Re: The "Mantegna": 1450's Bologna?

Interesting. I will look at the other reproductions I have of these cards. I'm not sure what to look for, however.

Here are two images of the Triumph of Mars that Alexander writes about in Burlington Magazine 1969, pp. 514ff. The first is as it came off the scanner; the second is after I played with the image a bit. The second one looks more like it does in the book.It's done with purple dye, Alexander says.



The relevant paragraph in Alexander's article is the last:
The scribe of the Virgil is probably Antonio Tophio. His coloured epigraphic capitals and fine Roman hand belong to the same current of Paduan humanism as does the now famous script of Bartolomeo Sanvino. Since Tophio was probably of an older generation than Sanvino, he may have been his predecessor. Another manuscript, signed by Tophio and with the same arms, was certainly decorated by the same artist and is adated 1463. Topho was in Rome in 1466. Probably he went there to work for the Venetian Pope, Paul II, for whom he wrote a manuscript in 1469. The probability is therefore that the Virgil was completed in Venice in the early 1460s. (Zoppo is documented in Venice in 1461 and 1462.)
By "the same arms," Alexander means "the arms of Morosini of Venice, argent a bend azure," which appears on the first page of the present manuscipt. The Triumph of Mars is one of three, in addition to the first page already referred to; it is the frontispiece to the Aeneid. The others are an Orpheus charming the bests, frontispiece to the Eclogues, and a Bacchus and Ceres, frontispiece to the Georgics. Of all of these, Alexander says, "Though intensely classical in feeling and in detail, I cannot find that any of these miniatures is based on specific antique prototypes."

In a footnote Alexander says, "The figure of Mars shows a general similarity to the Mars in the 'E's series of so-called 'Instructive Prints' or 'Mantegna Tarocchi.' There are also footnotes documenting the premises to his argument, which I can cite if needed.

Re: The "Mantegna": 1450's Bologna?

mikeh wrote:Interesting. I will look at the other reproductions I have of these cards. I'm not sure what to look for, however.

This one has 4 dots or circles (above below the diagonal cross, below near the begin of the border, maybe 1.5 mm diameter - above they appear as black dots, below they are more like circles). The St. Gallen justice has only two dots above.
... compare others, and you'll see them easily, even with bad copies.



I would say, that the similarities stay humble, not very remarkable. Beside the helmet and the general frontal view, everything is different.

Re: The "Mantegna": 1450's Bologna?

Thanks for showing me the holes. I see them in all impressions of all the "Virtue" cards I've looked at so far, Bartsch, Lambert, and Levenson. So two holes, or no holes, mean different kinds of press? Another question: if three of the St. Gallen Virtue cards have borders, do have they the animals, too?

Huck wrote,
Perhaps you could give an example for the "Art du blason" description, where one sees the relationship to the Mantegna Tarocchi very well.
Zucker's quotes from the Art du blason have to do mainly with the choice of musical instruments. So that it is easy to see the relationship, I've gone back and inserted the quotes into my previous post, the one that compared the "Mantegna" with the Syntagma (viewtopic.php?f=12&t=463&start=70#p646), below the images. I have also added Zucker's explanation of why Thalia has no sphere, from Seznec, which I think Levenson gave as well.

And to my earlier post quoting Alexander on the "Triumph of Mars," viewtopic.php?f=12&t=463&start=80#p6499, I have added one more paragraph, just before my last paragraph, with more from his article.

Huck wrote, about the Zoppo "Mars":
I would say, that the similarities stay humble, not very remarkable. Beside the helmet and the general frontal view, everything is different.

Well, the helmet and general frontal view is a lot in itself. That part of the Zoppo illumination is much closer to the "Mantegna" Mars than any other image from the period or earlier that I know of. Alexander makes the comparison to the "Mantegna" Mars, too.

Re: The "Mantegna": 1450's Bologna?

I am finally getting to Zucker's comparisons of "Mantegna" images with figures painted 1469-1471 at the Palazzo Schifanoia in Ferrara! Zucker, in The Illustrated Barsch, found resemblances in the Schifanoia for Merchant (March and August), Gentleman (March and April), Knight (Plates 14 and 19 in Ancona,1954, The Schifanoia Months at Ferrara).

Well, I haven't looked at Ancona. But from Roettgen's reproductions in Italian Frescoes: the Early Renaissance, this is what I see. First the Merchant, from March and April. I can't tell whether the April merchants, on the right, are reading anything. August, not shown, has similarly dressed merchants, but clearly not reading.


Next, the Gentleman, both selections from April.


I suppose that some of the men around the March merchants would count as Gentlemen, but both pose and dress are somewhat different.

For the Knight, I found these in March and April. They don't have swords, but their costumes and pose are similar:


Zucker also finds resemblances at the Schifanoia to Apollo and the Muses: "With some justification, Cieri Via has compared the figure in the engraving [Thalia--mh] to that of Aurora on the chariot of Apollo in one of the frescoes of the Pallazo Schifanoia" (p. 26). And he notes Apollo's attribute of the swan in the "Mantegna" is also at Palazzo Schifanoia (p. 30). I do see the resemblance between Thalia and Aurora, and Apollo's swan. I also see something else, a resemblance between the Schifanoia's Apollo and the "Mantegna"'s "Genius of the Sun":


I also see Thalia on the April wall, sitting on the ground, while above her Euterpe and Terpshicore are standing, holding their instruments.


Zucker says that "Clio's swans compare to Triumph of Venus at Schifanoia" (p. 29). Here they are:


Frankly, I only see a generic resemblance. Swans are swans, and in the fresco they are not associated with anything like Clio.

And finally, as Huck pointed out, all nine Muses are in the May fresco to the right of Apollo. There is not much there to suggest the "Mantegna" here except the two instruments, which correspond in the "Mantegna" to Calliope's long trumpet, and Terpsicore's lute. But Terpsicore's face has been transferred to the Muse on her right. A relationship to the "Mantegna" is strongly suggested, even though Terpsicore's instrument is a little different, because instruments were not depicted with Calliope and Terpsicore in Borso d'Este's Muse series at Belfiore (see



To sum up: the resemblances I have been able to find correspond to are 4, 5, and 6 of the Conditions of Man and 11, 13, 16, and 18 of the Muses, and 31 in the three "genii" added to the Virtues series.

All of these images are in March, April, and May, the three months done by del Cossa and assistants (although somewhat similar figuress occur in August and elsewhere). No art historian that I know of has proposed del Cossa as the designer of the "Mantegna." They mostly use the resemblances to say that the "Mantegna" was Ferrarese. But if the artist was't the same, the Schifanoia artist, or cartoon-maker for the designs, could simply have used the "Mantegna" engravings for inspiration.

Re: The "Mantegna": 1450's Bologna?

I have been finding out more about Marco Zoppo, in the catalogue book Padua in the 1450s: Marco Zoppo and his Contemporaries, 1998, by Hugo Chapman for the British Museum. It is the most recent thing I could find on Zoppo--actually, so far the only thing within 500 miles of me. It will take a while before I get reproductions of some of the things that Zucker compared to the "Mantegna" series. But I do have a few rather poor reproductions to post, from the copy machine. First, here is one of the Zoppo drawings from his Parchment Book (also called the Rosebery album), c. 1455-1465 (Padua in the 1450's p. 66), that Zucker compared to the Gentleman.


The "homosexual imagery" in the scene with the putti leads Chapman to say that the series was a "private commission" (p. 38). He adds, same page:
Zpppa's witty and slighty irreverent references to antiquity, such as the enormous foot on a pedestal onin the background of the drawing of the putti playing with the bellows, suggest that the patron might have belonged to the sophisticated literary and humanist circles of either Padua or Venice.
If all but the section that compares to the "Mantegna" is removed, and beneath it are put both the "Gentleman" and the "Cavalier" from the "Mantegna," I think we can see some similarity.



The compositional technique of having a boy (other than putti) next to the adults is also used in the "Mantegna" figures.

And here is the "Death of Pentheus" that Zucker compares to the "Death of Orpheus" that he determined is by the same artist as the "Mantegna." Below it I have put the "Orpheus," for comparison (disregard the difference in reproduction quality).



Again there is a clear resemblance.

The other engraving that Zucker and Levenson found similar to the "Mantegna," as I mentioned in an earlier post, is one of putti in a grape harvest. Here it is again, so you don't have to flip back to my earlier post.


Levenson (p. 158)saw that engraving's imagery reflected in a later engraving (c. 1475-1500), perhaps a niello, the background of which reflects several in the "Mantegna."


Levenson calls this one "Ferrarese" with a question mark. It is unsigned, but there are the initials "F.B." at the bottom, in reverse. Zucker mentions one possibility for these initials that has been suggested: Francia Bolognese, one form of the signature of Bologna's first known major engraver, exclusively niello until late in life as far as I can determine; he was also a goldsmith. That the initials are reversed suggests that the plate was not originally intended to be printed, Levenson points out. That the derivative work is by a Bolognese is one more piece of evidence that the original was from the same city.

Now I will get back to Zoppo's Parchment Book. Here is another drawing from the series, and the "Mantegna's" Venus alongside it. Zucker seems to have missed this one.


Besides the figures and the composition, the trees are also interesting. True, the nymphs' faces are bit eccentric compared to those of "Venus," but they were for a different audience, elite vs. ordinary. Here is another drawing from the same set:


The trees are quite remniscent of those behind the three genii, especially if you consider that Zoppo might just have been the designer, not the engraver.


I am finding Zoppo pretty interesting. Why couldn't he have been a designer of the "Mantegna"? There is no evidence that he did engravings; engravers and illuminators didn't sign their work very often. But the engraver of the "Mantegna" was too good to be doing engraving as an occasional sideline. From the records of his training--Gothic painting in Bologna and Squarcione's studio in Padua (recounted by Chapman)--there is no evidence of such training, or anything in metalwork. Hind thought the "Mantegna" engraver was Venetian, based mainly, I think, on the workmanship of the 1470 engraving of the pope and the emperor. Zoppo certainly had Venetian connections. His drawings, with their slanted parallel lines as shading, are very similar to how engraving of that time looks. Their 16th century owner in fact did engrave them in the 16th century, according to Zucker. In their shading, the only thing in the "Mantegna" that is missing from Zoppo's drawings is cross-hatching, which, as I showed earlier, is a prominent feature of Rosselli's engraving work in Florence of the mid-1460's.

There are a couple of other things of interest in Padua in the 1450s, pertaining to Zoppo's "Triumph of Mars." Alexander said in his article that in 1461-1462, the time he thought that Zoppo did the "Mars" and three other Virgil illuminations, Zoppo was in Venice. Here again is what Alexander wrote:
Another manuscript, signed by Tophio and with the same arms [of the Venetian patron, Morosino--mh], was certainly done by the same artist and is dated 1463. Probably he went there to work for the Venetian Pope, Paul II, for whom he wrote a manuscript in 1469/1470. The probability is, therefore, that the Virgil was completed in Venice in the early 1460's (Zoppo is documented in Venice in 1461 and 1462).
Alexander footnotes all three of these sentences with documentation. That Zoppo was in Venice 1461-62 certainly needed a footnote! However the footnote for that sentence is just some added thoughts that have nothing to do with Zoppo's whereabouts in 1461-62. In fact, according to Chapman, Zoppo is well documented as being in Bologna at that time. Another apparent error of Alexander's is the identification of the scribe and date: Chapman says that the scribe of both the works that Alexander attributes to Trophio was Bartolomeo Sanvito, and that the Virgil was probably done c. 1464 rather than 1461-62( p. 32f).

These errors make little difference for Alexander's conclusion. Zoppo was friends with Sanvito in Padua, where Zoppo lived 1451-1455, and probably also in Venice, where Zoppo moved in October 1455 (Chapman p. 28). Trophio was Sanvito's teacher, and both scribes had the "fine Roman hand" that indicates "the same current of Paduan humanism," as Alexander put it. Illuminators often lived in different cities from their patrons. But Zoppo's whereabouts does make some difference in the matter of the "Mantegna."

Here is what Chapman says (pp. 31-33):
Nothing is known of Zoppo's activities after his departure from Padua by October 1455 until 1461, when he is known to have been in Bologna. His presence in the city is documented by a series of payments for decorative work in San Petronio dating from 1461-2. In the city he painted two works, both of which are still in situ: the Crucifix painted for the church of San Giuseppe, and a polyptych for San Clemente, the chapel of the Collegio di Spagna...
It is not known when Zoppo left Bologna but it must post-date September 1462, when he wrote a letter from the city to the Marchesa of Mantua in relation to a commission for two pairs of cassoni. One of the excuses he offers for not having completed the work on time is that he wants them to be worthy of comparison with the work of his friend Mantegna, who two years earlier had gone to serve the Gonzaga in Mantua. Zoppo is next recorded in Venice, where in 1468 he executed an altarpiece for the church of Santa Giustina.
In 1471 Zoppo painted the high altarpiece for the recently constructed church of San Giovanni Batista in Pesaro. The building had been commissioned by the lord of Pesaro, Alessandro Sforza, and it is likely that Zoppo was his choice....From the period between 1471 until the artist's death in Venice seven years later there are no securely dated works.
However the works thought to date from this last period, with their "pelllucid colouring and the atmospheric landscape setting" show the effects of "Zoppo's long sojourn in Venice" (p. 34).

So how long after September of 1463 did Zoppo move back to Venice? Chapman notes that Zoppo's friend Felicio Feliciano "was the scribe for the second and expanded version of Marcanova's solloge, the Collectio Antiquitatum (Bibliteca Estense, Modena), and he was probably responsible for recommending Zoppo to execute a full-page drawing of ancient Rome" (p. 22). So he was probably in Bologna the first half of the decade. That is also when Chapman thinks the drawings of the Parchment Book were done. Later Chapman adds:
The drawings in the album are comparable in handling nad figure style to the ex-Colville sheet ( and a study in the Uffizi (Armstrong 1976, pp. 396-7, no.D.3). Both the latter drawings are dated by Armstrong to the second half of the 1450s, and on stylsistic grounds the album can be assigned either to the same period or to the first half of the 1460's, when the artist is known to have been in Bologna. The later dating is perhaps more likely, as the stylized archiectural setting of Zoppa's drawing for the manuscript of Marcanova's Collectio Antiquitatum (Biblioteca Estense, Modena), finishe in bologna in 1465, is similar to that in some of the backgrounds in the Rosebery album [i.e.the Parchment Book--mh]...

So the time when the Parchment Book was done is roughly when Zoppo was in Bologna, which is just prior to when art historians say the "Mantegna" came out. In all likelihood Zoppo knew Galasso, the artist of the two Muses. They could have worked together, Galasso aged in his 40s and Zoppo around 30. After that Venice would be the logical place to find an engraver, perhaps even one motive for going there. Or perhaps there was a good one in Bologna, fresh from Florence. Or Mantegna got them engraved, in Mantua.

Huck wrote,
It might well be, that the whole series 1-10 had a Bolognese/Milanese origin

Well, yes. But is that all, 1-10? let's review:

We have a Ferrarese artist in Bologna during the 1450's and 1460's (according to Vasari and various art historians since), who did two Muses in the same unique style as the "Mantegna" Muses, Apollo, and some of the Liberal Arts. This artist, Galasso Galassi, has connections to Ferrara and perhaps also in Mantua, as Mantegna may have been in Ferrara at the same time as Galasso in the late 1440's.

We have a Bologna- and Padua-trained artist in Bologna, 1460-1465, whose work is similar to the Conditions of Man cards, the background of the "genii" of the Liberal Arts set, and at least two of the planetary gods. This artist, Marco Zoppo, has connections in Venice and even moves there c. 1465. He is also a friend of Mantegna in Mantua, who produced engravings c. 1465-1470 according to Levenson.

We have a Florentine engraver just starting out c. 1465, Franco Rosselli, who liked to travel and do engravings of maps, and hence might have been in a northern city c. 1465-1470, and later might have been enticed by Sweynheim or Buckinck to do some of the 1478 Ptolemy, which Hind suggested was similar in engraving style to the "Mantegna." Rosselli had an early style with similar fine lines and cross-hatching, and the same yen for turning serpents into dragons, as the "Mantegna" designer. His older contemporary Baldini had the same yen for dragons, and had a goldsmith in his "Children of Mercury" engraving very similar to the "Mantegna's" Artisan. Backgrounds in the "Mantegna" are mostly similar to those of Florentine art c. 1460, as opposed to the more fantastic style of Ferrara (and maybe Padua and Mantua).

We perhaps have an unnamed Venetian engraver in the late 1460's. Hind favored a Venetian engraver of that time for the "Mantegna," later perhaps recruited by Sweynheim to do his maps. Why Venice? Because of a similarity in style between the "Mantegna" and a Venetian "pope vs. emperor" engraving Levenson p. 162). He dated that engraving as c. 1470 because the events depicted happened in 1468-69. But Levenson (p. 164) says that this engraving also contains a reference at the bottom to a prophecy of the Tiburtine Sybil that was discovered in the ruins of Altino and brought to Venice in 1495. Other Italian copies of the engraving are in fact dated 1495. They all may be copies, except for adding the prophecy, of a German woodcut published earlier. I have yet to see any samples of Venetian engravings datable to 1465-1470.

We have a Paduan artist in Mantua, Mantegna, friends with at least one of the artists in Bologna, who is doing engravings himself or having them done, in the same "north Italian" engraving style as the "Mantegna," although in his own personal artistic style.

We have a manuscript in Bologna 1467 with approximations, some better and some worse, of six of the "Conditions of Man" cards.

We have a manuscript in St. Gallen, Switzerland, with 4 "Virtue" cards painted on, from the same plate as the "Mantegna" "Virtue" cards. It is in a Benedictine monastery. A Benedictine monastery outside of Bologna was also producing illuminated manuscripts at that time. It hires the Ferrarese illuminator Crivelli and then takes him to court for a work-related offense.

We have points of correspondence between various "Mantegna" images and figures on the frescoed walls of the Schifanoia Palace, Ferrara, done c. 1469-1471.

We have a report allegedly from Lazarelli's nephew that Lazarelli bought in Venice prints of the Liberal Arts and the Gods. Lazarelli uses them in conjunction with a poem he finishes by mid-1471.

All of this is well documented in this thread. How much more evidence is needed to show that the five groups of engravings--Conditions of Man, Virtues, Muses, Liberal Arts, and Planetary Gods--already existed by 1469, with nothing for Lazarelli to do but write his poem?

The alternative, proposed by Donati and Trionfi, is that Lazarelli took 50 out of hundreds of prints in a Venetian bookstore and refashioned them into a set of 5 groups of 10, which then got to Sweynheim in Rome, who made engravings of them for the Venetian market (Northeastern dialect, with a Doge wearing his characteristic hat). Trionfi has an ingenious and well-researched theory about how Lazarelli's illuminations could have gotten to Sweynheim in Rome. But what reason is there to believe that Lazarelli did them, that they were not already in five groups of 10? Hind never suggested such a thing. Well, I will continue trying to find evidence on both sides.

Re: The "Mantegna": 1450's Bologna?

mikeh wrote: If all but the section that compares to the "Mantegna" is removed, and beneath it are put both the "Gentleman" and the "Cavalier" from the "Mantegna," I think we can see some similarity.


Indeed, some similarity and some differences. Some parts of the clothes had a similar tailor.

And here is the "Death of Pentheus" that Zucker compares to the "Death of Orpheus" that he determined is by the same artist as the "Mantegna."


Indeed, both pictures show the same topic and a similar solution. I know, that the Death of Orpheus variously was brought as "from the Mantegna Tarocchi engraver". But personally I don't see a 100 % reason to accept it
as made by the same artist.

This picture from Zoppo I find interesting, called "Triumph of Mars": ... n_9_1.html
... but not in specific relation to the Mantegna Tarocchi

This also .. ... n_1_6.html
... regarding the use of Putti rather early (it's given to 1455)

Also this
Image ... a/home.htm

...given to 1455, an erotic madonna

Again Putti ...

Image ... page=21634

Well, he seems to have a greater interest in these putti sweethearts, which are more or less NOT used in 50 Mantegna Tarocchi engravings - two exceptions.



... .-) ... I don't know, how to interpret the exceptions, perhaps speaking (Rhetorica) with "nice and charming" words is always a wise decision (Prudentia), even with a sword in the hands (Rhetorica)

But surely the Mantegna Tarocchi engraver is not really obsessed by the Putti, at least not at this opportunity. An early putti obsession we find in the works of Duccio, who worked for the Tempio Malatestiano (1450 - 56) ...


... and whose works partly met Mantegna Tarocchi motifs


Rimini is not too far from the places, where Zoppo worked.
Well, I actually don't know, who started with the excessive use of the Putti iconography. Likely it took it's start with just one putto, and this had been the usual Amor.

Now I will get back to Zoppo's Parchment Book. Here is another drawing from the series, and the "Mantegna's" Venus alongside it. Zucker seems to have missed this one.

Well, nice, but that's just a general topic.
Hind thought the "Mantegna" engraver was Venetian, based mainly, I think, on the workmanship of the 1470 engraving of the pope and the emperor.
I think, one argument was the use of Venetian dialect and another is simply, that card Nr. 8 shows a Doge at the 3rd rank, after the emperor. Also I've read, that Venetian backgrounds had been used ... ??? ... but I don't know, which engravings the commentator (I don't remember a name) had in mind.

According the theory Lazzarelli found pictures (as far I know, it's not said, that these were engravings) in Venice, so there's no problem with Venetian influences, especially it's assumed, that Lorenzo Zane (from Venice) took strong influence. Considering, that Lazzarelli hadn't probably too much money, this might have been cheap pen and ink drawings, possibly from one hand, possibly from various hands, made possibly by the hand of a poor wandering artist, who collected his motifs here and there. Some refinement probably took place, when Lazzarelli had a painter for himself (his "Apelles", which is noted in his text), who realized the "final" edition of Lazzarelli's manuscript, which became the object in the hands of Federico Montefeltro - for which Lazzarelli received the gift of 50 ducats. But possibly this wasn't the only edition - actually it was "somehow" also cheap, as one could later discover, that the dedication to duke Borso had been erased and was replaced by the dedication to Federico Montefeltro.

In 1471 Lazzarelli had been probably in Camerino at the court of Giulio Cesare Varano. Duke Borso made his journey (with great entourage, 700 persons are noted) to Rome begin of 1471, visiting Camerino ...

"Nel 1471, fu ospite di Giulio Cesare Varano a Camerino Borso d’Este, duca di Ferrara."

... so that's the logical point, when Lazzarelli could plan to dedicate the edition to Borso.
Borso returned after being made duke of Ferrara by the pope Paul II., but Borso was sick ... and died. That was bad for poor poet Lazzarelli.
We don't know, if Montefeltro got the first edition.

Well, we have a discrepance ...

1. A rather well surviving 50 picture print, often composed in a picture book ...
2. ... author is unknown

... the whole is similar to Tarot development

1. a far distributed series
2 ... the author is unknown.

If, in the case of Tarot, the series had been made in one step and became famous immediately (as for instance in the theory of Bologna 1439) by early success, it seems very likely, that we would know the designer. The 5x14-theory assumes a development in various steps and it's somehow logical, that the "inventor's fame" doesn't exist.
Similar the case of the Mantegna Tarocchi. If it had been made 1465 and was of the special "high technical quality" of this early time, and distributed quickly and caused immediately many imitations ... we would know the designer.
But if we assume a slow development with different stations, the authors naturally stays hidden, as in the end nobody was there, who "really made it". In the case, that Sweynheim was the engraver, he couldn't claim the invention of the 5x10-system nor the invention of the motifs, he just would have been the last technical hand.

Well ... *********

Pope Paul II. (1464 - 1471) had been from Venice, and Pope Sixtus IV (since 1471) immediately in 1471 started to answer the Venetian crusade interests. Rome was strongly influenced by Venice in this years.
"We have ..." etc.

"All of this is well documented in this thread. How much more evidence is needed to show that the five groups of engravings--Conditions of Man, Virtues, Muses, Liberal Arts, and Planetary Gods--already existed by 1469, with nothing for Lazarelli to do but write his poem?"
... :-) ... you haven't 50 pictures to point to, you have only fragments
Well, I will continue trying to find evidence on both sides.
That's okay with me.

Re: The "Mantegna": 1450's Bologna?

Nice pictures. I'm looking forward to seeing more, via Interlibrary Loan.

Huck wrote,
Similar the case of the Mantegna Tarocchi. If it had been made 1465 and was of the special "high technical quality" of this early time, and distributed quickly and caused immediately many imitations ... we would know the designer.
But if we assume a slow development with different stations, the authors naturally stays hidden, as in the end nobody was there, who "really made it". In the case, that Sweynheim was the engraver, he couldn't claim the invention of the 5x10-system nor the invention of the motifs, he just would have been the last technical hand.
I, too, am assuming a slow development, with no one person as "the artist": a designer in the 1450s, not for engravings; another designer 1461-1465, with engravings possibly in mind; an engraver, probably in a different city; and a printer, maybe in a different city yet. If the engraver was Mantegna, he certainly wouldn't want to claim credit, because the engravings aren't in his style. They're not in Zoppo's individual style, either: he wants to appeal to a sophisticated crew who likes putti doing weird things. The onl way to know who did it might be to follow the money-trail. And we don't have it.

Huck wrote,
you haven't 50 pictures to point to, you have only fragments
Well, of course if someone bought 25 or 30 of them, he'd have more. But I've never heard that being in possession of a set of prints was an argument for him being the designer.

I have finally read Ludovico Lazarelli's famous poem, De Gentilium Deorum Imaginibus, in William J. O'Neal's translation. So here I go again.

O'Neal has inserted 27 section-headings, for easy correlation to the "Mantegna." It is all quite predictable, just as you say it should be. The first 10 have the same names as the Spheres series in the "Mantegna," from First Cause to Luna. Then come 2 personified Liberal Arts, Musica and Poesia; then Apollo and all 9 of the Muses; and finally Athena, Juno, Neptune, Pluto, and Victory. Only one of the latter subjects corresponds to a "Mantegna" card, namely Athena, for which Lazarelli has used one of the Liberal Arts series, Philosophia. Included with the poem are 27 illuminations, 9 of which are reproduced in small black and white versions in Kaplan, Vol. 1, p. 27; 4 more are on; 1, Saturn, appears in both places. The description of each deity in the poem is enough like what is on the corresponding "Mantegna" card that it is clear, even for the illuminations I have not seen, that what is depicted in something like the figures on the cards, all except the last 4, which are quite different, as can be seen in Levenson and on Trionfi's website.

These contents correspond quite closely to the alleged report by Lazarelli's nephew, that Lazarelli bought "prints of the gods and the liberal arts" in a Venice bookstore. The "prints of the gods" that he bought are the 10 Spheres plus the 9 Muses and Apollo. Of the Liberal Arts prints, he used three of them. The others might have gone to Urbino, as Trionfi says, freely adapted there in illuminations for an edition of Martius Cappella.

So it seems that in Venice one could buy the engravings in separate lots of 10. The poem does not touch upon the Conditions of Man, and likewise the virtues, except that Libra is extolled as a fitting symbol for someone such as his patron:
(1, 353)...A worshipper of Justice needs suitable signs for himself where just Libra bears equal hours on its scale).
That, of course, was originally meant for Borso, who built a statue of himself holding the scales. So Borso died. It will do just as well for his new patron, Federico.

In his poem describing the various gods, Muses, and Liberal Arts, Lazarelli shows off his erudition by explicating the symbolism in the pictures, mostly putting into words the imagery depicted in the "Mantegna." But there are discrepancies, where the description and the card don't match in all details. For determining Lazarelli's relationship to the cards, these discrepancies are what is interesting

(1) I will start with Lazarelli's description of the Three Graces, corresponding to the right side of the Venus card in the "Mantegna."


Lazarelli says:
737ff. The Idalian nymphs, the fair and pleasing crowd of three, stand together with their bodies unclothed. They hold their arms together bound by interchanging bonds as often interchanging Love ties the bonds.
(Stant simul Idaliae nudato corpore nimphae,
Candida turba trium grataque turba trium.
Vincta tenent simul alternis sua brachia nodis,
Vt saepe alternus uincula nectit Amo.)
The first holds the light of her countenance and her eyes toward us. The rest of her group sees us in her gentle eyes. First, Pasithea enraptures us in her gentle fires. Aglaia revives those taken in with her flattery. Euphrosyne entangles them in fetters and strong chains, and she does not permit her captives to go back.
In the "Mantegna," the Three Graces are not actually shown holding their arms together in the way Lazarelli describes. The classical example is in for example in this 1486 medal of Giovanna Tornabuoni (from ... medal.html). They are shown similarly in the April section of the Schifanoia frescoes, by Francesco del Cossa (many images on-line).


A later variation, the 1482 Primavera by Botticelli, shows them putting their arms together in a different way (image taken from Unlike on the card, the arms still intertwine.


The rest of Lazarelli's description is interpretation, again different from both the traditional depiction and the "Mantegna" version. It is not flattering to the Graces. This view could perhaps be read into Botticelli's by a cynical observer: one of the Graces looking love-sick, but really trying to entrap Mercury, who warily avoids her gaze. It is more likely that Lazarelli is imagining something along the lines of an illustration in Gafurius's Practica Musica of 1496, which Huck has already showed us. Let us look just at the top, where the Graces are to the left of Apollo. You will see the three nude ladies, their arms intertwined in a way that fits Lazarelli's description even better than the classical pose:


No hapless lover is in chains, but it does look as though the two facing Apollo are holding tight to the third one, and her to them, with the chains of their strong arms. This, like Lazarelli's, is a rather unflattering portrayal. It is part of a strong bias against Venus and her circle; Seznec, for example, shows us one medieval illumination that has Venus as a prostitute.


What is Lazarelli doing? I think we need to be aware that he wrote the poem intending his patron to be Borso d'Este, who was a life-long bachelor. I have found nothing written about his views on women, but we do know that he had the Belfiore Muses redone by Cosme Tura, and that the results were two Muses unbuttoning their tops and taking off their sandals, and one revealing a shapely ankle. Stephen Campbell, in one of his essays on the Muses referred to in my first post on this thread, says that they are being portrayed as seductresses. The poem's portrayal of them as enticing, flattering, and entrapping, is in the same vein. How his illuminatior treated the subject I don't know; I have not seen a reproduction of this picture. The "Mantegna," like its classical antecedents, shows them in an idealized way, one shyly covering parts of her body, the middle one looking up to heaven, and the third holding a flame. Lazarelli apparently prefers the other approach.

(2) Another discrepancy between the poem and the "Mantegna" is in the portrayal of the Prima Causa. In this case, the discrepancy is between Lazarelli's illumination and the E-series "Mantegna." Lazarelli's poetic description fits his illumination, but not the card.
the ancients long ago ascribed to him a circular form which contained the whole weight of the world beneath itself. (223) All things were within it, the First Changeable was within it, and the eight globes with constant mobility. And also the four-part order of elements was subjected to Him, Whom whatever breathes on the whole earth worships. He is the First Cause, He is the one Who orders everything to be moved, and He Himself presides over them from His fixed place... Also, the four animals narrate the acts which the Man born of a virgin did upon earth.
In the illumination (below) we see the series of circles that has the Prima Causa as the outermost. We also see the "four animals" in the corners; they represent the four elements and the four evengelists of Lazarelli's poem. In representations of God or Christ, the Deity often was in the center and these creatures put in the corners. Lazarelli's Prima Cause conforms to this tradition. Yet the E-series "Mantegna" card has merely blank spaces where these animals would be. So either Lazarelli changed the scene on the card to fit his conception, or the engraver of the card decided not to include the animals. It is perhaps noteworthy that the later S-series "Mantegna" followed Lazarelli and had the animals in (at, number 50 in the E and S series).


Here are some other discrepancies.

(3) The poem gives Mercury a seven reed Pan-pipe:
789ff. Clothed in the dress of shepherds by the order of Jove, he played on seven reeds of unequal length.
(Conscius et iuuit dulcia furta Iouis,
Hicque Iouis iussu pastorum indutus amictu
Disparibus septem iam cecinit chalamis.)

But we see in the illumination (above), essentially the same as the E-series "Mantegna," that Mercury is shown with one reed, of one length. Why seven reeds, of seven lengths? From the context in the poem, it seems to me that he wants the notes to be the "music of the spheres," the seven notes of the musical scale corresponding to the seven traditional planets. He discusses this point in his exposition of Musica, the personification of Music.
1016ff. Seven tones were produced by the revolution of the sky, and the
reed-pipe of Pan had seven tones. Mercury constructed the seven tones of heaven
under the likeness of his heart and devised the first lyre.
Fiunt septenae caeli uertigine uoces
Et septem uoces fistula Panis habet.
Muniuit septem caeli sub imagine cordis
Mercurius primam comperuitque lyram.

Mercury's reeds are a bridge between the terrestrial and the celestial. If he doesn't have a lyre, he has to have a Pan's-pipe. For some reason, Lazarelli's illuminator didn't change the picture to suit Lazarelli's taste. But Lazarelli is in opposition to that image, found also in the "Mantegna," since his description of the instrument in the poem is so different.

(4) Here is part of Lazarelli's description of Luna, pertaining to her horns:
920ff. Cynthia was seen, brilliant with her shining horns and then Phoebus, having arisen with his shining horses, came forth.
Gentibus Ortigie Cinthia uisa fuit.
Cinthia uisa fuit fulgenti splendida cornu:
Hinc Phoebus nitidis exiit ortus equis.

984ff. The full moon shines with its disk renewed by its joined horns. She embraces the curved arms of eight-footed Cancer by whose hospitality she was made more moist. Then you can favorably store up anything in water for yourself.
Plena nouo iunctis cornibus orbe nitet.
Occupat octipedis iam concaua brachia canchri
Hospitio cuius redditur humidior.
Tunc poteris felix in aqua tibi condere quicquid
Luna is not depicted with horns either in Lazarelli's illumination or in the "Mantegna" card. Lazarelli is probably thinking of the horns as being the goddess's head, rather than being in front of her as on the card. It sometimes appears that way in alchemical illustrations, for example the one below, from Michael Maier's Atalanta Fugiens of 1618.


And where is this "Cancer" Lazarelli talks about? He probably wants the depiction to parallel the Sun card, with its Scorpio in front. Just as the autumn, in Scorpio's month, follows the heat of the summer sun, as Lazarelli says in his section on Sol (lines 605-630), so moisture follows the Moon. But the illuminator did use this idea.

(5) Then there is Luna's chariot itself and its horses.
984ff. The full moon shines with its disk renewed by its joined horns. She embraces the curved arms of eight-footed Cancer by whose hospitality she was made more moist. Then you can favorably store up anything in water for yourself.
Plena nouo iunctis cornibus orbe nitet.
Occupat octipedis iam concaua brachia canchri
Hospitio cuius redditur humidior.
On the "Mantegna," the horses are both the same color, a light gray probably meant to represent white as seen in moonlight. In this case, the illuminator seems to have tried to follow Lazarelli's account: he has made one horse white, almost invisible in fact, the other black.

(6) Then there is Saturn.


Lazarelli describes Saturn as having a thin beard, unlike in the illumination and the card.
((445) By nature, meanwhile, he starts to cover his chin with signs of a beard and while he walks he fixes his small eyes on the ground.
445 Natus in hoc parua spargit lanugine mentum
Paruaque dum graditur lumina figit humi.

Lazarelli wants to contrast this meager beard with Jupiter's full one and the Sun's lack of beard:

509ff By nature he [Jupiter] has a blushing complexion with white mixed in. His hair is long and his full beard is becoming...
Horum letatur Iuppiter hospitio:
Natus habet uultum mixto candore rubentem,
Caesaries longa est barbaque plena decet.
655 Always the Sun is beardless and always beautiful in respect to his hair.
Semper et imberbis semper Sol crine decorus.

The Practica Musica has a small suggestion of what Lazarelli wants more of.


But the "Mantegna" gives him a long beard, following the Libellus; Lazarelli's iluminator does the same.

(7) In describing Jupiter, Lazarelli talks about a "three-pronged lightning bolt," where the "Mantegna" and Lazarelli's own illumination have only a single-pronged arrow:
467ff. Now Jupiter, sitting on his majestic throne and squeezing his three-pronged lightning bolt in his hand, must be sung by me. He is adorned in regal attire and
is serious in his expression. A royal golden crown binds his head.
Est mihi nunc residens augusta in sede canendus
Iuppiter astringens tela trisulca manu,
Regali ornatus cultu facieque seuerus,
Regia cui nectit fulua corona caput.
You will notice in the illustration (below) that there is a rainbow and a lady sitting on it. Lazarelli explains the bodies lying about underneath and the eagle overhead, but leaves out the rainbow and its lady, Iris:
471ff. The horrible bodies of the giants, whom the father struck down when he sent out the fire of lightning, lay scattered here and there. The winged arms-bearer of Jove, which carried lofty one the Idean prince to the stars, stands above with open wings. This is the form of Jove. These are the appearances of thunder...(479) Whence they ascribe the causes of things and whence the first religion of the ancients arose, I will explain this in a few words. When in war Jupiter overthrew his fleeing father, and Phlegra was a witness to such a great storm, he buried his enemies under the high mountains, and the rage of lightning consumed his savage enemies. Then he received all the reins of the world by conquering, and he was celebrated far and wide by the leaders so that the name of Jove and at the same time his monuments together would remain, and his pledge of friendship would stand for a long time.

Phlegra is the name of the place where Jupiter defeated the Titans; it is analogous to the rainbow that follows a storm, but Lazarelli uncharacteristically does not relate his story to the image.


(8)Then there is the poem's account of Apollo. Above is Lazarelli's illumination, the same as the "Mantegna"'s, to which we may suppose him referring
(73) Now I remember that I have seen you elsewhere bearing bow and quivers, sweet plectra and the lyre. The Penean virgin was washing her shining hair. Youths were present and cheeks without blemish. I saw you, Delphicus, among the Hyperborean griffins. I knew you beforehand. The crow was near you. Who changed your culture? Who changed the mark of honour of your brow? Perhaps I am not permitted to know everything.
He is perhaps thinking of the "Harmony of the Spheres" image of Apollo,or the one in the Schifanoia, which has the crow.



When he asks "Who changed your culture?" I think he is referring to the designer of the "Mantegna." Lazarelli has a suspicion that he is a Ferrarese, and if so, Borso might be able to stop this new, impoverished manner of depicting the god.


(9) When Lazarelli comes to Musica, Poesie, and the Muses, the discrepancies are more subtle, not contradictions as such between the poem and the cards, just innuendos I seem to be picking up, through his emphasis on some things and de-emphasis or omission of others.

He describes Musica mainly as ruling over singing. Here are some examples:
1030ff. Singing moves the feet with sure order. Singing brings on sleep and soothes bitter anxieties.
1040ff. A lover soothes his lover's dreams by singing. The heart of an angry mistress is bent by songs. The heart of an angry girl will become tearful if you sing before her doors.

Cantus agit certa sub ratione pedes,
Cantus agit somnos et curas lenit acerbas.
Cantus agit certa sub ratione pedes,
Cantus agit somnos et curas lenit acerbas.
Suppremit iratos cum furit ira nocens
In longum uitamque trahit morbisque medetur
Tristibus et suadet gaudia pectoribus.
He does include some examples of singing without words, but not nearly as many. Then at the end, as though to reconcile all this with the actual picture, he says
1057ff. Behold! Music resides on the swan's back, for among the birds the white swan sings very sweetly. A flute sits in her mouth and you see musical instruments around her. The reed pipe and the sweet-sounding lyre stand there. May whosoever sees this painted likeness of Singing be able to recognize properly the reason for her form.
Respice cigneo residet iam Musica tergo:
Nam canit inter aues dulcius albus olor.
Buxus in ore sedet circum instrumenta uidesque
Musica: stant calami dulcisonaeque lyrae.
Viderit hanc Cantus pictam quicumque figuram:
Iam formae causam noscere rite queat.
Despite the flute in her mouth, she is still "the painted likeness of singing," Lazarelli insists. He is a poet, after all: to him music is mainly poetry put to music.


Poesie is the one whom he worshipped from his first years; it is she who sings of great deeds and far places, despite the fact that "she forces out sweet measures of the boxwood flute from her mouth" (after II25). Lazarelli must have been aghast at the "Mantegna's" depiction of her with a flute in her mouth, she who is first and foremost the source of melodious words.

It is the same with the Muses. The first who comes, of course, is Clio, one of only two in the "Mantegna" who isn't playing an instrument:
2.166. Clio favors erudition, her love of praise.
Clio laudis amore cupit.

After describing Euterpre and her flute, he notes that
191. Each of her sisters holds musical instruments.
Instrumenta tenet iam musica quaeque sororum.
For a poet, that is hard to swallow. The Practica Musica shows only Euterpe with an instrument; the rest are speaking (except Thalia, there one of the Graces).


Even in the Belfiore series, only three of the Muses had instruments (see But in the "Mantegna," and presumably Lazarelli's versions in his manuscript, they all, following Capella, are playing their instruments.

One glaring omission from his interpretations is in regard to Thalia. We would not learn from the poem that she is the only Muse not standing--depicted on the ground both in the "Mantegna" and Lazarelli's manuscript-- nor why. In the Practica Musica, she is standing--perhaps how Lazarellli would like to see her.

Well, I hope that is enough to show that while the poet is describing the various subjects of his poem, he has before him the corresponding E-series card, from which his illuminator also works, sometimes making changes to suit the poem but usually, if the alterations in what is already there are required, not doing so. Lazarelli's poem may have had an effect on the S-series, as its changes from the E-series do occasionally reflect the discrepancies (ie.g. Saturn's beard and the four animals on the Primo Causa), but it was the cards from the E-series that Lazarelli bought in Venice, prompted his poem, and from which his illuminator worked.

Re: The "Mantegna": 1450's Bologna?

In the "Mantegna," the Three Graces are not actually shown holding their arms together in the way Lazarelli describes.
... etc.
I would think, that you point to enough discrepancies between Mantegna Tarocchi e-series motif and the actual poem.

From this it seems (at least to me), that Lazzarelli hadn't the pictures, when he wrote the poem. Or he got them during the time, when he worked on the poem with some text already ready and other parts unfinished. And he hadn't possibly too much influence on his "Apelles".

There is, as I recall from memory, a discrepancy from the two extant Lazzarelli editions, regarding some parts near the end of the text, one edition including text, which the other hasn't. This included parts, in which the expected sponsor (paradoxically called "Federico") was sick and near to death, but recovered.

Details should be in O'Neill's original edition ... it would be a real progress, if you could get it in the library.

The whole makes the impression of a "confused production" ... the author hadn't likely the last or dominant hand in the production. Similar things happen occasionally also in modern productions (the author writes, the publisher makes the "title" and occasionally some other things, for instance "Klappentext" and advertising texts or parts of the appendix. Intended pictures are missing or exchanged etc. etc.)

In Lazzarelli's case even the sponsor was changed.
In the biography of Lazzarelli (by Hanegraaf) there is a contradiction mentioned regarding the presence of Lazzarelli in Rome. From his own words he should have arrived in Rome in 1475, from the condition of the meeting Lorenzo Zane and Lazzarelli it seems, that they met in 1473, when Lorenzo Zane was on his way to Rome. Lorenzo Zane had a strong interest in astrology and he (1429 - 1485) was some years older and already a mighty man, though with some bad reputation already then. Lazzarelli, the somewhat frustrated young poet at the country (Camerino) with his desperate attempts to find the great sponsor and the wish to be accepted in the big world probably was wax in the hands of this man, who in his character should have been a shark in the swimming pool, which could also trick and manipulate the strong character of the young cardinal Giulio Rovere (later Pope Julius) for some time.

Well, that's a critical point:
"It was duing his stay in Pioraca that Lazzarelli made the acquaintance of the Venetian Lorenzo Zane, the future Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, who was on his way to Rome. Zane was passionately devoted to astrology, which may have concorded well with Lazzarelli's apparent interest in "astronomy". It seems, that they became good friends, and Lazzarelli entered Zane's service, accompanying him to Rome probably 1473."
---- Footnote: Lancilotti prvides a quotation from Giovanni degli Agostini, which in turn quotes Mariano Ruele, a Carmelitan scholar of the 18th century who still had access to the lost Vita of Lazzarelli by his nephew Fabrizio.
"Once they had arrived there, however, the association seems to have taken a disappointing turn for the poet.
This is based by Hanegraaf on ..
".. a close study of the successive versions of his [Lazzarelli's] Fasti show that, in apparent frustrationwith the patriarch, he adapted and deleted passages various passages which mentioned Zane with honor. At one point, referring to his time Rome, Lazzarelli even compares himself with a man thrown overboard."
Hanegraaf apparently wasn't aware of the study of "Julius II: The Warrior Pope" by Christine Shaw, which in some detail points out, how Lorenzo Zane became part of a papal scandal.
Though, this didn't happen in 1473 ...

1. This snippet tells us, that Lorenzo Zane was the follower of Cardinal Carafa (who had made a complex crusade) and sailed with 10 galleys (that's in comparison a small engagement) in April 1473 ... ... DTDg&cd=11 .

2. This snippet tells, that Mocenigo, the admiral of the 10 galleys, resisted to cooperate with Lorenzo Zane. One year later Pietro Mocenigo became Doge of Venice (1474 - 1476). ... DTDg&cd=20

wiki wrote:Mocenigo "was one of the greatest Venetian admirals and revived the fortunes of his country's navy, which had fallen very low after the defeat at Negropont in 1470. In 1472, he captured and destroyed Smyrna; the following year he placed Catherine Cornaro, queen of Cyprus, under Venetian protection, and, by that means, the republic obtained possession of the island in 1475. He then defeated the Turks who were besieging Scutari, but he there contracted an illness of which he died."
4. This is the description of the adventure of Giosofat Barbaro, who became the last Venetian ambassador at the court of Uzun Hassan. Possibly this describes the same journey, which was accompanied by Lorenzo Zane

5. Generally it's said, that the relation between the Venetian person Lorenzo Zane and Venice was disturbed by animosities. Lorenzo Zane tried to avoid, that another Venetian cardinal was chosen, instead there was the attempt, that Zane himself wanted to be cardinal, which was desperately tried by cardinal Giulio Rovere, nephew of the pope and later pope Julius (see Christine Shaw).
In the case, that admiral Mocenigo didn't like Lorenzo Zane in 1473 and Mocenigo became doge 1474-1476, we likely understand the problem or at least a part of it.

6. Mocenigo report ... iero2.html
Si appresta ad entrare nello stretto dei Dardanelli (Canakkale Bogazi), allorché viene richiesto il suo aiuto a Cipro da Carlotta di Savoia, figlia di Giovanni di Lusignano, che è stato deposto dal figlio naturale Giacomo di Lusignano. Il Mocenigo risponde negativamente, preferendo prestare il suo ausilio alla vedova del sovrano, la veneziana Caterina Corner che, negli stessi giorni, ha messo alla luce una bambina. Da Cipro si reca in Cilicia per congiungere le sue forze con quelle dell’alleato re di Persia, vittorioso in due combattimenti contro i turchi. Ussun Cassan, da ultimo, viene sconfitto pesantemente; alla notizia, il Mocenigo abbandona l’Asia Minore e fa ritorno a Famagosta (Ammokhostos). Con il provveditore della flotta fa da padrino alla neonata; prende congedo e con 5 galee veleggia a Rodi, Chio, lascia alle spalle le Cicladi e si ferma a Modone, dove incontra il legato pontificio Lorenzo Zane: costui partirà poco dopo con le galee aragonesi per l’Italia.

The battle of Otluk Beli (which Uzun Hassan lost) took place at 11th of August 1473. Mocenigo needed some time to get this news and also some time from Minor Asia to reach Modone (at the Western Peloponnes) - there he met the 10 galleys and Lorenzo Zane, as it seems.

7. and finally ... this text, which was known to Hanegraaf, cause he quotes it, contains a few details, which Hanegraaf left aside. ... 22&f=false

Well, Lazzarelli at least didn't abandon the friendship to Zane in 1473, cause he hadn't started to write the Fasti ... if he had stopped the friendship before 1475, he wouldn't have killed the praising notes to Zane in the text, but wouldn't have written them - very simple. So the change in the personal feelings should have happened later, possibly 1477, when the Zane crisis occurred, generally.

Zane was gouvenour in Ancona and went to Greece with the ship. Why should he have gone to Rome before, was his commission not urgent?

Re: The "Mantegna": 1450's Bologna?

hi Mike,

... there is something like a hot spot around "Lysippus the younger", active in Rome 1470-1474 ...
Lysippus, auch Lysippus d. J., (nachweisbar 1470 – 1484) war der Künstlername eines durch Forschungen von Stephan Wesche ermittelten italienischen Medailleurs namens Ermes Flavio da Bonis (lat. Hermes Flavius). Seine Herkunft ist völlig unbekannt. Sein Wirkungskreis lag in Rom, wo er vorwiegend Medaillen für hohe Beamte, Notare, Juristen und Advokaten anfertigte, die ihr Amt meist im unmittelbaren Umkreis von Papst Sixtus IV. ausübten.
These are the points:

1. the medal you recently located, Fabrizio Varano, with Mantegna Tarocchi motif Euterpe

2. the medal of Lorenzo Zane with astrologia, I remember, that Lysippus was suspected (?)

3. a description of a medal
with pelican motif, as it appears in the Mantegna Tarocchi - medal for Mar(t)inus Phileticus.

Of special interest is the note in the article, that the pelican was used earlier on a coin for for Vittorino da Feltre, which was the tutor of Montefeltre and was by Montefeltro honored in the manner, that he was placed between the 28 famous men.


Italien Kirchenstaat Sixtus IV., 1471-1484 Bronzemedaille nach 1471, auf Giovanni Alvis Toscani, 1450-1475, Rechtsgelehrter und Dichter aus Mailand. Modell von Lysippus dem Jüngeren. Brustbild nach links / Pallas Athene steht auf einem Delphin mit Speer, Schlange und Schild. Hill 808 Supino...
... a little similar to Mantegna Tarocchi (?)
Perhaps of interest is the inscription QUID NON PALLAS, it might be a reflection on the more famous QUID TUM, which Leon Battista Alberti used at his coin with a "flying eye". The above interpreter identifies a dolphin at her feet, I'm not sure, that this is right (?).


Alessandro Cinuzzi (auch Alexander Senensis; * 19. April 1458 in Siena; † 8. oder 9. Januar 1474) hatte im Haushalt von Girolamo Riario als Page gedient. Letzterer war ein jüngerer Bruder des Kardinals Pietro Riario, des Lieblingsneffen von Papst Sixtus IV. Cinuzzi erlag einem tückischen Fieber.

Um den Verstorbenen trauerte ein kleiner Freundeskreis. Dieser Trauer um den „allerschönsten Jungen“ („formosissimus puer“) wurde literarisch mit der als Inkunabel gedruckten 32-seitigen Gedichtsammlung Epigrammata poetarum multorum Alexandri pueri Senensis entsprochen. Ferner wurde durch den italienischen Medailleur Lysippus den Jüngeren eine große Gedenk-Medaille geschaffen. Diese zeigt recto ein Porträt des jungen Mannes mit Umschrift Alexander etruscus adolescentiae princeps. Verso reiten auf einem Pegasus ein geflügelter Amor und eine abflugbereite Gans, umschrieben mit Hermes Flavius Apollini suo consecravit.
An interesting death case, as Pietro Riario died January 3, 1474, and this page of Girolamo died 5-6 days later ... the swan (in the commentary identified as a Gans = goose) is somehow a known motif for Apoll in the Mantegna Tarocchi (see inscription)


NOT from Lysippus, though also interesting


WORLD MEDALS. ITALY. Sixtus IV (della Rovere, 1414-1471-1484), cast Bronze Medal, 1481, by Andrea Guacialoti, bust left wearing tiara and cope, SIXTVS IIII PON MAX SA CRICVLT, rev naked figure of Constancy standing with emblems of military victories and bound Turkish prisoner at his feet, the...

I don't get Jstor articles in the moment, you've the better chances
It would be lovely to see all this Lysippus' medals or to have an impression, how much he made of them. The author G. Hill seems of interest.

Re: The "Mantegna": 1450's Bologna?

Here is the quote from the biography of Lazzarelli made by his brother:
Returning thereafter [Nov. 1468, then crowned as a poetus laureatus by the emperor] to Venice he composed three books On the image of the Heathen gods [that's our object with 27 pictures], a work he dedicated to Duke Federico of Urbino [not before Federico became duke in August 1474], from whom he received a worthful gift [50 ducats]. He also wrote various orations, in prose as well as in verse, and so strongly devoted himself to his studies that he was mostly living alone. He occupied himself with theology as well as with Holy Scripture, and did not omit astronomy either, which had interested him from an early age. Therefore he composed a poem on the sphere [perhaps we would much more about the Mantegna Tarocchi, if we would know this poem, though it seems, that it is lost ???]. After this he visited Giulio Cesare, Duke of Camerino, to whom he dedicated a poem and from whom he received a gift in return. He was also invited by him to stay in his home. He agreed, and became the teacher of Fabrizio, the nephew of this lord, who at this time was a protonotary [would be of interest to know, at which time Fabrizio became protonotary] and now is the bishop of Camerino, a man most learned in the liberal arts [bishop in 1482]. When that lord with all of his family moved to Pioraco, to escape an outbreak of the plague [was this the plague of 1475 ? Pioraco is 15 km of Camerino], he there decided to work on his Fasti. At the time there was in Camerino the Venetian Patriarch of Antioch, a man most learned in astronomy, named Lorenzo [Lorenzo Zane] and brought him to the City [Rome], where without pause he worked on his Fasti and finished it, which he tells us himself at the end, saying:
"Rome closes my Fasti, as Pioraco opened them,
A land encircled by mountains and watered by a double lake."
It's difficult to say, how reliable the witness is. Lazzarelli states in relation to a finishing date of 1480 of the Fasti, that he had worked 5 years on it (it's assumed, that he later than 1480 made some improvements and changes). This would lead to the year 1475 and to the plague, which came to Rome with the Jubilee year.

Fritsen tells us, that Lorenzo Zane was governor of the March of Ancona ... ... uchino.jpg
... and Camerino belonged to this region with ca. 40 km distance to Ancona ...

... but I've difficulties to confirm this detail. However, Lorenzo Zane was between 1464 and till his death 1487 totally 4 times governor of Cesena (this was the major occupation in his life), which is a little above the March of Ancona (distance Cesena - Ancona 150 km), but it might be, that with the extension of the Chiesa to Cesena in the year 1464 Cesena was seen as an administrative center of the March, so that the governor of Cesena automatically was governor for the March. Cesena was in the eyes of Rome rebellious, so it needed a strong hand (in other words: Lorenzo Zane), in contrast to this Ancona was a safe place for the Chiesa and needed no special attention.

Lorenzo Zane had contact to condottieri:

In 1464 he cooperated with Montefeltro (entry to Cesena)
In ca. 1469 he cooperated with Alessandro Sforza (open fight)
In 1473 he was chosen for military actions against the Osmans (a longer escapade).
In 1474 he was engaged in the military action against Citta di Castello and 2 other cities.
In 1475 he was again involved in fighting around Citta di Castello.

In the activity of 1474 Giulio Cesare Varano was engaged in important function, the master and sponsor of Lazzarelli. Somebody had to prepare the activity of 1474 - the chief of the enterprise was the young and not experienced cardinal Giulio Rovere, his right hand in the matter was the clever and experienced Lorenzo Zane. Somebody must have hired Giulio Cesare Varano in the phase of preparation ... that's a rather sure time, when Lorenzo Zane should have been in Camerino - spring 1474, possibly already winter 1473/74.

Surely he talked with Lazzarelli, as Lorenzo Zane was interested in talented humanists - especially with astrological background. But it seems not sure, that Lazzarelli already accompanied him then.

Perhaps the brother is right and Lazzarelli went to Rome in 1475 ... just after some time of consideration after his first talks with Zane. But what happened to the manuscript, which was ready in Lazzarelli's hands? Lorenzo Zane might have promised him "to do something" begon of 1474 ... and got manuscript and pictures from Lazzarelli. And then Lorenzo Zane used the material to please Montefeltro - with some freedom of redaction, when he became duke of Urbino (so these hidden contradictions in the representation).
And Lazzarelli got 50 ducats. Somehow a fair deal, but possibly Lazzarelli desired more. Lazzarelli came to Rome and - hypothetically - Lorenzo Zane introduced him to the poets to the Accademia Romana, the whole literary circle, and we know, that Lazzarelli became somehow accepted by them from some admiring poems in 1479.

But these poets are a little strange in their desire for fame. Perhaps Lazzarelli desired more. But Lorenzo Zane had a life of its own including some rather risky operations. So the way split one day, probably around 1477, when it had become dangerous to be the friend of Lorenzo Zane.



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