British Museum comments the picture with this ...
http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/hi ... the_m.aspx
Albrecht Dürer, The Sun, the Moon and a Basilisk, a drawing
Germany, around AD 1512
This small drawing is a fragment cut out of an original manuscript written by the Nuremberg humanist (classical scholar), Willibald Pirckheimer (1470-1530) around 1512. The author was also a collector and close friend of Dürer's. The manuscript was a Latin translation from a Greek text, the Hieroglyphica by Horapollo (fourth century AD). Parts of the text can be read on the verso (back) of the drawing. This text was important in the Renaissance as it claimed to explain the hidden meaning of the sacred symbols of ancient Egypt. It stimulated the creation of emblems in which meaning could be hidden except from those who understood them.
This fragment with Dürer's sketches was the first illustration in the manuscript. The sun, the moon and basilisk (half-eagle and half-serpent, hatched from a cock's egg by a serpent). Together these three symbols represented Eternity.
Dürer's illustrations and interest in this strange manuscript is part of his general understanding of the theory and practice of the art and literature of the classical world. This intellectual achievement marks him as one of the leaders of Renaissance studies in the early sixteenth century.
That's (somehow) the same context, to which Giehlow refers to.
It jumps to my mind ...
Inside my (disputed) Chess-Tarot theory about the Charles VI (given to 1463 in my mental operation) it looks, as if Sun + Moon got as a third element the Fool, which in the Charles VI context should associate Morgante, the giant friend of Orlando, the topic which the poet Luigi Pulci was working on.
The Charles VI has no card for the Magician, and in the Rosenwald Tarocchi it looks, as if in Florence Magician+Fool were merged together to be one figure (Fool with Magician table).
In the following Trionfi tradition we get established the triad Sun-Moon-Star, which seems to have replaced the Caritas-Fides-Spes, which in the Cary-Yale Tarocchi (also suspected to be a sort of Chess Tarot with 16 trumps)
still was present.
Sun-Moon-Star might have been inspired by the 3 holy kings, which in the Medici chapel 1464 were manifested in impressive manner. Florence, as recently researched, had been rather infected with the 3-holy-kings cult.
Now we meet another triad: Sun-Moon-Basilisk, about 50 years later, in the painting of Duerer, but referring to the Horapollo text, who was already present much earlier. The triad shall mean "Eternity", a term, which was used as Petrarca's highest allegory of 6 in the poem Trionfi, which possibly triggered the later production of Trionfi cards.
In the Duerer context another strange animal (first I thought it to be a Basilisk variation) is used to announce the Maximilian Trionfi ... as already shown:
In the Trionfi sequence it's the Fool, who starts the series. Here it's a Griffin, Griphon, Gryphes, Grifon or Gripon ...
The Basilisk is here ..
Another Griffon ...
This is the opening (a sort of impressum) of the Lorenzo Spirito text (lot book 1482), which I discussed in extension some years ago ...
... which shows another Griffin.
Lorenzo Spirito uses a 20x20x20x20 system (20 Kings, 20 in one group of symbols, 20 in another group of symbols, 20 prophets) and this is similar to the Minchiate, which also could be parted in 4 groups of 20 + 16 courts +1 Fool.
It also has (somehow) 40 trumps:
The first six ...
1. SUN ... each of the other members of this group of 20 trumps have a similar scheme around them
5. The GRIFFIN
6. Core, the heart
The full order seems to have pairing structure (1-2, 3-4, 5-6 etc ...). The Griffin would be paired to Core (heart'). I once puzzled:
Luna - Sole (moon - sun) GREAT PAIR
Scorpione - Stella (scorpio - star) ??? death-star ??? mixed zodiac ???
Alicorno - Diamante (unicorn - diamond ring) WEDDING PAIR
Grifone - Core (grifon - heart shot by Eros) EROTIC ??? I don't understand the Grifon
Pesscie - Buve (fish - bull) ... zodiac ???
Cancer - Serene (cancer - sirene) ... both belong to water, mixed zodiac
Cervio - Dragone (stag - dragon) I don't understand
Lione - Cavallo (lion - horse) I don't understand, mixed zodiac
Cane - Porcho (dog -swine) I don't understand
Gallo - Vergene (cock - virgin with unicorn from the right; virgin looks "ordered")
I looked a little bit around and found the Griffin a few times in context of emperor Maximilian. So I would think, that it just is personal heraldic, impresa. As here ...
source: British Museum
Copy of a woodcut of c.1500, showing the coat of arms of Maximilian I as King of the Romans, with five shields surrounded by the collar of the Golden Fleece, the top shield with a black single-headed eagle with a nimbus, above one line with letterpress; on the verso a copy of the arms of Florian Waldauf von Waldenstein, with the shield surmounted by two helmets and crests, surrounded by the collar of the Order of the Swan, with one line of letterpress on the top. c.1517
found at http://lj.rossia.org/users/marinni/3840 ... ad=5476129
... with two griffins.
Another Griffin at the Triumphal arch:
https://www.1000museums.com/art_works/a ... e-striking
So this Griffin likely means nothing specific for the observed triade "Sun-Moon + ????"
Another form of "Sun-Moon in a triade" should be "Helios, Selene + Eos", all three children of the Titans Hyperion and Theia. Well, old Greek mythology. Helios for the day, Selene for the night and Eos for the periods between night and day (morning and evening).