Re: Where *Is* This card?

#21
Ross wrote
So if we are looking for narrative cognates, it seems like we have Dante or the Apocalypse to compare with. Dante seems far-fetched, since there is nothing else in the sequence to suggest it is related to the Commedia.
Well, maybe not, but Marco relates the Tower card to the Inferno at viewtopic.php?f=23&t=399#p4969. And at http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.ph ... 931&page=4, I say how I think the Star card relates to Purgatorio XXVIII, 121ff, and XXXI, 100ff, the parts about the lady Mathilda and her two streams.from which Dante must drink to enter Paradise. This is not to exclude other associations. Perhaps we are dealing with a polysemous image, and the Tower of Babel, the Commedia imagery, etc. are to be interpreted apocalyptically.

In the "Steele Sermon," the Tower is called the Arrow, which fits your suggested cognate imagery. But perhaps the card interprets non-consecutive verses of Revelation: in the BAR, the two gentlemen losing their balance do not look like devils; nor have I seen a lake of fire and brimstone in any version of the card. In some versions, the devil stays in the burning tower while the person or persons flee.

I notice that people are not using the option of discussing the iconography of specific trumps in "Bianca's Garden." That's OK, but the same issue gets discussed in different threads at nearly the same time. I argue (following Vitali) at viewtopic.php?f=23&t=404&start=10#p5795 that Jesus as King of Heaven, Mary as Queen of Heaven (both crowned in the Bembo altarpiece), and Minerva were all personifications of the same concept of Sapienta, the Wisdom of God. Probably Plato's Aphrodite Urania (in the Symposium, from which Durer's Urania might be derivative,
would fit there, and his World-Soul (Timaeus). By the Marseille II, there is also the Orphics' Phanes (http://www.theoi.com/Protogenos/Phanes.html, older than most other World-style images), with the Marseille II sash replacing the serpent. In that sense, the "original" image--actually, images--re-used, in whole or part, by various pre-19th century cardmakers at various times were both male and female, and both pagan and Christian. As far as the "original" card, well, no one knows, as I think Ross pointed out; but the earliest designs known or projected had adult females (CY, d'Este, Charles VI, Rosenwald), putti (PMB), and one adult male (Beaux Arts-Rothschild), all relatively pagan-looking.

Re: Where *Is* This card?

#22
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:Hi Robert,
I'm surprised you don't have any ideas about the Tower...
Hi Ross,
I guess I was trying to say that it didn't seem an integral part of the sequence to me, whereas many of the images are fairly typical representations of a moral or religious theme, the sequence could be communicated just as effectively without the Tower, or so it seems, which is why I brought it up like that. Not to say that it didn't have a place at all.

After being reminded of the examples you present here, I realise that the pairing of the Devil and the Tower are important to the theme, and that there is indeed a good historical basis for their inclusion. I thank you for bringing it up.
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Where *Is* This card?

#23
OnePotato wrote: Yes, I have been quiet.
I sincerely do regret that, I have always appreciated your contributions. I hope you will continue to participate more regularly.
OnePotato wrote:You have listed a series of imagery interpretations and evaluations for 22 trumps.
That interests me.

No, you did not use the phrase "only a game" here. I apologize for the misleading quotation marks.
Earlier, in response to Lorredan, you said:
"...They are what they are. They were used for playing a game, and they had Christian images on them. I don't see any way around that.... ....(several lines snipped).... ...I think the obvious allegories are the more appealing, without the need to have a secondary layer to them."

So, with your latest clarification to "primarily", I can rephrase my question as:

Can you suggest a reason why all of this information you have listed would have been "used primarily as a game"?
Or
Can you suggest a reason why this particular information would be employed in an invention with the primary purpose of playing a game?
Not really. I tend to focus on the things that are there rather than trying to imagine why they are there. I think I'm rather a "show me" person, which is why I like visual examples, and tend to focus on the actual cards rather than the details that many others in this research enjoy.

We know these were cards used in a game. My point with the list, and my earlier response to Lorredan, was really to show that on one hand, I find most of the cards to be fairly typical of the type we might expect from the period, and on the other, there were exceptions to that I acknowledged didn't seem to fit so easily into it that paradigm. i don't find anything unusual about cards like the Pope, Love, Death, Time, Judgement, and the World (especially if seen as representing God or Christ). The Virtues too seem right in place. We can see the Hanged Man as being very much a characteristic of that time and place. But I tried to point out that other cards like the Popess, Empress, Magician, Tower, and maybe a few others, seem a bit out of place when compared to the rest of the cards in the trumps, but not necessarily strange in their depictions of the subjects.
OnePotato wrote: I ask you because as I read it, the thread appears to be about straightforward Christian imagery being interpreted (by Lorredan) as not actually being straight Christian imagery, but game-related Christian imagery, that only looks like straight Christian imagery. While you, and I presume others here, often appear to practically insist, (or at the very least strongly imply,) that an allegory is just an allegory, and that's it. Period. And, as you say above, you don't see the "need to have a secondary layer."
Well the thread is certainly changing and evolving while it goes along. The original question was what card was it and can the tarot be shown to show Christian imagery of Christ or God before the 16th century, and it was stated rather as a challenge. I tried to answer that challenge, because I believe it can.

I've not yet been shown what "game-related Christian imagery" is, or if I have, I've misunderstood. It seemed rather a statement than any particular examples. I'm still somewhat puzzled by why the tarot is supposedly not Christian, but game-related Christian, but I suppose I'm repeating myself as I covered that in the list.

I'm not sure I insist on too much in tarot. If anything, I'm skeptical of nearly everything. I've not accepted Michael Hurst's theory, Ross' theory, Huck's theory, or anyone else's for that matter, and I don't have one of my own. I think my method of trying to understand the history of the tarot is ridiculously pragmatic and unimaginative: I just look at what's on the cards and compare them to each other and the art that was there at the time. My years of looking at these things has resulted in some ideas that I do embrace, but almost all of them are very much up for change to reflect new information. I think of myself as still a Tarot Agnostic, looking for the answer, but not really buying into what I see out there most of the time and not really having an answer of my own. With the Tarot de Marseille, I see the image of Judgement, and I see the iconography on the World, and yeah, I think it looks very much like the other art of the period. Is there a non-Christian or "game-related Christian" interpretation of Judgement that I should consider?
OnePotato wrote:So, the way I see it, perhaps the question here is not a matter of "need" for a secondary layer, but rather, how literal does one think these people were, as opposed to our current culture, that one should presume there are no secondary layers of intention in these designs that they produced?
Sorry if you thought I had a more complex secret agenda.
If the secondary layer can be presented in a convincing manner, I'd applaud it. I'm skeptical because so many of these secondary layers seem like forced attachments rather than actual integral pieces. I have no "Christian" axe to grind, I really don't. Surely, it was a game, and it was a Christian environment that it developed in, So I'll look forward to seeing how well a game-related Christianity fits into this.

As for secret agendas, I only hoped for a plain expression of what you were hoping to discuss, as I wasn't sure. I apologise if it seemed I was accusing you of underhandedness.
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Where *Is* This card?

#24
Lorredan wrote: That statement presupposes that there is an agreement or sure knowledge what these cards are all about. That is not speculation- that is confident analysis.
I am not nearly so sure. I can look at all the fine art of the time, the architecture, the symbols etc etc and I still do not see these 22 anywhere except in Tarot as a sequence. Sometimes it is nearly so- but something pivotal is always missing. The nearest I have seen to Tarot 22 in one place is the Allegory and Effects of Good and Bad Government by Ambrogio Lorrenzetti in Siena. Maybe the understory of Tarot is the Allegory and Effects of Good and Bad Gambling in Taverns.

~Lorredan
http://evergreen.loyola.edu/brnygren/ww ... mpagni.htm
I guess I was referring to what is generally suggested as an "estates of man growing through worldly conditions ultimately expanding to include the powers of the universe" scenerio which, I think, is what most historians would suggest as the basic structure of the tarot. No?

We've discussed before this feeling that something is not quite right, which is partially what I tried to convey in that list. I've expressed before my hope that a manuscript or passion play or some other cohesive whole would be found to why these 22 images were chosen. It's the basic question that I always come back to, and it still isn't solved to my satisfaction. That said, I don't see the images themselves as being so unusual. I once did. I called myself le pendu because at one time I thought if you could explain that card, you could explain tarot. Now it doesn't seem so out of place to me. Same for the Popess. And as Ross shows above, same for the Tower.

Again, I think you and I are in more agreement than difference in this point. Where we differ is that I don't see the cards individually as particularly unusual, but I do think the collection is highly suspect.
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Where *Is* This card?

#25
SteveM wrote:
robert wrote:That said, I do think that the Tarot de Marseille World portrays Christ resurrected, and I think that combined with the Judgement card they tell the Christian story as seen in hundreds of pieces of art from the period.
I think the only deck which clearly shows a christ figure on the world card is the Vieville; and I am more inclined to believe that something unfamiliar to the artist has been transformed into something familiar (the Christ like figure) than the other way round. The oldest reference we have to a cognate image to the Tarot de Marseille world is the card described by Piscina, which he describes as showing the four evangelists and in the midst of them not 'Christ' but 'the world' (unfortunately without describing how the 'world' is portrayed ~ perhaps something cognate with the 'Mantegna' S card in final position showing the cosmograph with the four evangelists in the corners).
Good point. Ross has mentioned how much variety there is in the way that the World was depicted, an important consideration. I suppose that its rank as the ultimate or penultimate trump required that it set a theme of some sort for the rest of the cards.

The cognate you mention in the S series is the Prima Causa:
Image


I'll be honest, I don't know much about this other than that it represents the "First Cause". I looked it up to see what I should know about it to see how it would relate to the Tarot de Marseille World, and wikipedia says this on the page for the Mantegna:
A (41-50): The seven Spheres of the Sun, Moon and five traditional planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn), the eighth sphere (Octava Spera) of the fixed stars, the Primum Mobile and Prima Causa (God)
Is this accurate? It's portraying God (as the First Cause) surrounded by the four evangelists?
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Where *Is* This card?

#26
robert wrote:
Again, I think you and I are in more agreement than difference in this point. Where we differ is that I don't see the cards individually as particularly unusual, but I do think the collection is highly suspect.
Here I am eating my hat or humble pie Robert :ymsigh: You are right! I did make it a challenge- even worse by the smilie icon. This is better..Me ... (~~) Then I went and forgot about the Vieville. My puzzlement is like yours -the whole sequence- is, as I said out of wack for a Christian narrative. Suspect is a very good word.
As an aside for this thead which has been answered by the Vieville, those four animals have not books(around the World cards)- and once again I wondered when you look at the divisions of the deck 22- you have creatures of the air (Eagle),wild animals(Lion),domesticated(Ox) and the youth/man or the twelve tribes of Israel -you have the symbol of order and universality/ systematic whole. That makes sense as the highest card in a game.
~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

Re: Where *Is* This card?

#27
SteveM wrote: I think the only deck which clearly shows a christ figure on the world card is the Vieville; and I am more inclined to believe that something unfamiliar to the artist has been transformed into something familiar (the Christ like figure) than the other way round. The oldest reference we have to a cognate image to the Tarot de Marseille world is the card described by Piscina, which he describes as showing the four evangelists and in the midst of them not 'Christ' but 'the world' (unfortunately without describing how the 'world' is portrayed ~ perhaps something cognate with the 'Mantegna' S card in final position showing the cosmograph with the four evangelists in the corners).
My impression is that Piscina was looking at a card in which a human figure appeared. I think that, given the name of the card, that human figure (in particular if male) would have been interpreted as a symbol of “the world”. In this case, I guess that Christ would be the “secondary meaning”.
robert wrote: The cognate you mention in the S series is the Prima Causa ...
Is this accurate? It's portraying God (as the First Cause) surrounded by the four evangelists?
The card represents the structure of the universe, aka cosmos or Mundus. “The seven Spheres of the Sun, Moon and five traditional planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn), the eighth sphere (Octava Spera) of the fixed stars” can all be seen in this card.

Dante (Par. XXIV):
… Io credo in uno Dio
solo ed etterno, che tutto 'l ciel move,
non moto, con amore e con disio;


I believe in a single eternal
God, who, without moving, moves all the sky
by means of his love and desire.

The first cause is the will of God, the “unmoved mover” derived from Aristotle via Thomas Aquinas. In this image, the Creator is somehow identified with his creation.

BTW, I just found a passage by St.Augustine in which the correspondence of the four evangelists with the cardinal points is made clear. I think it makes sense to include them in an image of the Christian cosmos:

the number of the Evangelists has been set to four "for the simple reason that there are four divisions of that world through the universal length of which they, by their number as by a kind of mystical sign, indicated the advancing extension of the Church of Christ".

Marco

Re: Where *Is* This card?

#28
CORRECTION:

I wrote this a few days ago. It is wrong! Card cheats were pilloried, not executed. (Punishment in France varied by locale.) I simply forgot what I'd read. Sorry :(
debra wrote:
I am reading the history of the French multi-generational family of executioners, the Sansons. In the mid-1600's, it seems, execution was often the penalty for cheating at cards.

Re: Where *Is* This card?

#29
marco wrote: BTW, I just found a passage by St.Augustine in which the correspondence of the four evangelists with the cardinal points is made clear. I think it makes sense to include them in an image of the Christian cosmos:

the number of the Evangelists has been set to four "for the simple reason that there are four divisions of that world through the universal length of which they, by their number as by a kind of mystical sign, indicated the advancing extension of the Church of Christ".

Marco
Thanks Marco, I thought that the idea to of the four evangelists taking the good news to the four corners of the world was a common place that did not require referencing, otherwise I would have done so; pleased you use an Augustinian reference, as I would have done so myself, in support as I have said many times of the Augustinian Christian narrrative.
Question:
But why is Christ's history written by four Penmen?

Answer:
Ancient writers (who much please themselves with their fancies, about the mysteries of numbers) have excogitated divers Reasons thereof:

St. Irenæus saith; "Because there are four Regions the world wherein we are ; and four principal winds... and the Church its own throughout all the earth... and the Gospel is the pillar and ground of the Church and the spirit of life: consequently she must have four pillars standing on every side incorruptibly, and enlivening men.

Jerome saith; "The Church which by the Lord's word is founded on a Rock... issuing forth four Rivers as four rivers from Paradise ("this is also Origens Argument) hath four corners...

Augustine saith; "These four Evangelists, well known in the whole World, because there are four parts of the Earth, throughout all of which they have declared, by the mystery of their number, that the Church of Christ shall be enlarged, are said to have written in this Order. First by Matthew. Then Mark. Thirdly Luke. Lastly John.

Thus the number of the four Evangelists fetched from the four Cardinal winds; from the four Regions or Corners of the Earth; from the four Rivers' of Paradise; and from the four Corners and four Rings of the Ark of the Covenant.

But most of them accommodate that the four living creature wbich four had the face of a man, and the face of a Lyon on the right side': and the face of an Oxe on the left side: they four also had the face of an Eagle: to the number of the four Evangelists, though severally fitting them and interpreting them.

Irenæus saith, "The first living Creature 'like a Lyon, signifies Christs Efficacy, Principality, ' Regality - John: The second Iike a Calf,, signifies his Priestly sacrificing Order, Luke: The third having as it were a mans face describes his ' comming in the flesh as man, Matthew: and the fourth like a flying Eagle, manifesting 'the grace of the Spirit, flying into the Church, Mark.

Jerome saith: The first face of a'man signifies Matthew, who began to write of ' Christ as of a man. The Book of the Generation ' of Jesus Christ son of David, son of Abraham, ' The second Mark in which is heard the voice of a Lyon roaring in the wilderness, The Voice of one ' crying in the Wilderness, Prepare ye the way of ' the Lord, make his Paths straight : The third of ' a Calf, which prefigures Luke the Evangelist, taking his beginning from Zechary the Priest: The fourth John the Evangelist, who having taken the ' wings of an Eagle, and hastening to higher matters, disputes of the WORD of God."
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

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests

cron