Re: Collection: "3 Magi" and "3 theological virtues"

#31
Considering life and time of ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonaventure
Franciscan, (1221 – 15 July 1274), interestingly canonized by Pope Sixtus IV in 1482

... it's difficult for me to compare his evaluation of the theological virtues as dominant for the virtues iconography of 15th century.
Especially as the Franciscans preached against playing cards. Pope Sixtus had been a Franciscan, and so it was natural, that an older Franciscan became canonized by him.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Collection: "3 Magi" and "3 theological virtues"

#32
Marco wrote:
I am more and more convinced that the explanation of the Stars, Moon and Sun in terms of the Signa Coeli (signs in the sky) and an End of Times narration (as proposed by Michael J. Hurst) makes sense of this section of the trump sequence.
Here is a 15th century example of an Apocalypse done for the Duke of Savoy – nothing similar is reflected in the PMB trumps:
http://www.library.arizona.edu/exhibits ... /15_07.jpg
Hell, Time/Saturn doesn’t even hold a grapes of wrath scythe, a traditional symbol of that classical god that would have been most fitting in a supposed apocalyptic context, as does God Himself in the Savoy illumination I just linked. Again, where are the seven candles, any of the the strange beasts, etc.?

Oddly, the putto holding the PMB Sun mask does have a relationship to Revelations but it is based on a Visconti tradition that has appropriated that imagery for their own personal “apotheosis” and does not address the events of the End Times per se; Kirsch on the relevant Visconti illuminations:
The attributes of the Madonna on folio 109v in Lat. 757 (Fig 26)...The sun behind the Christ child in this miniature is associated not only with the infant Savior but also, in conjunction with the silver crescent moon on the step of the throne, with the Virgin as the Woman of the Apocalypse, "clothed with the sun" and with the moon "under her feet" (Revelation 12:1). Petrus de Castelletto, the Augustinian friar who composed Giangaleazzo's eulogy, constructed it around yet another attribute of the Woman of the Apocalypse. The Duke of Milan and Count of Virtues, whose ensign in life had been the rays of the sun, said Petrus, would in death receive a radiant crown terminating in twelve stars, each representing one of his virtues; the crown, moreover, would be none other than that described in Revelations 12:1 as belonging to the Woman of the Apocalypse.” (Edith W. Kirsch. Five Illuminated Manuscripts of Giangaleazzo Visconti 1991: 29).
I wrote elsewhere in regard to Kirsch’s insights: “ Finally, its not too much of a reach to see the PMB Sun card as Giangaleazzo’s post-mortem radiant solar crown (conjoined with death mask) held aloft by a putto (but now signifying the apotheosis of Filippo?).“ viewtopic.php?f=11&t=917&p=13644&hilit= ... ead#p13644

Filelfo provides the precise reasoning for such a belated “apotheosis” of Filippo Visconti in his Odes, II.2. First he speaks of Filippo’s hoped for successor, Sforza, and then the need to rectify matters with his father-in-law:
Just as one god alone rules heaven with eternal governance, so may one pious prince who can bring peace to this ruined state preside over the city.
O God, enough penalty has been paid if we have perpetrated a profane wrong, we who recently neglected the funeral rites of the noble Duke Filippo. For we did not celebrate the great prince with proper honors. Pardon us at last and kindly bring help to those who tearfully confess that a crime has been committed (II.2.45-55, tr. Robin, ).
The PMB Sun card is this expiation of guilt/fulfilment of obligation while at the same time follows the Giangaleazzo Visconti precedent of showing the deceased prince in radiate sun.

Your premise, that the sun (and moon and star) primarily apply to “End of Times narration” is still in need of a contemporary context that indicates Sforza, Fiellfo or anyone else connected to that court, with a pronounced interest in the End Times, c. 1451. All they were doing in that time was linking Sforza as closely as possible with the Visconti, not cowering in fear of some imminent End Times (something more appropriate to Savonarola's Florence in the 1490s).
Mikeh wrote:
The [Star] card is not from 1451, as it is by the second artist and in a later style, I think influenced by the Schifanoia, which is especially evident in the Fortitude card's theme from Pietro d'Abano.
No one has demonstrated differing dates for the two groups of cards – just two different hands. Given the speed with which Sforza demanded tarot decks when outside of Milan in 1449 there is no reason to think his impatience waned a year or two later; i.e., the job could have simply been broken up among two artists to get the deck(s) done quickly, thus the trivial differences.; This theory would not rule out Dummet’s own musings of two Bembo brothers involvement. Another option would have been if the commissioner, Sforza, sent a humanist behind the particulars of the written program for this deck (Filelfo in my mind), went to the Bembos’ studio in Cremona to inspect the finished product…and found some of the cards wanting (hence replaced). At all events, to base one’s entire theory (as Huck does in seeing a certain number of cards in one group) on an “original” and “later” group of cards is engage in sheer conjecture on whether they were done at the same time or not; all we know is one group of trumps has minor differences from another group of trumps, but that all subsequent VS decks followed what we must assume became a combined canonical group of trumps. Unless that happened early on (my theory: they happened at the same time), why are there not exemplars from the so-called earliest group of the trumps that were replaced?

BTW: d’Abano was from Padua – one more sign pointing to the strong influence of the Paduan astrological tradition on the PMB, not Ferrara (and Schifonaia was based on the calendar/months tradition).

Phaeded

Re: Collection: "3 Magi" and "3 theological virtues"

#33
Phaeded wrote:
Marco wrote:
I am more and more convinced that the explanation of the Stars, Moon and Sun in terms of the Signa Coeli (signs in the sky) and an End of Times narration (as proposed by Michael J. Hurst) makes sense of this section of the trump sequence.
Here is a 15th century example of an Apocalypse done for the Duke of Savoy – nothing similar is reflected in the PMB trumps:
http://www.library.arizona.edu/exhibits ... /15_07.jpg
Hell, Time/Saturn doesn’t even hold a grapes of wrath scythe, a traditional symbol of that classical god that would have been most fitting in a supposed apocalyptic context, as does God Himself in the Savoy illumination I just linked. Again, where are the seven candles, any of the the strange beasts, etc.?
Hello Phaeded,
I follow Dummett and Michael J. Hurst in seeing three sections in the tarot trumps.
I think that only the third section (above Death) is related to the End of Times. I don't think that Love or Time are particularly related to that theme: they illustrate the vicissitudes of human life. The last trumps illustrate what awaits mankind after Death (this is why they are "after death" in the sequence).

I do not limit myself to the Book of Revelation when thinking of Christian illustrations of the End of Times. For instance I also consider Beato Angelico or Giotto or the different illustrations of Petrarch's Triumph or Eternity. The seven candles are not strictly necessary to illustrate Christian eschatology.

About the topic of this thread: I don't think that the Stars, Moon and Sun in tarot had any particular relation with the theological virtues. This research is useful to me mainly because the texts I found confirm that, in most cases, the triad Stars, Moon, Sun is related to the End of Times. When (as in tarot) the triad is followed by an illustration of the Final Judgement, I find that explanation very convincing.

Re: Collection: "3 Magi" and "3 theological virtues"

#34
Marco wrote:
This research is useful to me mainly because the texts I found confirm that, in most cases, the triad Stars, Moon, Sun is related to the End of Times.
Marco,
The texts upon which you put so much weight should be connected in some way with the place and time of the creation of the tarot in which the celestials appear; they are not attested before the PMB, the PMB is Milanese (even many of the cards previously attested, such as Strength, are idiosyncratic to that Milanese deck) and thus it is not unreasonable to at least find an echo of your texts in that milieu. For instance, I am linking the PMB deck to Filelfo for reasons that are obvious; e.g., dredging up the likes of d'Abano for that obscure PMB Strength exemplar wasn't done by someone outside of Sforza's humanist circle...which was dominated by Filelfo, “a poet who is said, by historians of our own time as well as his own, to have been the cultural dictator of Milan” (Robin, introduction to her transaltion of the Odes, 2009: xxi).

Phaeded

Re: Collection: "3 Magi" and "3 theological virtues"

#35
Phaeded wrote,
all we know is one group of trumps has minor differences from another group of trumps, but that all subsequent VS decks followed what we must assume became a combined canonical group of trumps. Unless that happened early on (my theory: they happened at the same time), why are there not exemplars from the so-called earliest group of the trumps that were replaced?

BTW: d’Abano was from Padua – one more sign pointing to the strong influence of the Paduan astrological tradition on the PMB, not Ferrara (and Schifonaia was based on the calendar/months tradition).
As to when the PMB first and second artist did their work, yes, you're right, it's speculation, including your idea. I think 1450s for the PMB1 and 1470s for the PMB2 but I wouldn't base a theory on it, just maybe a secondary hypothesis (like my Elisabetta Maria Sforza one). Dummett hypothesized 1462-3 for both, which is somewhere in between. The reason the later PMB-type decks follow the designs of the combined cards is that they are later than both artist 1 and artist 2.
My dating of the 2nd artist designs as later is mainly that the painting style shows Ferrarese influence, as Dummett observes. Assuming Benedetto was the artist, the most logical place to have gotten that influence was working on the Schifanoia, which employed many out of town artists. But it could have been a Ferrarese artist. My impression is that the Schifanoia used Pietro d'Abano's text for the decans related to each month; I didn't say he was from Ferrara. I cannot imagine that Filelfo would have remembered d'Abano's description for the 26th degree of Libra, whatever it was (it is not clear in Ross's piece; see http://www.trionfi.com/0/i/r/11.html; the image he found is 1494). But someone with recent access to the imagery (whether verbal or pictorial) and looking for images for memorializing Sforza might have noticed such a thing.

The tower of wisdom

#36
I have another idea for a text on which the order of the theological virtues in the Cary-Yale might have been based. This is the "Tower of Wisdom", a very popular full page illumination that appears in dozens of extant manuscripts in Europe, from the early 1300s through the 1400s. It was part of a larger series called the "Mirror of Theology" (speculum theologiae). A manuscript with a copy of the Tower on f. 1v is part of Pellegrin's Inventory of the Visconti-Sforza Library, p. 277, according to Lucy Freeman Sandler, The Psalter of Robert de Lisle p. 138. She designates it "Italian, late 14th century," but I presume it was owned by the Visconti. It is now BNF ms. Lat. 6169. There was also one in Florence, "Italian, early 15th century"; but it's not clear when it was first there, as one of the books in her bibliography for it is Il potere e la spazio (Firenze e la Toscana dei Medici nell'Europa del Cinquecento), Council of Europe, Florence 1980, figs. on pp. 91-93, 95, 96. Another version, now in Zurich, is given as "Italy, 15th century."

The Tower of Wisdom consisted of 23 levels, all labeled with consecutive letters from "a" going up the tower to "x", i.e. 21 steps (no j, u, or w). There was another level above that, unlettered, and then four guardians above them. At the bottom was the "mother of the virtues" Sapiencia and/or Humilitas (it was usually Humilitas, but here it seems to say "Fundamentum turris sapiencie est"). The cardinal virtues were at level c. Caritas was at level f. Hope was at level v. Faith was at level x. Since one is to proceed in order starting at a, Hope immediately precedes Faith. I expect that it is coincidence that Caritas, called Amor in a c. 1475 version (see last paragraph below), is in the 6th position.

My scan of the illumination as it appears in the De Lisle Psalter, c. 1310, is at http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-URo3y37vpH0/U ... 3Tower.JPG. Sandler's transcription of the words is at http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yLYTnkG0Gwk/U ... ler132.JPG. The illumination is also of interest for its Cardinal Virtues. As Sandler writes of a similar set in the "Tree of Virtues" illumination:
Prudence holds a dove and a serpent at arms' length; Justice holds a palm branch (whip?) and scale; Fortitude, a sword and shield with a heraldic lion; Temperance, a chalice-like bowl (of water?) and a cornucopia of fire.
I'd call it a torch, following Katzenellenbogen in Allegories of the Virtues and Vices in Mediaeval Art. And for Prudence a winged serpent. That whole illumination is at http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-c5EjM4lUmaA/U ... irtues.JPG. (I discuss this Temperance in relation to the Alessandro Sforza card at viewtopic.php?f=23&t=392&p=14581#p14581.) The other Towers of Wisdom that I've seen (http://brbl-archive.library.yale.edu/ex ... isdom.html, http://www.she-philosopher.com/images/g ... 303%29.jpg) don't personify the cardinal virtues; they just have words on columns.

My main reasons for considering the Pavia Tower of Wisdom as a source are (a) that it was, as I hypothesize the CY cards were on a more elementary or children's level, a teaching and memory aid, to ingrain the virtues in the context of a Petrarchan progress of the soul; and (b) it is in a similar medium (painted paper) and so of interest to artists in that medium; (c) it is an ascending sequence toward the goal of favorable judgment by the divine powers, of a somewhat similar number of steps.

An interesting aspect of all the "speculum theologiae" diagrams (13 or 14 of them) is that there seems to be no text corresponding to them. They were devised as diagrams from the beginning, according to all the sources, in France according to Sandler.

The British Museum's image of the De Lisle illumination is at http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminated ... IllID=7124. Another ms. is at http://brbl-archive.library.yale.edu/ex ... isdom.html. Another, c. 1475, is described at http://www.odl.ox.ac.uk/digitalimagelib ... XYL-25.pdf (with "Amor" instead of "Caritas"). An essay by Sandler on the Towers is at http://books.google.com/books?id=3DjXaQ ... al&f=false. Another discussion is at http://www.she-philosopher.com/gallery/ ... ieval.html. A short thread on THF, on the "speculum theologiae" but not mentioning this one, is at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=61.

Re: Collection: "3 Magi" and "3 theological virtues"

#37
Interesting objects, these "Towers of Wisdom".

One of your sources accompanies it with ...
Towers of wisdom in medieval manuscripts feature four columns, four windows, and a set of stairs. After that, however, each document varies, reflecting the whims, artistic sensibilities, culture, and environment of the particular artist. The Tower of Wisdom in Beinecke MS 416, probably produced at the abbey of Kamp near the German city of Duesseldorf, is unique among examples we have consulted. It follows neither the English convention of vertically ordered bricks, nor the French standard of staggered masonry. It appears to be a hybrid, featuring semi-staggered bricks that echo the French style along with the exaggerated staircase that is seen only in English design.
http://brbl-archive.library.yale.edu/ex ... isdom.html

So there are some basic ideas, and then there are (many) variations. So in most parts not an often repeated standard
model (as in later "Tarot"), but a lot of place for creativity for the individual designer (as I suspect it for the early time of Trionfi decks ... :-)... ).

A nice collection.

It seems common to place the 4 four cardinal virtues close to the base (windows or doors), and the three theological virtues embed the steps of the stair from beginning to end, so, that they get central (structuring) meaning.
Is this right?
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Collection: "3 Magi" and "3 theological virtues"

#38
Phaeded wrote:
Marco wrote:
This research is useful to me mainly because the texts I found confirm that, in most cases, the triad Stars, Moon, Sun is related to the End of Times.
Marco,
The texts upon which you put so much weight should be connected in some way with the place and time of the creation of the tarot in which the celestials appear; they are not attested before the PMB
Phaeded,
I am not sure about which texts you are referring to. In my opinion, the main textual sources of tarot were the Bible and Petrarch. It would also be nice to identify the most likely source for the sentence on the Visconti di Modrone / Cary-Yale Judgment trump "Surgite ad Judicium" (arise to be judged): that certainly is a relevant hint. But we are off-topic again...

Re: Collection: "3 Magi" and "3 theological virtues"

#39
Huck wrote,
It seems common to place the 4 four cardinal virtues close to the base (windows or doors), and the three theological virtues embed the steps of the stair from beginning to end, so, that they get central (structuring) meaning.
Is this right?
Based on the four examples I found, the arrangement of the cardinal and theological virtues was always the same: the cardinal virtues were invariably on the second level, in the order, from left to right, Prudence, Fortitude, Justice, Temperance; Amor (which Sandler translates as "Charity" and the Beinecke as "Love") was on the far left of the sixth level (i.e. the bottom of the wall); Hope was on the fourth level from the top, and Faith was on the third level from the top (i.e. it is the top virtue on the wall). However I see that the other nine principal virtues (of the ones on the left wall) did change in the order, and even occasionally their names, just as we see in the case of the tarot, with more variability in the rows. I had not noticed that. Compare the Beinecke at http://brbl-archive.library.yale.edu/ex ... ges/1r.jpg the De Lisle, http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yLYTnkG0Gwk/U ... ler132.JPG; and another at http://www.she-philosopher.com/images/g ... 303%29.jpg. I wonder if there was an "original" order for the Tower of Virtues?

I made a mistake in my previous post: "Caritas" is not on the Tower at all; what is there is always "Amor", on the sixth level, which must have been intended to mean the same as "Caritas". It is only the modern English translation of "Amor" that varies.

Re: Collection: "3 Magi" and "3 theological virtues"

#40
hi Mike,

It seems to me ...
(just following this first example, that you gave)

Image


The word "Caritas" appears in the line below the great field (10x12) and also below the section with door and windows in a sentence together with "Turris sapientia" (marked with "red" by myself ... also I distributed some other "changes" to make the things, about which talk obvious).

The relevant sentence is "mirrored" by a vertical text right from the 10x12 field, which also contains the "Turris Sapientia", but not "Caritas".

Likely one should assume, that the vertical sentence describes the ascending table (12 columns), and that the horizontal sentence with "Caritas" describes the horizontal 10 rows.
Similar one might perceive that at modern tables.

The whole 10x12 table (read from left and from bottom) start with "Amor" (row 1) in the dominant column (painted in red), possibly a synonym or a relative of the word Caritas.

At the last two rows (top rows) we find in the dominant column the word "Spes" (row 11) and also in the dominant column the word "Fides" (row 12).

In the transcription and a Latin, which I can not really read, we have ...

Image


From this I understand, that Caritas is meant as "mother of the scheme" and so outside of it, but it has a representative in the table, "Amor", and Amor opens the table.

Studying the words, which appear in the table, my impression is, that the row of Caritas has lovely words, and the row of Spes has nasty words ("vices" and one should avoid them; so "avoid the bad things") and Fides has mainly the character of "search the good things instead".

Following now the unknown content of the 9 other rows, so it seems, that rows 2-4 are determined by Amor-or-Caritas character, row 5-7 seems to belong to Spes (meeting the bad things of life) and row 8-10 to Fides.

Comparing this with life, one has the "loving things" in youth (1-4), followed by the Spes-world (5-7) and getting a "mid-life crisis" (recommended is Compassio, Misericordia and Clemencia), finding then "Fides-values" (8-10) and finally concentrating in a summary of the preceding experiences Spes (11, avoid the bad things) and then Fides (doing the right things).

Well, then we would have "Spes on a ship in dangerous waters", as recently discussed.

************

The fourth row has "venerare parentes", and the catholic church has as the 4th law of "10 commandments", so possibly the whole is an arrangement, which extended the "10 laws" (likely at row 1-10).

But row 8 has "non occides" (which should be law 5). So likely "venerare parentes" is possibly just accidental on row 4.

The "Cardinal (natural) virtues precede the field with the theological virtues. There is another order connected to 4 values.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

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