Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#51
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: About Justice, I don't know what Huck was thinking. I have never found Justice given the title "Mother of Virtues", and, as you point out, and I did earlier on this thread, she is already portrayed. I can't recall, for the moment, any other iconographic representation of just these three virtues grouped together, with Prudence absent. This makes it potentially of interest to tarot trump-sequence interpreters.
I vaguely recall while rare there are a few such groupings - the cover of a 10th century bible comes to mind - I think it was posted on AT, will see if I can find it.

The Notger Bible:

http://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.php? ... stcount=29

There is an article in ATS Newsletter here:
http://newsletter.tarotstudies.org/2004 ... the-tarot/

As a grouping on their own they represent the three moral virtues by which the appetitive powers of the soul are perfected:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15472a.htm
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

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#52
Searching for “mater virtutum” I found this medieval proverb:

Mater virtutum ratio:
nocet esse locutum,
Esse nocet mutum;
reddunt mediocria tutum

Balance is the mother of virtues:
being verbose is harmful,
being mute is harmful,
moderation makes you safe.

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#53
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: About Justice, I don't know what Huck was thinking. I have never found Justice given the title "Mother of Virtues", and, as you point out, and I did earlier on this thread, she is already portrayed. I can't recall, for the moment, any other iconographic representation of just these three virtues grouped together, with Prudence absent. This makes it potentially of interest to tarot trump-sequence interpreters.
Well ... I didn't speak of the focused picture, and I didn't speak of medieval understanding of the virtues. I think, the original virtue model developed from some far spread "basic math", more "abstract" than "described with words".

Actually the "description with words" usually confuses the model ... :-) ... especially if people of different languages come together.
In a binary model you've "1" and "0" and "1 and 0 together" ... and a fourth state "neither 1 or 0". This fourth value might be called "Balance" and so it would be something like "Justice". Something, which gives "justice" to the other three "movements", which prefer specific positions.
You can connect the model with 3 elements only to the model Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis with Thesis = 1 and Antithesis = 0 and Synthesis = "1 and 0 together" Kant uses this and connects it to a model with 4 elements called "Quantity" and "Quality" and "Relation" and "Modality", whereby "Quantity" is somehow = 1 and "Quality" = 0 and "Relation" = "1 and 0 together" (again) and Modality = "neither 1 nor 0" (well, that's the "Justice").

Kant "multiplies" then the group with 3 elements with the group of 4 elements and gets naturally a 3x4=12 and this he calls the "12 categories", which he then mirrors in a more subjective dimension and then it are the "12 Judgments", actually a meta-catalog of possible sentences.
Modality (= Justice) has ...

the "problematic" judgment (judgment about - future - possibilities)
the "assertion" judgment (empiric judgment)
the "apodictic" judgment (something must necessarily exist)

from the categories Modality (= Justice) has ...

Possibilities - Impossibilities
Dasein - Nicht-Sein ... to be or not to be
Necessity - Randomness

Well ... that's a philosophical game ... essential is only the basic math. Words and ideas will create at the one side "content" and at the other side "confusion".
I-Ching speaks of "heaven (+), earth (-) and Man (+/-), Indian Bhagavagdita speaks of three gunas, sattva (+), rajas (+/-) and tamas (-) , from which they develop three yoga forms (Karma Yoga - good actions; Bhakti Yoga - Love and Jnana Yoga - knowledge; and they formulate a fourth, which unites all the three other, Rajas Yoga.
Element-theories speak of fire (+), water (-) and air as communication between fire and water (+/-) ad define earth as the mix of the three others (our justice). That are all different systems important to different people and all in different languages, but actually all use the same basic math, and all connected persons can count till 3 or 4 at least.
From this: if one would search a "mother" between the virtues, it wouldn't be Prudentia, but Justice. Basic math has it this way. If somebody else talks of something different, let him talk ...naturally confusion is part of the game.

Veritas as "daughter of Saturn" (or Chronos) and "mother of Virtue" (wikipedia gives a singular) in Roman mythology seems to be a fact, though I don't see a quote for this relation (and I see no mother).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veritas
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtue

Aletheia has quotes (either Zeus or Prometheus is the father):
http://www.theoi.com/Daimon/Aletheia.html

All seem to be "philosophical additions", and in the Prometheus story it seems to be a modification of the Pandora story.
But nonetheless: Alberti seems to have known the Roman story (Alithia is daughter of Chronos) and also the Greek name Alethia, when he wrote the Philodoxus.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#54
Thanks for freeing up the terrain, Steve. The question at hand now is, what is the "mother of the virtues" or "mother of virtues" (given that there is no definite article in the Latin, per Marco's quote) in this particular painting by Mantegna, in which the "mother" is represented as imprisoned behind a wall at the far right. In that context, justice, fortitude, and temperance are ruled out, because they are clearly shown with their attributes in the clouds. What remains is either prudence or something other than the four cardinal virtues: sapientia, truth, or their combination seems to me the most likely, but others on Steve's list aren't ruled out. More information is needed, as much as possible related to the particularity of time and place of the paintings's execution. That's part of why I gave an engraving of 1477 and a painting (I think Lombard) of 1452.

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#55
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
About Justice, I don't know what Huck was thinking. I have never found Justice given the title "Mother of Virtues", and, as you point out, and I did earlier on this thread, she is already portrayed.
While I agree that it is cannot be Justice, as Justice is already represented - I am pretty sure I have seen "Justice Legale" referred to as 'Mother of Virtues' in as much she is taken to representan ebodiment of the aristotelian mean: the balance between one extreme and the other, such as the example of verbosity and silence in Marco's proverb:
marco wrote:Searching for “mater virtutum” I found this medieval proverb:

Mater virtutum ratio:
nocet esse locutum,
Esse nocet mutum;
reddunt mediocria tutum

Balance is the mother of virtues:
being verbose is harmful,
being mute is harmful,
moderation makes you safe.
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

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#56
SteveM wrote: - I am pretty sure I have seen "Justice Legale" referred to as 'Mother of Virtues' in as much she is taken to representan ebodiment of the aristotelian mean: the balance between one extreme and the other, such as the example of verbosity and silence in Marco's proverb:
This is the closest I can find and is probably what I was vaguely recalling:

"The choice of the term Justice légale , instead of the synonymous Justice universele , stresses that in Oresme's text Justice is identified with obedience to positive or man-made law.[24] Yet a certain tension exists between the secular and political emphasis in Oresme's definition and several formal and iconographic aspects of its visual analogue. The system for ordering the image of the upper register employs devices that communicate simultaneously worldly and transcendent associations. For example, the central position of the main figure has a twofold significance. In one sense, her placement alludes to her embodiment of the mean, as in the scheme fashioned by Oresme for the depiction of Virtue in Book II (Fig. 11). In the context of Book V, Justice légale fixes the mean in regard to personal and social relationships and in reaching fair and just judgment. Her verticality conveys notions of uprightness and standing fast. But her preponderant size abandons the association established in Figure 11 of the ethical mean with physical scale. Instead, a reversion to a non-naturalistic canon signals that large scale stands for spiritual or political supremacy. In this case, the reference symbolizes the primacy of Justice légale in the hierarchy of moral virtues, as well as a supernatural status.
The sheltering mantle of Justice légale also has multiple associations. This important motif expresses the virtue's characteristics of benevolence, protectiveness, and inclusiveness. The six smaller forms she harbors are subordinate to her and contained within her. In a visual and conceptual sense, they are "daughter" virtues. Of the six depicted, four are named: Fortitude, Justice particulière (Particular Justice), Mansuétude (Gentleness) and Entrepesie (Conciliation). Of these, Fortitude and Mansuétude are the first and third of the virtues in Oresme's text that form part of Justice légale.[25] Justice particulière is a daughter too, as she is a special type of Justice, different from, but also part of, Justice légale. The meaning of the neologism Entrepesie is more problematic. The late Professor Menut suggested in a letter that the word, probably derived from entre and peser (to weigh between) means mediation or conciliation.
Although the metaphor of Justice and her daughters exists in medieval legal and ethical sources, the four named in the miniature of folio 89 do not match up with any fixed group.[26] Also ambiguous are the associations of the attributes held by the daughters. The palm held by Fortitude, the sword proferred by Justice particulière, the ring extended by Mansuétude, and the dog cuddled by Entrepesie can apply to them or to their mother . For example, as a cardinal virtue, Fortitude can appropriately carry a palm, which can also signify the victory of a secular or heavenly ruler.[27] Of course, the sword is traditionally associated with Justice, while the ring can allude to the eternal nature and sovereignty of this trustworthy virtue.[28] This grouping may reflect Oresme's personal selection of significant concepts.
The maternal aspect of Justice légale creates a powerful visual metaphor of nurturant qualities, whose clear order and structure relate many aspects of the
― 99 ―
virtue's moral qualities to each other. From the relationship between mother and daughter another range of allusions emerges that further illuminates the character of Justice légale. The protection she offers her daughters refers to her mercy, compassion, and responsibility. The mantle she extends is emblematic of these qualities. To both contemporaries and the modern viewer, the outspread cloak calls to mind the iconographic type known as the Madonna of Misericordia, or Mercy. A recent study by Christa Belting-Ihm clarifies the subtly interwoven roots of this archetypal image. Old Testament, Roman imperial, legal, Christian, and other sources account for the shifting content in which the protective mantle theme appears.[29] As testimony of the expansion of the Madonna of Misericordia theme in the thirteenth century, an image in a manuscript of Averroes's commentary on Aristotle's Metaphysics shows the fluid boundaries between the secular and religious realms. A historiated initial of an English manuscript[30] depicts Philosophy sheltering her daughters, the seven liberal arts.[31]

. . .

In Figure 24 Justice légale is represented as a queen as well as a mother . What general and specific significance does queenship have in this miniature? According to Aristotle, Universal or Legal Justice is virtue in its fullest sense and holds a sovereign position among civic virtues. Oresme describes Justice légale as "la plus tres noble de toutes les vertus" (the most noble of all the virtues).[35] In regard to the Madonna of Misericordia type, a spiritual affinity exists between Justice légale and Mary the Queen of Heaven, who embodies mercy and serves as advocate and mediator for humanity.

end quote:

http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpresseboo ... y=Mother#1
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

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#57
mikeh wrote:Thanks for freeing up the terrain, Steve. The question at hand now is, what is the "mother of the virtues" or "mother of virtues" (given that there is no definite article in the Latin, per Marco's quote) in this particular painting by Mantegna, in which the "mother" is represented as imprisoned behind a wall at the far right. In that context, justice, fortitude, and temperance are ruled out, because they are clearly shown with their attributes in the clouds. What remains is either prudence or something other than the four cardinal virtues: sapientia, truth, or their combination seems to me the most likely, but others on Steve's list aren't ruled out. More information is needed, as much as possible related to the particularity of time and place of the paintings's execution. That's part of why I gave an engraving of 1477 and a painting (I think Lombard) of 1452.
Well ... :-) ... the thread is "Plato and Virtue(s) ... the specific picture of 1502 is a subordinated problem.

But why not: We have the inscription, as Ross once found out ...
Found the quote in Seznec "La survivance des dieux antiques", (Flammarion, 1993) p. 132, no. 1.
"1. Compare in Mantegna's painting the Virtues which observe the battle from on high; an inscription even speaks of the Mother of Virtues (Et mihi virtutum matri succurite divi) which according to Foerster would be Truth, invisible."
The literal translation would be "And to me, the Mother of Virtues, run with assistance, O Divine Ones!".
R. Foerster's reference is from "Jahrbuch der preussischen Kunstsammlungen", vol. 22, 1901-1902, p. 480.
So we have several interpretations of the inscription now - Truth, Discretion, or Prudence (as a synonym for Discretion).
http://tarotforum.net/showpost.php?p=922583#75
(6 years ago)

"And to me, the Mother of Virtues, run with assistance, O Divine Ones!"

Image


There are a lot of other inscriptions .... I don't know, what they say, actually one should know them. Some are readable. The figures in the pond are anti-virtues, in other words: vices.

But here are some more inscriptions: http://wtfarthistory.com/post/813006713 ... -over-vice

The quote
ET MIHI MATER VIRTUTUM SUCCURRITE DIVI
is translated to
"Gods, save me too, the Mother of the Virtues"
... in the interpretation the mother of virtues is enclosed in a stone prison. Which somehow is rather different to the other suggestion.

The tree inscription says:
AGITE, PELLITE SEDIBUS NOSTRIS / FOEDA HAEC VICIORUM MONSTRA / VIRTUTUM COELITUS AD NOS REDEUNTIUM / DIVAE COMITES

Come, divine companions of the Virtues who are returning to us from Heaven, expel these foul monsters of Vices from our seats.
... and there are others. Well, I don't care in the moment.

The mother of the virtues shall be, where the inscriptions is ... so the opinion. Alright. Here are faces in the clouds:

Image


To the left we've a "wooden column" (actually a tree, which has a woman figure) and it's considered, that it is Daphne, but it is assumed to be an olive, and that's said to be a sign of peace. Nonetheless the wooden lady seem to declare war on the vices (inscription says so).
Well, if there are clouds with faces above and a wooden lady at the left, a lady in the stone isn't such a big surprise at the right.

Image


Is this a figure? I see a face in it and the face is ugly, but if I see the face, I see also (with goodwill) the indication of a figure. the feet are split near the head of the person. It's rather unbelievable to accept, that here is something, if you don't see anything, don't worry. But if there are pointers in the picture, which say, that there is something, I would see it.

Now it's the year 1502, and in Florence Michelangelo is at the operation "David" between 1501-1504. This was connected to a debate, that figures in stone (3-dimensional) are more worthy than 2-dimensional pictures (I've this from a literary biography of Michelangelo), and that the sculptor might have higher value than the painter (at least in Micheangelo's view, but not in the opinion of painters, which considered this work as "dusty" and "dirty" ... with some right). Mantegna btw. was a painter ... so perhaps not interested to make the figure very beautiful.

But ... Alberti made the figure of Memory to the guardian of Aletheia (Truth, mother of Virtue) and the Memory figure is described as ugly. in the theater play Philodoxus.

Image


Well, one shouldn't forget about the possibility, that painters occasionally made jokes. .... :-) ... similar to researchers.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#58
Huck wrote: There are a lot of other inscriptions .... I don't know, what they say, actually one should know them. Some are readable.
Some of them are in other posts of the thread you and Ross linked to - starting from about page 7 #66 in a reply to a post by Kenji:

http://tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=24836&page=7

For example:

quote
The inscription on the water's edge that serves to identify the armless figure of Otium in the lake reads:

Otium su tollas periere cupidinis arcus

A line from Ovid’s Remedia Amoris ‘Love’s Cure’:

"Put sloth aside, and at once you break in twain the shafts of Love; his torch is out, and henceforth is but a thing for jest and mockery. As the plane tree loveth wine, as the poplar loveth the pure stream, as the marshy reed loveth slimy soil, so doth Venus delight in idleness. Love flees from toil; if, then, you would banish love from your heart, find some work for your idle hands to do and then you will be safe. Dolce far niente, too much sleep, gambling, and overmuch wine-bibbing cloud the brain and, though they deal it no serious wound, filch away its energy."

http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/ovid/lboo/lboo61.htm

The scroll of the 'talking' Olive Tree 'babbles in three ancient tongues. Two of these ... in pseudo greek and hebrew...is indecipherable. The Latin reads AGITE, PELLITE SEDIBUS NOSTRIS/FOEDA HAEC VICIORUM MONSTRA/VIRTUTEM COELITUS AS NOS REDEUNTIUM/DIVAE COMITES: "Come, divine companions in virtue who are returning to us from Heaven, expell these foul monsters of Vices from our seats." (p.147)

Ref:
Campbell, Stephen J. The Cabinet of Eros: Renaissance mythological painting and the studiolo of Isabelle d'Este (Yale University Press 2004).

Web, Nicholas, "Momus with Little Flatteries: Intellectual Life at the Italian Courts," in Mantegna and Fifteenth-century Court Culture, ed. Francis Ames-Lewis and Anka Bednarek (London, 1993), 69.(quoted in Campbell n2, p344)
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

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#59
SteveM wrote: Some of them are in other posts of the thread you and Ross linked to - starting from about page 7 #66 in a reply to a post by Kenji:

http://tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=24836&page=7
Thanks ... I got them already from the website, that I quoted. But the focus had been on the "Mother of virtues", so I left these other details aside.

If one starts to look for faces or "hidden figures" ... forced by the two clear faces in the clouds ... one gets a lot of them. Actually the wall has three:

Image


A sort of ugly stone-man at the right edge, somehow indicated as dynamical running in the same direction as the other running figures at the picture, then another stone man face at the top left edge in profile, and an old woman face looking out of the wall near the inscription.
Just for reference: the normal picture ...

Image


Other figures appear on the mountain (at the left border) ...

Image


... and between the rocks at the top mountain ...

Image


... and both might look at the scene below.

Then there is a big eye or an "upper face part"(well, might be also door to a cave in the mountain)...

Image


... but leaving all these mysteries aside, we have "running people" and they run from left (which is dark) to the wall, which has much light at his right edge, an this light possibly indicates, that there should be an entrance (where the wall ends). The major persons (Minerva and two girls) seem to run to this entrance, and one may ask where this entrance might lead to, and the natural answer should be, that this would lead to the three persons, which one can observe through one of the pseudo-windows: Two of them are in a haste like the running persons at the picture, and the final person is sitting and seems to expect arrival of the running persons. And the inscription with the Latin sentence "ET MIHI MATER VIRTUTUM SUCCURRITE DIVI", which in the translation offered by the link of Ross should be translated "And to me, the ]Mother of Virtues[/b, run with assistance, O Divine Ones!", is so arranged, that it points to the 3 small persons in far distance.

Image


From the three running persons at the foreground Minerva is dominant, cause she's greater than the both others, but the two running girls get the center. Who are they? Elisabetta Gonzaga (Isabella's great friend) and Isabella perhaps? Both met at the wedding of Lucrezia and Alfonso (January 1502), as far I remember (? ... if not, Elisabetta and her husband lost the throne of Urbino in June 1502 to Cesare Borgia and went then to Mantova, so Elisabetta and Isabella had in any way some contact in 1502).

Image


Both had a favor for small travels and visits at mother Nature. Generally shepherds literature was en vogue, possibly especially, as Naples (where shepherd's literature took its origin) had fallen victim of the recent political changes (1501; Isabella's mother was a Naples daughter). So possibly the message of the picture is ... "away from stinking and vicious ponds of courtly life with its intrigues and its artificial gardens, back to the free nature and the natural virtues."
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#60
It is interesting that the positioning of this painting seems to have importance.
It was over the doorway of what appears to be a ceremonial bedroom, perhaps for solemnization of marriages or contracts of marriage.
The subjects of the painting appear to be leaving or been chased out of this bedroom.
The Painting Parnassus was placed as to appear to to be regarding the painting that is been discussed.
There is also a ceremonial bed in the painting.
The ceiling is painted to give a view of the sky through an opening in a cupola- suggesting that the Gods witness what takes place here.
So no mistresses in this bed.
Only Mars and Venus on a mission of dynasty- sacred not carnel.
So Huck's earlier notes about Lucrezia the mistress seem true.
Which brings me to that Mother of Virtue Veritas/Truth. Who or what has locked her up? We know whom she asks to free her..was it lies? Gossip? What do you reckon?
~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

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