Re: Here is a Game of "Prints"

debra wrote:So what are the stakes? The horseman looks rich.
A measure beyond riches and pearls - the horseman's soul; gambling leads to damnation, don't ya know;)

debra wrote: I wondered about the exotic towers on the right. Is that part of the landscape being flooded?
I thought maybe it represented the sea between Christendom and the 'Infidels'.
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: Here is a Game of "Prints"

I'd go along with much of this. I looked at the image last night and the features that struck me:

The Towers: I wondered if this was set in the times of the crusades? Seemed to imply the Muslim world.

The Fool/Devil: I was struck that he had the hoofed legs of the devil. It looks a bit like a face on his belly with the tongue as a penis. I'm struck that he carries a sword, not something I'd have associated with a devil of a fool. I noticed the dice, and thought it would probably represent gambling. I'm not sure what he has in his other hand, it looks like it might be a ribbon from the knight/horse, so perhaps he is stopping the knight, although it doesn't really seem to make sense as to how it would be attached or what it might be.

Knight/horse: I too was struck by the snake like feathers and tassels, and had to zoom in to be sure that it wasn't absolutely the intention of the artist to have it be actual snakes. The knight looks like he has "just entered" the scene. I'm not sure if he is coming into a new land/city through the castle wall, or whether he has just left the safety of it (which seems more in keeping). It looks like a bell at the back of the horse, I'm not sure if it is attached to tassels or to the horse, but it strikes me as odd to see in that place, and on the knight at all. I would assume the association with foolishness. I like the mustache on the knight, it reminds me of Vlad the Impaler. :ymdevil:

Murder Scene: Not much to say, it looks liks someone is about to be clubbed to death. The victim seems to have a nice robe and hat, perhaps a gentleman? I'm not sure why the murderer is committing the crime. They don't look like soldiers fighting.

Additional figure with battle ax: I have no idea.


I would guess that this is some warning about strange and exotic lands, quite possible the muslim world, quite possibly the crusades. Apparently, one will likely meet devils out to trick and fool, murderers, and enemy soldiers.

I am still bothered by the snake like look to the knight, and wonder if it mean Pride or something because it makes me wonder if this guy isn't necessarily a hero?
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Here is a Game of "Prints"

Before I had clicked on the image to enlarge it, I had completely assumed that the rider was meant to have a Medusa thing going on with his head. Even once I did click it took me a moment to see that it really was not meant to be snakes on his head.
"...he wanted to illustrate with his figures many Moral teachings, and under some difficulty, to bite into bad and dangerous customs, & show how today many Actions are done without goodness and honesty, and are accomplished in ways that are contrary to duty and rightfulness."

Re: Here is a Game of "Prints"

Yes, I think you are all interpreting the image as intended at the time . . .
SteveM wrote: My immediate thought is of an anti-gambling diatribe...
R.A. Hendley wrote:That's kinda the way I see it too.
But even more than that, it is part of the carefully crafted control program of the times. It encourages the viewer to form a mental picture that says, ”Beware, outside the hallowed walls of Christendom—evil lurks! Anything that looks foreign, anything that you don't understand is EVIL.”

It is easy to perpetrate atrocities when you can convince people to “get the other guy before he gets you.” There's still a lot of that kind of thinking today.

What I am curious about right now, is those inverted keyhole shaped windows in the towers at the upper right. Does anyone know the derivation of that detail?

Re: Here is a Game of "Prints"

Very nicely done.
I hope this doesn't disappoint people, as it is fairly brief, but here is a summary of the entry in the catalog:

A Warning Against Playing At Dice

Fragmentary sheet, sliced at right.
Clearly a cautionary sheet.
It is difficult to determine the identity of the foreground rider accosted by the demon.
A little further in the distance one presumably witnesses the end that may come to those who gamble.
The verse at the lower left may be loosely translated:
"Evil youths frequently play at dice; see the harm which has resulted from it; as for this game- play and take chances, lose both time and your soul and you will end as nothing; he is wise who does not play the game."

I'll post the next one in a bit, in case anyone has further comments on this one.
I am not a cannibal.

Re: Here is a Game of "Prints"

On the left appears to be mercury with winged feet and caduceus behind Janus with Staff and Key at his table of offerings: above them at the top right hand corner peasants working in the fields and in the right side picture a picture of war. Janus, after whom January is named, has a staff that relates to his role in agriculture (he was made offerings too at the time to seed) and guide on the road; his keys relates to him as keeper of the gates of war, which were open in war time and closed at times of peace. Has Mercury come to Janus as herald (thus with trumpeters behind him) of war, to instruct Janus to 'throw open the gates of War'? The title I notice relates to Paris, and Mercury was often portrayed with Paris in images of the "Judgement of Paris", which ultimately led to the Trojan war... (but I am not sure how that would relate to 'germanicii'), the name Sebastian Brant I recognise as author of the Ship of Fools (and is that word narrē / fool? and nenia / elegy?), and as an illustrator of the Aeneid... an elegy on fools who go to war for 'love's sake'? That is as much as I can say of the top of my head, without going a hunting on google.
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

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