Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#21
Yes debra I posted the wrong codex drawing. Duh. Somewhere in that codex is the right image. I cannot find it.

The spear that is broken is the Spear of Truth. Why would a thrust at Lust break the spear?
I think Minerva has broken the spear herself as the truth is up there in the Platonic Virtues in the sky, to expel the Vices.

Neoplatonism in the Renaissance combined the ideas of Christianity and a new awareness of the writings of Plato.
Neoplatonism is a philosophy of religion.
Tarot seems to be Neoplatonism as it has this layer of the Classical Gods included to be used for understanding....
These so called Pagan Gods are nature for example.Or heroes that can be used to attain perfection here on Earth without waiting for heaven.

This Chariot. Now if Plato said that the Chariot is the soul and the Charioteer is the intelllect or reason and Christians were using that image, combining this image with Christian belief- then maybe the Chariot is the Spiritual Principle in everyman, the horses -Good and the absence of Good (the dark) and the Charioteer is Christlike/King reason- not anyone in particular. The perfect analogy of God's directive to Love. Divine madness in a Christian sense. How you can Love is to be Virtuous- The road map for the Chariot.
~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#23
Thanks Robert - good discussion.

Another detail which remains unexamined are the three nude figures in the very far background outside, under the fourth arch.

Image


Three women? Two women and a man? They don't appear to be deformed. Is it a kind of Garden of Eden? But why three then?
Image

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#24
debra wrote:Here's a better image. http://mini-site.louvre.fr/mantegna/ima ... /08_06.jpg
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:...
If you look at where the spear is pointing, and where Pallas is looking, it is pointing right at the wee fella's willy -

...

So my interpretation would be that the spear was broken in the first thrust against lust, and so reinforcements are being called in.
They're not in the same plane. The arches in the hedge are wide enough to walk through comfortably, about a meter/three feet. The flying babes are to her side, parallel to her left shoulder, above and slightly behind the cloven-footed mama. The mama and the babe closest to Pallas are in the same plane, parallel to Pallas's shield, and probably two meters away.

She's looking at the people in the clouds.
Although not on the same plane, I don't think the way the spear is pointing - directly into the 'V' of Lust's open legs - is accidental. Mantegna would have been well aware of the effect he was producing, which was compositional as well as an allusion.

And re. Diana, the figure in pink behind and to the right of Venus? is also carrying a bow (unless it's a musical instrument).
He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy...

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#25
Pen wrote: Although not on the same plane, I don't think the way the spear is pointing - directly into the 'V' of Lust's open legs - is accidental. Mantegna would have been well aware of the effect he was producing, which was compositional as well as an allusion.
Exactly. It seems that he daubed a few bright spots of paint in the line of spear-to-crotch, creating a twig, to emphasize the point -

Image

And re. Diana, the figure in pink behind and to the right of Venus? is also carrying a bow (unless it's a musical instrument).
I think Diana is the one dressed in blue. She has a quiver full of arrows too. I don't know who her companion is, or what she is carrying.

I agree the pink figure is carrying a bow, but I have no idea who those two women are. They aren't deformed though, so perhaps they are virtuous ladies.
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Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#26
I just re- read this thread and I have a question.
I thought the Mother of Virtue/s is the Roman Goddess Veritas- So is it Veritas restrained and Minerva is Prudence- who is being ultimately prudent in expelling the Vices?
I thought Minerva's spear is also Truth not knowledge. KNowledge makes sense tho, because it is all about ignorance nes pas?
Those figures outside the garden..... innocence?
~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#27

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parnassus_%28Mantegna%29
Mantegna 1497, Parnassus, 1st Studiolo picture


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combat_of_ ... d_Chastity
Perugino (1503), Battle of Love and Chastity, 3rd Studiolo picture


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_o ... Coronation
Lorenzo Costa (1505/06) Allegory of Isabella d'Este's coronation, 4th Studiolo picture



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comus
Lorenzo Costa (1507/11), The reign of Comus, 5th Studiolo picture

*************

"Duke Charles I of Nevers gifted this and the other paintings in the studiolo to Cardinal Richelieu."

Image

Father of the future Queen of Poland, who ordered the first Tarot game rules in 1637 from Marolles.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#28
debra wrote: They're not in the same plane. The arches in the hedge are wide enough to walk through comfortably, about a meter/three feet. The flying babes are to her side, parallel to her left shoulder, above and slightly behind the cloven-footed mama. The mama and the babe closest to Pallas are in the same plane, parallel to Pallas's shield, and probably two meters away.

She's looking at the people in the clouds.
As Pen pointed out, the compositional aspect of line of sight is more important than precise accuracy of perspective. Pallas' line of sight compositionally (for our benefit) includes both the first putto as well as the descending Virtues (I've put two pink lines to suggest the range where she could be looking). But, if we were to look exactly where her eyes are looking, she appears to be looking at the pinnacle of the rock in which the Mother of Virtues is imprisoned.

Here are some lines -


http://www.rosscaldwell.com/art/mantegnalines.jpg

Among other things, it makes it clear that the women in pink and light green in the background are actually smaller than the goddess and the personifications of vice - not just an effect of distance, but "really". The arched hedgerow just in front of which they are walking joins the row of arches out of which Minerva is emerging. The former arches - the actual arches, not the height of the top of the row, which is exactly the same as Minerva's arches - are about 1/10 higher than the tops of the archways of Minerva's row. Minerva is over 5/8 of the height of the archway out of which she has emerged (she is "11cm" on my screen, while the arch is 17cm), while the ladies in the background are less than half the height of their arches (they are 5.5cm on my screen) - we can't see the bottoms, but since they join Minerva's row, they must end there, on the same level as the ground upon which the ladies are walking. If the larger arches were placed in front of Minerva's arch, then, they would be roughly 18.7cm high, making the ladies, at less than half their height, about 9cm tall, or two centimeters shorter than Minerva.

But the ladies are exactly the same size as the figure of Justice in the cloud (the pink rectangles are identical in size). This would suggest that the Virtues are directly above the women. But it is more reasonable to think that they are actually at least as big as Pallas herself, in which case the Virtues are some distance behind the arched hedges, and Pallas would have to be turning her head away from us, the viewers, to be looking at them. Even if they were directly above the ladies, her head would have to be turned more.

I'm sure some basic trigonometry could figure out exactly where the Virtues are in relation to the archways if they are the same size as Minerva, but it's clear in any case that they are not "on the same plane" as where her eyes are looking.

This is a case where seeing Minerva's face is more important than perfect three-dimensional accuracy, and Mantegna wanted to include everything in her line of sight from OUR two-dimensional perspective, not necessarily on the same three-dimensional plane. Or, if she is just supposed to be looking at something, then it is the pinnacle of the rock, and neither the Virtues nor the putto.

I'd say that there is some confusion about perspective in the back part of the garden anyway, so we should not take things too "literally" in this composition. Look at the faun-vice, with the babies, beside Minerva - she would be much taller than the goddess if she stood up. That hardly seems fair.
Image

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#29
Pen wrote:

Although not on the same plane, I don't think the way the spear is pointing - directly into the 'V' of Lust's open legs - is accidental. Mantegna would have been well aware of the effect he was producing, which was compositional as well as an allusion.
I doubt any aspect of this picture is accidental.

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#30
The line of the spear plays an important part in composition too, guiding the eye up to the Virtues on their cloud and emphasizing the triangular arrangement of all the figures.

Ross wrote:
I think Diana is the one dressed in blue. She has a quiver full of arrows too. I don't know who her companion is, or what she is carrying.
Agreed - the lady in blue must surely be Diana. The lady in pink seems to be guiding the one in green through the dangerous garden - perhaps she needs her bow to protect them both. I wondered if they might be members of the Gonzaga family - two of Isabella's daughters perhaps.

I think this and Parnassus are the most successful of Isabella's studiola paintings of those posted.
He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy...

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