Re: The Precipice

#21
Huck wrote:
Perhaps a change of the run of the river Po ... can this be excluded?

Or an old channel, which is closed now?
You guys are so much better and more experienced at this sort (any sort actually) of research than I am. What we really need is a decent set of 15th cent. Ordnance Survey maps...

Pen[/quote]

... :-) ... however, more probably it seems, that the Certosa had a ring of water around itself for protection. And possibly the picture was made during the installation work ... or it's just phantasy of the painter.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: The Precipice

#22
I've added a bust of Battista Sforza and some information about her to my earlier post on page 1 of this thread, and while doing so noticed a figure holding a broken column on the carriage of Frederico in the other Triumph (below). The figure facing us seems to be Justice, and the little naked one I first thought must be Cupid seems to be holding a wand rather than a bow. The angel with her hands on his head may be placing a crown there - it's difficult to tell even at 200%, which is all the enlargement possible on the website. I think the lady in yellow is holding some sort of stick. Frederico himself is pointing 'Onward' with a cane.



***



Battista's Triumphal carriage is even more difficult to read. Battista herself seems to be reading from a small book (and what is she sitting on?), while the lady in orange facing us is holding a gold chalice and some sort of long rod. The figure in black at the front is holding a white object that looks as though it could be a bird, although that's very much a stab in the dark. There's something very compelling about these paintings (even without The Precipice), and it's good to have some 'real' unicorns here on the Unicorn Terrace...

Here's the double portrait on the other side (from the Web Gallery of Art):


The Montefeltro family in Urbino was Piero's most generous patron towards 1465. The diptich with the portraits of Battista Sforza and Federico da Montefeltro can be dated at the beginning of this period.
NB. Montefeltro seems a far more convincing location for The Precipice and the landscape in these paintings, as well as the background of some PMB cards, than the Certosa di Pavia.

http://tinyurl.com/ybje63k

Pen
He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy...

Re: The Precipice

#23
Huck wrote:Well,

cliffs are at ...

First artist (Bembo cards)
NOT at 0-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 ... 12 and 20
BUT at 13 Death

Second artist (who knew the production of the first)
NOT at 11 ... 21
BUT at 14-17-18-19

so Death with cliff inside the 5x14 is an exception

as a cliff might be considered "dangerous" and death is a dangerous matter ... why not

********
The second artist saw the first production and considered his addition:

sun - moon - star are not reachable for the living - like death, so why not giving them also a cliff

fortitudo (without cliff) - temperantia (with cliff) - prudentia (world, no cliff ... or cliff) ???

Fortitudo is the virtue of soul ... soul doesn't die, so no cliff
Prudentia is the virtue of the spirit ... spirit can't die, too, so no cliff
----
Temperantia is the virtue of the body ("put some water in the vine, that's better for your health") ... body can die, so it gets a cliff

Well, Prudentia has a cliff, but it's in the circle around the castle ... :-)

That might be the idea, at least it has some logic .... but I wouldn't bet on the probability, that any other painter, who used the cliff symbol had the same idea, at least some simply wanted to paint the border of water, or had other ideas.

Another question:
The 4 persons Papessa-Empress-Emperor-Pope have a special bottom, which is repeated by some court cards, but not all.
I've to say, I was careless ... I didn't find good graphics. But now I've them.

The Fool has the cliff, as already noted.
But, very small also the Magician.
And Love has it , very small
And the wheel has it, very small.
And the hanging man has it, more extended.

The 4 noble persons have it not, the chariot, justice and the hermit and the judgment and from the 6 added cards only Fortitudo not (World-Prudentia has it in the center).


When we follow the old sequence and identify cliff = risk

... we have (small) risk for the Magician (1)
no risk for the 4 persons (2-5)
Risk comes with love (6) ... small risk
no risk for the elements triumph, justice, hermit
Fortune-destiny knows a small risk.
Then come the 3 bad cards and the risk becomes bigger from stage to stage
Fool - Hanging Man - Death

If we count the additional cards, then Temperance has the biggest cliff

between Star-Moon-Sun the risk is escalating, but the cliff of Temperance is the biggest.

If we put all 20 cards together, we have (if we count Prudentia as "no cliff") a balance of 10 : 10 of cards "with cliff" and "without cliff", with the 14 Bembo cards alone we have 8 without cliff, 3 with smaller cliff (1-6-10) and 3 with larger cliff (11-12-13).

Which to my own astonishment meets somehow (not completely) with the structure of the Hofämterspiel, which has court cards at

1 Fools
6 Jungfrauwe (virgins)
(9) Marshalls (... in the Bembo cards no cliff)
10 Hofmeister
11 (unnumbered in the original) Queens
12 (unnumbered in the original) Kings

Whatever it means, this is a little strange ... the discrepancy between both decks might have been caused by adapting the idea to a deck with less (or more cards), one system using 9-12 (4x12) and the other 10-13 (5x14) for something special (at one side court cards, at the other cliffs)

King Ladislaus, for whom the Hofämterspiel was made, was with Emperor Fredrick in Italy, 1452, 12 years old. He should have met Galeazzo Maria at Mantova, 8 years old ... .-)

Sforza tried to get the duke title with Galeazzo Maria in Mantova, but it didn't work.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: The Precipice

#24
Huck wrote:
The 4 persons Papessa-Empress-Emperor-Pope have a special bottom, which is repeated by some court cards, but not all.
I checked out the PMB Papessa-Empress-Emperor-Pope 'special bottoms' - they seem to be part of a slightly raised dais that each throne sit upon. Many court cards have these also. Do you think these are significant?
so Death with cliff inside the 5x14 is an exception
I've also been reading through the 5x14 theory here, and that took me back to the original thread on AT:

http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.ph ... ge=1&pp=10

So much in-depth historical information, but much conjecture too - which makes for colourful background but tends to get filed in a quite different part of my brain from the verifiable info.

Huck wrote:
The Fool has the cliff, as already noted.
But, very small also the Magician.
And Love has it , very small
And the wheel has it, very small.
And the hanging man has it, more extended.

The 4 noble persons have it not, the chariot, justice and the hermit and the judgment and from the 6 added cards only Fortitudo not (World-Prudentia has it in the center).


When we follow the old sequence and identify cliff = risk

... we have (small) risk for the Magician (1)
no risk for the 4 persons (2-5)
Risk comes with love (6) ... small risk
no risk for the elements triumph, justice, hermit
Fortune-destiny knows a small risk.
Then come the 3 bad cards and the risk becomes bigger from stage to stage
Fool - Hanging Man - Death

If we count the additional cards, then Temperance has the biggest cliff

between Star-Moon-Sun the risk is escalating, but the cliff of Temperance is the biggest.

If we put all 20 cards together, we have (if we count Prudentia as "no cliff") a balance of 10 : 10 of cards "with cliff" and "without cliff", with the 14 Bembo cards alone we have 8 without cliff, 3 with smaller cliff (1-6-10) and 3 with larger cliff (11-12-13).
An interesting idea, but the link between the size of the cliff and the risk factor seems fairly slight to me. Is it not more likely that, beginning to draw from the top of the card, that the size of the cliff would be determined by how much space was left to place the feature in an aesthetically pleasing way at the bottom? And (according to the cliff=risk idea), would the artists have been using the cliff in an allegorical sense, or deliberately building in a system for divination? The latter seems unlikely. And how would the risk factor explain explain the cliff edges on the Page of Cups, Page of Swords, Knight and Page of Batons? The Knight of Coins with the cliff doesn't count as this card was one of the four missing and recreated.

Huck wrote:
Which to my own astonishment meets somehow (not completely) with the structure of the Hofämterspiel, which has court cards at

1 Fools
6 Jungfrauwe (virgins)
(9) Marshalls (... in the Bembo cards no cliff)
10 Hofmeister
11 (unnumbered in the original) Queens
12 (unnumbered in the original) Kings

Whatever it means, this is a little strange ... the discrepancy between both decks might have been caused by adapting the idea to a deck with less (or more cards), one system using 9-12 (4x12) and the other 10-13 (5x14) for something special (at one side court cards, at the other cliffs)
The Hofämterspiel is fascinating, but I have to admit that when I see all these numbers my eyes tend to glaze over. It's a failing on my part, I know, but nevertheless, a comparison would be interesting. Andy Pollet has some at the link below.

http://tinyurl.com/yejp87x

Huck wrote:
King Ladislaus, for whom the Hofämterspiel was made, was with Emperor Fredrick in Italy, 1452, 12 years old. He should have met Galeazzo Maria at Mantova, 8 years old ... .-)
Real people, playing games, leaving clues...

Pen
He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy...

Re: The Precipice

#25
Well, it was you, that have been interested in cliffs.

yes, the bottom of the court cards in the Bembo cards signifies court cards, totally 12 cards, and the bottom repeats also on the chariot. So, it's not used without idea, it shows trump 2-7 in a sequence with the exception of card 6, love. At the end (7) the detail is raised, as it appears with the cliff at the end (card 21 or card 19th, second painter) of the row, the deciding detail is raised in the middle of the picture. In the 14 cards (first painter) the cliffs end in death, on the 13th, but heaven opens in the 14th, judgment.

At this picture the cliff or the island is used to signify birth, loneliness, singularity, individualism ... "everybody is born on an island", grabbing something, which is very deep in the soul

Image


Image


Bartolomeo di Fruosino (attr.) (1366/69–1441)
Birth Scene (front); Seated Boy (reverse), c. 1405

Tempera on wood
H 54 cm, W 55 cm
Isola Bella, Borromeo Collection

http://www.liechtensteinmuseum.at/en/pages/2435.asp

---------------

If you wish to see the Hofämterspiel ...

http://trionfi.com/m/d00360.htm

------

The cliff is on the 6 of the 14 Bembo cards
1-6-10-11-12-13

The Hofämterspiel-courts are at
1-6-9-10-11-12
The Hofämterspiel has only 12 courts

That this appears accidental, is against any probability calculation ... :-) ...
6 out of 12 has 12x11x10x9x8x7 / 1x2x3x4x5x6, that's 11x3x4x7 : 1 , that's something like 1/914 ... as the other concept is a variation, on might increase the worth a little bit, but I would say the worth stays below 1:100

either there meet two features and the meeting is caused by a general custom (other playing card decks had simply a similar idea), or it is the result of communication between two individuals, for instance Galeazzo Maria and Ladislaus.
If we take 1-6-10-11-12-13 ... the special cards usually (if the decks weren't shortened) always had been Ace = 1, banner = 10 and 3 courts = 11-12-13, so the most of it is simply "common" ... if one assumes, that Fool = 11 and not 0 for some time (as a lot of people still believe, that the 5x14-idea is nonsense, this sort world doesn't exist for a lot of people).

Although this is common playing card behavior, nonetheless we have an unusual behavior about the "6" in both decks, otherwise more or less unknown. Six and sex and Jungfrauwe + Love ... that seems the special thing about it, and it is honored by an exceptional cliff at the one part (Love) and by a "Jungfraue" at the other.

Some time later - after the meeting of Galeazzo Maria and Ladislaus in 1452, the German Fool got the worth 1 in Bohemia in a rather unusual deck and the more famous Fool of the Tarot cards stood at the begin of the rows as a zero.

What shall two 12 and 8 years old boys do in the boring presence of many important adults ... they exchange about games. They show each other their toys and perceive the differences. Galeazzo was 8, Ladislaus 12. The elder mostly have some dominance.

The Sforza cards were probably made after the meeting in spring 1452, the informing letter about a card production in Cremona between Bianca Maria and Malatesta and Francesco is of November 1452, at least according the opinion of Andrea Vitali.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: The Precipice

#26
Huck wrote:
Well, it was you, that have been interested in cliffs.
You're right, and thanks for your patience (*) I didn't mean to come across as dismissive of the numerical parallels between the PMB and the Hofämterspiel, or of the cliff=risk concept. I know that there's probably far too much background history for me to ever even get close to beginning to fit the different elements together, which is probably why I tend to examine each tiny piece in a pretty basic way (and get hooked up on the art itself, too). I do find the cliff/precipice a fascinating detail, and other angles regarding meaning valuable and enlightening. Thanks for the link to the Hofämterspiel - trouble is, now I feel a real need to get hold of one of those Piatnik sets...

Lots to consider...

Pen
He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy...

Re: The Precipice

#27
Well,

:-) ... various persons spend a lot of personal energy on the topic in the passed years, which naturally leads to a lot of insider-talking ... so there exists a big kuddelmuddel of different strings for any newcomer to the discussion ...
But we're enjoyed about the newcomers, the topic is VERY interesting and needs more outside attention. So feel welcome, your interest is very worthwhile.
So far ...

MERRY CHRISTMAS
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: The Precipice

#28
Pen wrote:
I'm also intrigued by the little tower that appears on the PMB Moon and Sun cards, yet not on the Star. The two towers are not exactly the same, but look similar and could be depicted from a slightly different angle, or just from memory. I tried to find out where Elisabetta was buried - again without luck, but surely the Duomo of Milan or in Montferrat {Wikipedia says (at the bottom of the page) that her husband was the Margrave of Montferrat : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bianca_Maria_Visconti}. I had an idea that if Mikeh's theory were correct, that the tower might represent her burial place, although if so, one would expect to find it also on the Star card.
Thanks for pointing out the tower on the Moon and Sun cards. I hadn't noticed it. Actually, it is those cards, the Moon especially, that I would associate with Elisabetta's death, since it was in childbirth, hence the result of her marriage. Temperance and Star I would associate with Elisabetta before her death, experiencing her virginal existence as a temperate and devout young girl, and the cliffs merely hinting at her early demise. About the Moon card, here's what I wrote (at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=365&start=50#p4857), editing out material relating to other matters being discussed in that thread, so as to focus on just the PMB and Elisabetta:
... the PMB woman holds a bow, or perhaps bow and bowstring. In Petrarch, when Chastity overcomes Love, the virgins break Cupid's arrows. The bow is not mentioned, but it is shown as broken in numerous visual representations of this section of Petrarch's poem (e.g. http://www.jstor.org/pss/861662.)...Bows are also identified with Diana. If the broken bow is hers, that would explain the dejected look on her face... A 16th century card in Kaplan's Encyclopedia of Tarot, Vol. 2, shows similar dejection but without the bow....Diana was also a virgin... If she is holding Cupid's broken bow, then perhaps Diana is the goddess corresponding ..to the virtue of chastity...However she does not look triumphant on the card; hence it is...likely that either she is regretting her years of chastity, or, what I think, is regretting giving them up for the sake of marriage. The latter would probably have been the case for 13 year old Elisabetta Sforza. In any case, this is not a Petrarchan image; but it is something that somebody who regretted forcing someone into marriage might have thought up.
The person to have forced her into marriage (in the enthusiasm of his own marriage) would be Galeazzo Maria, as head of the family after their mother's death. The Sun, after the Moon, is then Mercy and Rebirth. I'm not sure what building the tower silhouette would correspond to. I will have to look at some churches and castles, including in Montferat. Could it be the church at the Pavia Certosa, from a different angle than in the Borgognone you posted? And perhaps with one or two other buildings missing, as I understand it wasn't completed during Galeazzo's time.Then the cliff at the bottom of the card might be another pointer to the same place, with its cliff/moat. I have no idea how to find out where Elisabetta was buried! I know that a funeral, quite elaborate, was in Milan; it is mentioned in Lubkin, A Renaissance Court.

Re: The Precipice

#29
Beatrice d'Este was buried at S. Maria delle Grazie, Casale Monferrato, better known by its earlier name of Santa Caterina - perhaps Elisabetta could have been buried there too. As far as I can see there are no tall slim towers, just a dome in common with the building on the PMB cards. These connections feel very fragile, but I love the history absorbed, the treasures stumbled upon, in looking for them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casale_Monferrato



From The Project Gutenberg EBook of Beatrice d'Este, Duchess of Milan, 1475-1497, by
Julia Mary Cartwright
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/25622/25 ... 5622-h.htm
Scholars and poets, painters and writers, gallant soldiers and accomplished cavaliers, we see them all at Beatrice's feet, striving how best they may gratify her fancies and win her smiles. Young and old, they were alike devoted to her service, from Galeazzo di Sanseverino, the valiant captain who became her willing slave and chosen companion, to Niccolo da Correggio, that all-accomplished gentleman who laid down his pen and sword to design elaborate devices for his mistress's new gowns. We read her merry letters to her husband and sister, letters sparkling with wit and gaiety and overflowing with simple and natural affection. We see her rejoicing with all a young mother's proud delight over her first-born son, repeating, as mothers will, marvellous tales of his size and growth, and framing tender phrases for his infant lips. And we catch glimpses of her, too, in sadder moods, mourning her mother's loss or wounded by neglect and unkindness. We note how keenly her proud spirit resents wrong and injustice, and how in her turn she is not always careful of the rights and feelings of her rivals. But whatever her faults and mistakes may have been, she is always kindly and generous, human and lovable. A year or two passes, and we see her, royally arrayed in brocade and jewels, standing up in the great council hall of Venice, to plead her husband's cause before the [Pg viii]Doge and Senate. Later on we find her sharing her lord's counsels in court and camp, receiving king and emperor at Pavia or Vigevano, fascinating the susceptible heart of Charles VIII. by her charms, and amazing Kaiser Maximilian by her wisdom and judgment in affairs of state. And then suddenly the music and dancing, the feasting and travelling, cease, and the richly coloured and animated pageant is brought to an abrupt close. Beatrice dies, without a moment's warning, in the flower of youth and beauty, and the young duchess is borne to her grave in S. Maria delle Grazie amid the tears and lamentations of all Milan.
Mikeh wrote:
Thanks for pointing out the tower on the Moon and Sun cards. I hadn't noticed it. Actually, it is those cards, the Moon especially, that I would associate with Elisabetta's death, since it was in childbirth, hence the result of her marriage. Temperance and Star I would associate with Elisabetta before her death, experiencing her virginal existence as a temperate and devout young girl, and the cliffs merely hinting at her early demise. About the Moon card, here's what I wrote (at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=365&start=50#p4857), editing out material relating to other matters being discussed in that thread, so as to focus on just the PMB and Elisabetta:

... the PMB woman holds a bow, or perhaps bow and bowstring. In Petrarch, when Chastity overcomes Love, the virgins break Cupid's arrows. The bow is not mentioned, but it is shown as broken in numerous visual representations of this section of Petrarch's poem (e.g. http://www.jstor.org/pss/861662.)...Bows are also identified with Diana. If the broken bow is hers, that would explain the dejected look on her face... A 16th century card in Kaplan's Encyclopedia of Tarot, Vol. 2, shows similar dejection but without the bow....Diana was also a virgin... If she is holding Cupid's broken bow, then perhaps Diana is the goddess corresponding ..to the virtue of chastity...However she does not look triumphant on the card; hence it is...likely that either she is regretting her years of chastity, or, what I think, is regretting giving them up for the sake of marriage. The latter would probably have been the case for 13 year old Elisabetta Sforza. In any case, this is not a Petrarchan image; but it is something that somebody who regretted forcing someone into marriage might have thought up.


The person to have forced her into marriage (in the enthusiasm of his own marriage) would be Galeazzo Maria, as head of the family after their mother's death. The Sun, after the Moon, is then Mercy and Rebirth. I'm not sure what building the tower silhouette would correspond to. I will have to look at some churches and castles, including in Montferat. Could it be the church at the Pavia Certosa, from a different angle than in the Borgognone you posted? And perhaps with one or two other buildings missing, as I understand it wasn't completed during Galeazzo's time.Then the cliff at the bottom of the card might be another pointer to the same place, with its cliff/moat. I have no idea how to find out where Elisabetta was buried! I know that a funeral, quite elaborate, was in Milan; it is mentioned in Lubkin, A Renaissance Court.
This is all so fascinating. I'm sure the PMB lady must be a real person - the face in those cards is so distinctive, and the resemblance to Elisabetta surely more than coincidence.

Re. the church at the Pavia Certosa, my own feeling is that the surrounding land being so very flat when the cards feature all those little hills makes it far less likely (if indeed the tower on the cards exists, whether or not it is Elisabetta's burial place) than Montferrat.



Looking at the tower/s again, the connections seem even more fragile - what looked like a dome may simply be a tower - so tantalizing....

Pen
He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy...

Re: The Precipice

#30
Pen: I throughly agree that the subject is fascinating. But I'm pretty sure Beatrice d'Este was buried in Milan's Santa Maria de Grazie, not Montferatto's. See e.g.http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics ... ie_(Milan). second article, which has pictures of the church. And if you read the context of the quote you gave, you will see that the funeral and burial clearly are taking place in Milan. Her effigy there, and that of her husband, were later purchased by the monks of the Certosa, according to the book you cited, last chapter. In the refectory of the convent associated with Milan's Santa Maria de Grazie, there is a fresco of her opposite Leonardo's "Last Supper" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatrice_d%27Este).

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