: Visconti marriage & betrothal commemorations

#66
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: It has always seemed a plausible suggestion, to me, that the Chariot following Love represents Chastity (actually perhaps, "Virtue" in general, just as the Petrarchan "Eternity" was more often called, and illustrated as, "Divinity", and Petrrach's Laura was interpreted by Illicino in the 1460s as Reason, which must have been a widely shared opinion - i.e. you can't afford to be too literal about it, when people read and visualized the poem within a broader definition of those concepts).
From perfect love comes perfect virtue.
St. Augustine

From perfect love (of God and one's fellow man) arises the virtues by which one triumphs over the viscitudes of life towards the perfection of the soul...
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Visconti marriage & betrothal commemorations

#67
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: Another important analogue to the Cary Yale Chariot is the Issy Chariot, which seems to be just about as sumptuous as the Cary Yale. It is attributed to Ferrara, 1450s, because of its obvious affinity with the style of Cosimo Tura.
[Issy image removed]
I can see her as representing Virtue, hence including Chastity, personified as a young woman with her companions.
Ross,
Couldn’t agree more on the Issy chariot – and what of the CVI Chariot and other male charioteers we discussed in another thread? More on that below. But point taken on Petrarchan generalities and the early, undeveloped standard iconography of Chastity; I have conceded the point (belatedly, in regard to initial discussions with Mikeh) that the card most definitely has an aspect of Chastity to it. And Michael Hurst is quite right in seeing the jousting shield as an attribute of Chastity. But once again, the forest has been lost for a tree - what is the larger context?

My point is that the recycling of that attribute has to be understood within the context of Tarot (firstly the CY), not the corpus of Petrarchan images. The specific context is Visconti art commissions in 1441 (Dummett -1986:14 – essentially endorsed the Becker-Kaplan theory of the Bianca/Sforza wedding so I think we can talk loosely of a consensus on that date) which also includes the Pisanello medals. Filippo Visconti had a victory of sorts in pulling Sforza away from the Florentine/Venetian/Papal “holy alliance” - this was the most pivotal coup in his geopolitical goals. He allowed (encouraged?) Sforza to broadcast that fact via Sforza’s Pisanello medal and I believe the reverse of Filippo’s own Pisannello medal definitely shows Venice in the background, with a Sforza lance in the foreground (wearing Visconti’s crest of course). Sforza was to defeat Venice for Filippo. The CY deck serves the same purpose in a different medium (one likely first used by one of his enemies, Florence, and thus serves in one sense as counter-propaganda). Ultimately Petrarch is of no help in deciphering the political message of these medals and cards – the political being the primary meaning (if there is no wedding deck there certainly is no Petrarch deck). So no, the CY is not principally a “wedding deck” per se - although that event “sealed the deal” with Sforza - it commemorates the political alignment of the most successful condottiere of his age, Sforza, with Visconti. The radiant dove on Filippo’s person in the Pisanello obverse is the same image held out by the woman on the Chariot (and is embroidered on all of the women in Coin suit bearing this Visconti emblem) , thus extending the right to the use of “Visconti” to her husband, who in fact does use that name on his own Pisanello obverse. The CY court cards are iconographically a courtly pairing of two sets of coats of arms, the courting ritual itself played out in the trumps, or in some cases, merely endorsed by the trumps. To wit in regard to this last idea, the Empress also has the same shield as Chastity-as-Bianca because the implication of succession – and why else would Sforza finally relent to marry Bianca? – without imperial approval would void any such claim to succession, as Sforza was to find out (the cards would have merely implied the empty promise of imperial succession [seemingly secured via Bianca], far from providing any legal merit - but note the curious dress of the Empress in the PMB: the three interlocked rings device of Sforza combined with the ducal crown/fronds of Visconti - already implying imperial investiture when in fact he would never have it). There is no other reason for the Empress to have a jousting shield other than to connect her to the Chariot and the gesture that the Chariot is making with her shield – offering it to her suitor; she holds out her shield, that should be used against Eros (who instead is above the lovers in the Love card), embossed with the arch symbol of the Visconti duchy at that time, and Sforza thereby takes her “love” and name (and money, in the form of Cremona). If the landscape of the final card of the “world” does not show the dowry of Cremona, with Sforza arriving from the Marche (again, the merger of two family symbols such as we find in the court cards: Cremona=Visconti, Marche=Sforza) then what is it?

Finally, to return to your Issy card: She has zero attributes of Chastity (neither does the PMB with sceptre/orb/crown); ergo, the fundamental meaning of the Chariot is not Chastity. Instead she holds the symbols of rulership (the orb) and justice (the upturned sword). The Chariot’s primary meaning is just rule (the dominion in question usually indicated on the World card), or in the parlance of the Visconti, a bon droyt, scrolled below the radiant dove itself. If you truly believe the tarot subjects were standardized then you must accept the subsequent iterations of the Chariot in addition to the Issy, that also show no attributes of Chastity but rather those of a ruler:
Image
Image

Phaeded

Re: Visconti marriage & betrothal commemorations

#68
the political being the primary meaning ..... The CY court cards are iconographically a courtly pairing of two sets of coats of arms, the courting ritual itself played out in the trumps, or in some cases, merely endorsed by the trumps.......
The Chariot’s primary meaning is just rule (the dominion in question usually indicated on the World card), or in the parlance of the Visconti, a bon droyt, scrolled below the radiant dove itself. If you truly believe the tarot subjects were standardized then you must accept the subsequent iterations of the Chariot in addition to the Issy, that also show no attributes of Chastity but rather those of a ruler........
The whole post, to me is clear and succinct and therefore reminded me of what Guide books say of Lombardy today. I concede the World card is depicting Lombardy- for me, the particulars of place to be thought about. :)
From DK Eyewitness Travel....
Power was seized by the regions two great families- the Visconti and the Sforza of Milan, from the 14th to the early 16th century. These dynasties also became great Patrons of the arts...many of which can still be seen in Bergamo, Mantova and Cremona- not mention Milan itself and environs...Lombardy- famous as the birthplace of Virgil, Montiverdi,Stadivarious and Donizetti and have attracted poets, aristocrats and gamblers for centuries.
Great post Phaeded!
~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

The Chariot in Context

#69
Phaeded wrote:Finally, to return to your Issy card: She has zero attributes of Chastity (neither does the PMB with sceptre/orb/crown); ergo, the fundamental meaning of the Chariot is not Chastity. Instead she holds the symbols of rulership (the orb) and justice (the upturned sword). The Chariot’s primary meaning is just rule (the dominion in question usually indicated on the World card), or in the parlance of the Visconti, a bon droyt, scrolled below the radiant dove itself. If you truly believe the tarot subjects were standardized then you must accept the subsequent iterations of the Chariot in addition to the Issy, that also show no attributes of Chastity but rather those of a ruler.
Here you have finally come close to reason. You are still fixating on details taken out of context, in this case a slogan. But if we change your emphasis a bit then we get to the real meaning of the Chariot. It is not specifically a "just rule", but it is "rule" -- regno, the rising side and top of Fortune's Wheel.

The Love card represents the triumph of Love, a triumph in personal affairs. Likewise, the triumphal Chariot represents Triumph, a triumph in public/civic affairs. This is related to the military aspect of Fame, as has recently been discussed re the Halls of Famous Men, and the precursors of the Petrarchian illustrations, the Triumphs of Vana Gloria initiated by Giotto. This is, as noted a century ago by A.E. Waite, is the triumph which creates kingship, or "rule" as you put it. This is symbolic of the celebrations from ancient times through the Renaissance and even today, with things like the U.S. President's inaugural procession.

Quoting from my earlier post on context, "the figure appears in a complex allegorical composition which outlines the life of man in a rise-and-fall narrative: the Traitor follows great successes (Love and Chariot) and reversals (Time and Fortune), and precedes Death. In this context, the mysterious Hanged Man is no mystery at all. He symbolizes the most archetypal, feared, and condemned downfall of great men, betrayal." Just as the Traitor is an archetypal expression of the fall from power, the Chariot is an archetypal expression of the rise to power.

(As an aside, whether the rule is just or not depends on the order of the cards. If the virtues precede the Chariot, then it is a just rule. If Fortune precedes the Chariot then the triumphator of the story triumphs over Fortune, at least to some degree. Context counts, and the controlling context of these 22 allegorical subjects is their place in sequence.)

This is the generic or synoptic meaning of the trump cycle. Petrarchian conflations like Chastity (in the Chariot card of the Cary-Yale deck) or Fame (in different cards from different decks) are sketchy. As you put it in your brilliant recognition of the bleeding obvious, there are no unicorns! Of course not. If you understand the primary meaning of the triumphal chariot as Triumph, then you should also be able to recognize Chastity as a secondary allusion. Diogenes in his barrel doesn't define the Sun card -- it's a SUN card! Diogenes is simply a famous motif related to the primary subject and conflated with it in one deck. Orpheus at the gates of Hell doesn't define the Fire/Tower card, and so on.

There are primary meanings, which can only be understood IN CONTEXT, and there are secondary meanings which vary from deck to deck. The requisite context includes the sequence of each particular deck as well as the associated context of the many varieties of archetypal decks produced in the first century of Tarot in Italy, along with sensibilities apparent in other works of art, literature, drama, sermons, moral treatises, the decorative arts, etc.

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

Re: Visconti marriage & betrothal commemorations

#70
On the Chastity vs. Dowry theme, it might be worth reading Kirsch. I cited a passage from her as a reason for seeing the CY Chariot card as both dowry and chastity at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=906&p=13355&hilit=Count#p13355. Now I want to look at more of what Kirsch says, as I may not have given enough of it to show the key role played by something that is part of the emblem on the shield, as devised by Petrarch, not presently viewable on the card (although clear enough on other CY cards): the motto "A bon droyt." What is the historical context of that motto? I will let Kirsch speak for herself unedited, however tedious it is for me to type and for you to read (p. 19):
A dove against a blue sky and radiant sun was the personal emblem of Giangaleazzo Visconti, said to have been devised for him by Petrarch on the occasion of his first marriage, in 1360, at the age of nine, to Isabelle of Valois, who, as part of her dowry, brought Giangaleazzo the county of Vertus, in Champagne, together with the title Count of Virtues. A sentiment appropriate to this title--the motto "a buon droyt" (sometimes "a bon droit")--occasionally accompanies the sol-cum-columba motif. which figures prominently in the Florence Psalter-Hours (Fig. 41), the Coronation Missal (Fig. 3) and the Eulogy-Genealogy (Fig. 30), all three indubitably associated with Giangaleazzo (13).

In his Canzon morale fatta per la divisa del conte di Virtu of about 1389, the Visconti court poet Giovanni di Vannazzo explicates the emblem as follows: the radiant sun represents Giangaleazzo's power, reaching out to all; the dove symbolizes humility and chastity; the azure background denotes serenity. Each component, however, carries a second meaning: the sky evokes heaven, "loco del padre," the sun is Christ, and the dove the holy Ghost. (14)
Footnote 13. Petrarch claims to have suggested the device in a letter cited in Storia di Milano, v, 891. The device is described in the letter as "turtuem cum brevi notula a bon droit radiantis solis in medio" [a turtle dove with a short notation "a bon droit" in the middle of a radiant sun]. It is attributed to Petrarch also at the beginning of the poem by Giovanni di Vannozzo cited in note 14 below.
Footnote 14. Vannozzo's poem is published in Le rime di Francesco di Vannozzo, ed. A. Medin, Bologna 1928, 3-14. A bust-length representation of God the Father holding the orb of the universe, with the dove of the Holy Spirit and an enormous radiating sun beneath him, dominates the central window of the apse of the Cathedral of Milan. For the identification of this window motif with Giangaleazzo, see Annali, I, 249. As we shall see below (note 73), the carved boss at the keystone of the ribbing in the apse reiterates the theme of the Trinity.
So the phrase "a bon droyt" is part of the sun-and-dove motif as Petrarch described it in his letter. Kirsch says it refers to the title "Count of Virtues". His right to that title came as part of the dowry of Isabelle of Valois, as the title of the lord of the County of Vertus in France. (In 1387, incidentally he also got another right, to display the fleur-de-lys quartered with his own, in another marriage contract, that between Charles IV's brother Louis d"Orleans and Valentina Visconti (Kirsch p. 61)). (I would have you notice also that in the quote from Petrarch the bird is not a dove, i.e. a "columba", but a "turtuem", a different species with different symbolism; I will deal with this point later.)

Thus the theme of chastity appears at the very dawn of this Visconti symbol, with "a bon droit" implying the dowry, including the title "Count of Virtues" in two senses (as Count and as virtuous).

The association between chastity and dowries is reiterated in later Visconti marriage commemorations--again, the main theme is chastity, but the dowry is just behind the scene, in the context of St. Nicholas. At the risk of explaining the obscure with the obscure, I will start by quoting what Kirsch says about another Visconti device, two interlocking circles (p. 20):
A monogram consisting of interlaced initials and an emblem that has been descried previously as consisting of two interlocking circles or rings (Figs. 9, 22) are the most recurrent emblematic decoration in both Lat. 757 and Smith-Lesouef 22. Footnote: The emblem was described by Toesca as "due cerchi intrecciati" (1966, 131 n. 2). Leroquais (1927, I, 4) characterized it as "deux anneaux entrelaces."
Here are these illuminations (in the links they are larger):
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-OC7EHQcKUCo/U ... g22DET.jpg
Image

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-O4m4j-IlAGA/U ... g9DET1.jpg
Image

And the lady in Fig. 9 made larger:
Image

After other examples and her theory about the monogram (she says it's a G and a V, but that is not critical for us), she says (p. 21f, and I highlight the relevant words):
The emblem in the right hand of the woman in Lat. 757 cannot be the interlocking circles or rings that it has been said to represent. As two small protruding ends clearly indicate, this emblem is in fact a knot. Joseph Krasa has shown that the omnipresent slipknots in the manuscripts of Wenceslaus IV were multivalent christological and imperial symbols that also stood for the bond of love between Wenceslaus and his wife Sophia. (26) I would suggest that the knots in the Paris Hours-Missals likewise signify several concerns of their owners, and that one of these was marriage.

From antiquity to our own time, knots have signified marriage, and in ancient Rome they came to symbolize the chastity of brides. (27) It is not fortuitous that in Lat. 757 the knot is given its most explicitly emblematic setting on the page for the mass of Saint Nicholas, guardian of the chastity of nubile maidens. (A full-page miniature of Nicholas providing dowries for three impoverished women who might otherwise have been condemned to prostitution introduces his mass on folio 363v.) In the lower border of folio 404, at Terce in the Office of Saint Nicholas, a monkey, symbol of lust, is controlled by a ball and chain, presumably under the influence of two flanking knots and a chaste woman in the initial above (Fig. 33). The woman is one of several who appear, only in this office, holding reddish-yellow balls that may allude to Saint Nicholas's gift.
Here is Fig. 33:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NanEJgB2H7I/U ... hFig33.jpg
Image

There is a vague similarity between reddish-yellow balls and the circular object that the woman in the CY Chariot cards holds. I will try to find more examples of this figure, hopefully in color.

I will skip the part where Kirsch talks about knots symbolizing marriage in other art of the time, e.g. the Echecs amoureux, so as to go directly to another Visconti miniature with the same symbolism (p. 22f; this time the word "dowry" does not appear, but we have "acquired" in the context of marriage):
The object held by the heraldic figure on the page for the Mass of Saint Nicholas reappears as gold patterning on the white gown of one of Saint Ursula's companions on folio 380, in the miniature that introduces the Mass for Several Virgins (Fig. 11). If Lat. 757 was made for Giangaleazzo, the young woman whose gown is adorned with gold knots probably represents his bride of 1380, Caterina Visconti (it is even possible that the small book tucked under her arm refers to the smaller version of Lat. 757, Smith-Lesouef 22). Caterina links arms with a woman gowned in deep blue-black, embroidered with Giangaleazzo's principal emblem as Count of Virtues, white doves (here embroidered in pearls) springing from flamelike rays. It seems reasonable to suggest that she represents Isabelle, Giangaleazzo's first wife, through whom he acquired the county of Vertus in Champagne, with which the dove-and-sun emblem is associated. The Duke did after all direct in his will that effigies of each of his wives be placed at the sides of his tomb in the Certosa of Pavia. (30) In the miniature on folio 380, Saint Ursula herself wears a gown embellished with crescent moons, a reiteration of the theme of chastity.
Footnote 26. Krasa, 1971, 99-101. A slip-knotted cloth, like that of Wenceslaus, became a device of Giangaleazzo's son, Filippo Maria.
Footnote 27. On the symbolism of knots in antiquity, a. Pauly and G. Wissowa, Paulys Real-Encclopaedie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft, XVII, I, Stuttgart, 1936, 803f., 808 (s.v. Nodus); C. Daremberg and E. Saglio, Dictionnaire des antiquities grecques et romains, IV, I, Paris, 1977, 88 (s.v. Nodus. Marriage was symbolized in antiquity by the knot of Hercules (also called a love-knot). For examples, see B. Segall, Katalog der Goldschmiede-Arbeiten (Museum Benaki, Athen), Athens, 1938, 32ff, Nos. 29, 30, and many others.
In Italian, the word nodo signified a marriage bond at least as early as the fourteenth century and was used as such by Petrarch (Vocabolario degli Accademici della Crusca, XI, 178 %xxxv).
Footnote 30. Corio, II, 969.

Here is the relevant part of Fig. 11 (you can see the whole at
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-f6Icmjzm0qc/U ... g11DET.jpg)
Image

So we have seen the theme of chastity in Visconti symbolism again, again linked with the theme of the dowry: first the County of Vertus and its title, then Saint Nicholas's gifts, and more weakly (just through the association of Isabella with the other ladies), in the illumination of St. Ursula. I don't think it is a question of which is primary and which secondary. St. Augustine had a theory of levels of interpretation as applied to the Bible. I think that something like that is going on here, from the most material (dowry) to the most spiritual (Holy Spirit).

You may ask, can we expect that whoever the cards were given to would know of these Visconti illuminations and what they meant? I think that the illuminations are merely surviving expressions of associations that people connected with the Visconti and Filippo in particular would have made it their business to know, at their peril.

Now for the bird. The dove as love, in relation to how the card embodies Petrarchan Chastity, it is conventional enough. There is the Holy Spirit as divine love, as I think Michael has remarked. Also, in Marziano's "game of the gods" the suit of Doves was headed by Venus, goddess of love (both chaste and unchaste). Venus's chariot was sometimes led by doves (e.g. Titian's "Venus and Adonis"). But in fact the bird is not a dove, a columba; it is turtuem, in English, turtledove. This bird is the one associated with the motto and the ray not only in the letter by Petrarch, but in a relevant song in French of the time by Johannes Ciconia. See http://books.google.com/books?id=dtE6F3 ... &q&f=false. I owe this reference to Cerulean at http://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.php? ... ostcount=7. For the connection to Giangaleazzo, see the pages in the book before and after.) The two birds had different symbolism. The turtuem was a symbol of faithfulness, i.e. chaste love (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Turtle_Dove). In Marziano's game, the suit of turtledoves was that of "virginities" (or continence, as Ross once translated it), with goddesses Pallas, Diana, and Vesta, and the nymph Daphne.

However, by Filippo's time some saw the bird as a dove, a columba. Marco quotes Decembrio as using that term in reference to the emblem (http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.ph ... ost1987577). If Decembrio got it wrong, others may have as well. Whether Filippo would have made this mistake I don't know. As a dove, the bird symbolizes not only love, but other things relevant to the card, such as peace and innocence ("be ye wise as serpents and innocent as doves," http://bible.cc/matthew/10-16.htm, in Latin "simplices sicut columbæ," http://www.veritasbible.com/drb/compare ... thew_10:16). and peace. According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doves_as_symbols) they are also associated with Christian marriage.

In any case, Love is a strong association on the card in another way. The groom tending the horses would be seen as the same man as on the Love card, and the lady as the same as the lady there. In that connection, otice how the lady's scepter merges with the canopy of the chariot, so that the canopy's border looks like the blade of a scythe. Love is in front of her, and Death is behind, just as Petrarch said.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests

cron