Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#81
I stumbled about a funny picture ...

Image

http://digitalcorpora.org/corp/nps/file ... 72504.html

with the accompanying text
62. François Ier en déité (Francis I as a God), mid-1540s, Department of Prints and Photographs, Na 255 Rés., Parchment glued on oak panel

In this painting, the king, Francis I (1515-1547), wears Minerva's helmet, Mars's armor, Mercury's winged sandals and his staff, Diana's hunting horn, and Cupid's bow and quiver; and a Medusa's head adorns his breastplate. This elevation of the monarch into a superman with the attributes of the Olympic gods was typical of royal iconography in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Somehow it remembered me on the discussions in this thread. Well, the picture mixed the symbols of the gods to follow a specific interest: to present Francois I as an important man.
... and it sends the interpretation of the reader in different directions, finishing with a trivial "well, it's me, Francois I"
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#82
That particular portrait, of Francis as cross-dresser, is often used to show how the Renaissance prince aspired to androgyny, possessing the virtues of both sexes.

A few additions on the topic of Mantegna's Pallas expelling the virtues.

According to Ronald Lightbown in Mantegna (p. 204), the broken lance was a symbol of victory:
...in the vocabulary of the chivalric battle of the tournament the breaking of a lance on one's opponent was an attaint that signified a score because to shiver one's lance was a sign that one had touched one's enemy. The broken lance is therefore an emblem of victory, as in the Madonna della Vittoria, not of defeat.

Lightbown identifies the mother of the virtues with Prudence, but only by ignoring the distinction between prudence and wisdom, prudentia and sapientia. He cites (p. 202) Cicero's observation in De Legibus that mater enim omnium bonarum rerum sapientia est, wisdom is the mother of all good things, while voluptas malorum autem mater omnium, voluptuousness is the mother of all evils. That explains the prominence of Venus in the garden, but is not much of an argument for Pallas as prudentia. He also cites (p. 203) Battista da Campo Fregoso's Anteros, which says that "carnal delights are an impediment to wisdom (prudentia)". Here we have prudentia and not sapientia. That they were not the same for the Renaissance is indicated by the numerous quotes that Webb gives, as well as the engraving from Holy Mountain that I showed earlier.

It seems to me that the best argument for the mother of the virtues being Prudentia is the Correggio Allegory of Virtue that was placed with the Mantegna, where Pallas also has a broken lance. There she is being crowned above a figure representing all four virtues. She has rescued prudence, that she may join the other virtues. So she herself is clearly Wisdom, Sapientia. This was done almost 30 years after Mantegna's painting, but with the same commissioner, Isabella. However it seems to me that whatever Isabella herself might have thought in 1530, the c. 1502 Mantegna is much more subtle in its representation of Pallas than the Correggio.

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#83
Huck wrote,
I don't have data, when Filelfo was fully accepted by the Sforza court. I found this (from the English Momus edition)
http://books.google.de/books?id=2ZNcrOc ... us&f=false

Image

Image


Also this:
http://books.google.de/books?id=tjJ8VbF ... us&f=false

Image

Filelfo was 18, when he left Padova, and Alberti was 12. And I wonder, how much relation between an 18-years-old and a 12-years-old really might have existed.
Your last reference, p. 358 of Filelfi's Odes, mentions three other times when Alberti and Filelfo had a chance to renew their friendship, in Florence 1429-1434, Bologna 1437-1438, and Mantua (1459). Bologna is dubious and Mantua too late for Momus, but Florence was certainly likely. Filelfo wrote an ode to Alberti that seems to suggest a friendship, too: Book IV, Ode 6, on pp. 252-259 of the same book. Filelfo seems to have been in Cremona at that time, so probably 1453, on his way to Rome and Naples. I see that the last two pages (of four) of the Ode's English translation are not in Google Books, but the references to Momus are all on p. 255, which is in Google's preview. The notes to the ode are on pp. 416-417, which are also in the preview. Robin, the translator, notes that in the Ode "Filelfo wonders whom Alberti means to satirize in the Momus." Perhaps, but he does not seem to be suggesting that he, Filelfo, is being satirized, and that he is Momus. I can't see that. All he says in the Ode, addressing Alberti, is:
There are some Momuses who say you are writing satires. Surely you are not by chance being criticized for the same thing I am?"
Filelfo had recently published a book of satires himself. Robin's only relevant comment on this passage is "Some contemporaries identified Alberti's architect-god Zeus with Pope Eugenius IV" (p. 416, in Google Books).
In the Ode Filelfo contrasts his own poverty with Alberti's wealth. Describing the accoutrements of wealth, there are some lines that might be critical of Alberti. I don't think so, but I quote them for your perusal, as they are on p. 257, not in the Google Preview:
I've always been eager for wealth follow me as its lord, not for me to follow it. What is mroe riches have brought me neither a mistress, nor fine clothes, nor enticements or dalliances. I indulge neitehr in obscene humor, nor in abundnce of Cyprian wine. And I have no disgraceful amounts of food to satisfy a shameless gullet. Gaming and gambling have taken no pleasure in having come to know my home, nor do silly games of chance live there.
The reason I don't think this is directed at Alberti is that Alberti in his essays shows himself to be no lover of the "Cyprian wine"--i.e. Venus--either. But then again, you never know.

On Filelfo's support by Francesco Sforza, Robin says:
When Francesco Sforza entered the city and was officially consecrated as its fourth duke in March 1450, Filelfo resumed his duties under the new sovereign as court poet and university professor at Pavia (p. xi).
So Francesco seems to have supported him immediately. On the other hand:
But when the wars between Sforza and Venice and their respective allies continued and Filelfo did not receive the stipend he had been promised, he looked to other courts for support.
Perhaps by "fully support" you mean in a way that satisfied Filelfo, or a way that he felt he was promised. That may have been never, since he continues to ask others for money, including Bianca Maria.

I see in the introduction to the translation of Momus that you linked to, the dates for the dinner pieces" is given as starting in 1430, "which he would go on to augment and embellish over the next two decades" (p. xv, in Google Books preview). Robin wrote a book on Filelfo, Filelfo in Milan: Writings, 1451-1477, I should probably look at.

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