Revisiting Petrarch and Giotto

#1
Some remarks by Lorredan recently got me thinking about Giotto's frescoes of the virtues and vices in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua. Then Jim Schulman's thread stimulated me some more. Revisiting Giotto, I came across a 2003 post of Robert's, his first on Aeclectic, wondering if the trumps were a combination of Petrarch's triumphs, the Scrovegni virtues and vices, and the Emperor and Empress left over from Imperator (http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=23005). There were some holes and, in the discussion, disagreements about what corresponded to what. But I think the suggestion has merit.

First come the seven virtues, independently of Scrovegni, the Petrarchan triumphs, and the two royals. Together they make 15, one less than Huck's hypothesized 16 trump Cary-Yale (CY). Now the Cary-Yale is not the ur-tarot; it's too late. But perhaps there was an ur-CY, from 1428 or so, of which the CY and the Brera-Brambilla--unless it was an Imperator deck--are the only survivors, an ur-CY that looks very much like what we have left of those two. They, and at least the CY, are examples of a particular pattern. In the language of 20th century philosophical logic, they are tokens of a type.

In this ur-CY, all but one of the Petrarchans are there: Love, Chastity (Chariot, in the CY's version), Death, Fame (the lady with the trumpet), and Eternity (Judgment). The missing one, Time, would be the Vecchio, or Old Man, as we see in the PMB (with his hourglass, below) and other early decks.

The matchup of Chastity with Chariot doesn't work so well in other early decks. The BAR (short for Beaux-Arts plus Rothschild, Kaplan vol. 2 p. 128f), for example, can't very well have Chastity as the Chariot; it has a warrior on top, not an elegant woman. Also its World card is not so clearly Fame; she lacks a trumpet. (I'd show you the images, but my image-processing program stopped working in the middle of writing this. A nice assemblage is at http://tarotmeditations.wordpress.com/d ... hschild-3/.)

So what is the 16th card of this ur-CY? Well, we have to think of the Petrarchans as forming pairs, as in chess but also in many other games: two cards with towers, Fame and Judgment/Angel (like the rooks, which are towers); two cards with horses, Chariot and Death (like the Knights, which are horses). This is Huck's layout. Love and the Old Man are not a pair; there's no old man there. Huck suggests Love as an 8th virtue. The virtues divide into four cardinals and three theologicals. Love is an 8th, so that we have two pairs of 4.
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So what goes with the Old Man to form a pair? I think it's the Wheel of Fortune, which has an old man on the bottom: two cards with old men. The Wheel of Fortune is one of the two surviving trumps of the Brera-Brambilla (center above); and the PMB would have it (right above), so probably the CY also had it. So now we have 16 for the ur-CY. This solution is another one that won't work on the BAR or the Charles VI: the Charles VI doesn't have one to see, but if it's anything like the BAR, the bottom figure isn't old.

True, the Wheel of Fortune is neither a Petrarchan triumph nor a virtue. Perhaps it was a card in Imperator, a game we know very little about. It certainly was a common enough image. [Added next day: In fact Time and Fortune were associated in the Middle Ages: the "Mechfeldt Tapestry", which Durer reportedly said was copied from an old tapestry, calls the lady turning the wheel "Zeit," Time.]

For someone using the chess analogy, it would be tempting to see Pope-Popess, the two religious figures of the tarot, as the cards corresponding to the bishops. But then there would be no Petrarchan Time. The Pope is not typically a symbol of Time. Also, the Popess was not part of the iconographic tradition at all, before the tarot. It seems to me that the "old man" category fits better. Bishops were typically old men, unless they got their appointment by being related to someone important.

Since the cards form a hierarchy for trick-taking purposes, we have a nice sequence about virtue overcoming the evils of life. The Emperor and Empress, who embody the virtues, are our guides. We overcome Petrarchan Love with Chastity, and Death and Time with Eternity, acquired by means of the seven virtues. We see the ephemeral and unreliable nature of Fortune and Fame, although Fame is not an unworthy goal when striven for in accord with virtue. It's a good educational game, just the thing for young children and their mothers (but designed by a father).

I imagine such hand-painted decks being commissioned by Filippo Visconti for his family, in a very limited number, a trifling thing for women and children. Perhaps he gives one to a condottiere like Piccinino, who has copies made to give to the ruling families of the places he conquers, such as Bologna. Or someone brings one to the conclave of 1437-1438, to pass the time. Anyway, it catches on. Among adults, there is a need for more complicated rules, requiring more cards. And the Christian educational part serves now as a defense against possible prohibition by the Church. At some point, besides the hand-painted luxury decks there is a demand for stenciled decks at a lesser price.

Someone remembers Giotto's vices and virtues. Someone has sketches of the images. Virtues and opposing vices are just the thing for an "educational" card game. In the Michelino, for example, there was the better Virtues and Virginities vs. the worse Riches and Pleasures. Character is strengthened in struggle with vice.

But I want to focus on more on visual similarities, of the kind a card maker might see, and less on those that a moralist would focus on. Several are fairly noncontroversial.

Giotto's Justice has two pans, an angel protecting a worker at his table in one and an executioner in the other. We already have the lady with the pans in the CY, and again in the PMB.
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Fortitudo has a lion on her shield. We already have the lion in the CY, and again in the PMB--but not in other early cards, unless you count the tarot of Mantegna.
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Hope has a crown in the upper right corner, replaced by a heavenly body in the Cary-Yale Hope card. In the PMB , this is the Star card. We have the beginnings of a conversion of the theological virtues to the luminaries.
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Giotto's Faith. as Robert noted, has a scroll in one hand and a staff in the other, making her similar to the Popess card of the PMB, the Cary Sheet, and--minus the staff--the Marseille tradition.
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She also has a key at her abdomen (viewable below at the bottom margin, about one third the way from the left side); that is another feature found in early Popess cards. I show below the Catelin Geoffrey of Lyon 1558.
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Other depictions are less clear-cut: Temperance holds a sword to her chest and a bridle in her mouth. I can't see what she has in her right hand. We don't know what Temperance would have looked like in the CY, but probably, if it was there, it was like the PMB and most other tarot Temperances. Giotto's image doesn't relate at all to the tarot Temperance card; the bridle, however, connects her to the PMB Moon card, if Marco is right that what she is holding is a bridle. The bridle was a traditional attribute of Temperance and didn't need Giotto for inspiration.
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Prudence has a book on a high table, of the sort traditionally used for accounting or lecturing, and also a mirror. The mirror is a traditional attribute of Prudence. It seems to me that there is a resemblance to depictions of street conjurers as depicted in the "children of the moon" series. Next to the Giotto image I have put the one in the Da Sphaera series done for the Sforzas in the 1460s. He is at a table and holds one arm up.
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In the tarot, similarly, the Magician is always at a table, typically holding something in one or both hands, usually a wand but sometimes a cup or coin. Below are three of the earliest, the PMB, the Cary Sheet, and the d'Este. How many other tables do you see in the Giottos or the early tarots?
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One could conceivably think of the Magician as prudent in a narrow sense, in that by his tricks he knows he will win against anyone who bets against him. His only danger is the wrath of the authorities and also the audience, if they catch on to him. However such short-term prudence, even if successful, is no good in the long term, because practicing deception will keep one out of heaven until one has atoned in the torments of purgatory.

Charity has a cherub giving something to a woman holding a full plate. Benefits from heaven are to be shared. [Added next day: that should read, Charity offers her heart to God while offering food to others.] That is a similar message to the CY Charity card, but a different image. The Sun card sometimes showed a sun shining down on the trees, giving them the energy needed for them to thrive. It seems to me that this is another example of a theological virtue being changed to a luminary.
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It is an allegory that works with more difficulty for the BAR and the Charles VI, which have the lady with the distaff under a sun--to me not a very clear message of the sun's bounty, although in a stretch the material being woven might count. (To see the Charles VI, one site is http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Categ ... Charles_VI). Or the message might be: your fate (Clotho, the one with the thread) is in God's (the Sun's) hands.

The PMB 2nd artist image, with its beaming child under a sun, also is not very close to the idea of Charity. Perhaps the child is a symbol of new life, thanks to the sun, allegorically God. But visually it is similar to the CY Charity in having a child and a large round object, in the CY held in the two hands of Charity. As a "second artist" card, it might have received some modification, compared to an earlier counterpart in the PMB.
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On the side of the vices, there are also matches, as people have frequently pointed out, although not agreeing on which correspond to which.

Giotto's Stultitia clearly relates to the PMB Fool, as Moakley observed.
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Inconstancy, with its woman in an earthquake, matches the Tower, which typically was visited by earthquake as well as fire (below the Charles VI, c. 1460, and the Rothschild, early 16th century).
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Despair matches the Hanged Man, with its hanged person. In the center below, I have enlarged the to right part of the card, to show more easily the devil grabbing at her soul and the serpent-like cord coming down from her gown. The "Charles VI" suggests Judas, who hanged himself in despair and in fact many early lists called the card "Judas". Some have seen Giotto's "infidelity" for this card. However the iconography suggests otherwise. Also, it was not betrayal that induced Judas to hang himself, but despair when he realized what he had done.
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For Infidelity, I think there is already a card in the CY: the Wheel of Fortune. Fortune was seen as a fickle lady.

On Envy, notice her horns, bat wings, and fire underneath (Robert noticed the parallels). That is a parallel to the medieval image of the Devil. In the tarot, or perhaps in this case the Minchiate, we also see horns and bat wings.
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There are two vices left, Anger and Injustice, and two cards, Pope and Moon. Injustice somewhat resembles the d'Este Pope, an older man sitting down showing his profile with one hand raised; he still has his hand raised in the PMB, as though in admonition. Perhaps the designer meant to convey a secret message to those who knew what he was doing: his anger makes him unjust.
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In Bologna and Ferrara, which were part of the Papal States, popes were feared more than loved, given their propensity to send domineering prelates, exact unreasonable tribute, and threaten and occasionally act in ways calculated to get their way regardless of the wishes of the city's rulers. They also had ways of intimidating even Milan, by excommunication of rulers and the striking of bargains with other powers.

We are left with the Moon card. Most of the early Moon cards look merely astronomical or geometrical and so unrelated to all this virtue and vice talk.
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It is possible, as M. J. Hurst has suggested, to interpret such a card in terms of the "end times", as midway in brightness between the "morning star" and the sun, after which heaven shines brighter than any of them. But in itself the image just doesn't suggest such "end times".

It is conceivable that Florence introduced their card, in place of the ur-CY's Faith, because of an interest in astronomy there. The Hope card, with its star, would have given them an opening. In the Minchiate, Hope, Faith, and Charity are the cards immediately after the Devil and Tower; that suggests to me that possibly in Florence earlier it was that way in the tarot, too.

Note added next day: Please ignore the paragraph that follows. It wasn't well researched, as I explain in my next post. Another point is that the CY's images for Faith and Charity might have been rather unique for their time. Giotto's Faith had a woman with a book plus a long cross. The CY substitutes a communion cup with a wafer floating above it for the book. I can't find that being done before; perhaps someone more knowledgable about medieval iconography has better information. [Added next day: I now find the image of cup and wafer in a 15th century German ms. meant to revive 12th century ideas, as an attribute of Ecclesia, and the cup in a Donatello Fides. Also, Fides at Chartres has a chalice to catch the blood of the Lamb.] The next time I see it, searching on Google, is in the "tarot of Mantegna", 465-1475 (http://trionfi.com/mantegna/, number 40), and Piero del Pollaiolo's Faith, c. 1469, which has the cup but no wafer (see http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: ... _faith.jpg); but Raphael has it (http://www.terminartors.com/artworkprof ... tues_Faith), and many after that. Also, I can't find the suckling-infant image of Charity (as opposed to lactating Virgins) before the CY, but again, there it is in Pollaiolo and after. So perhaps decks were produced in Florence early on with Hope, Faith, and Charity cards similar to the Cary-Yale's.[Added next day: I did find Charity with suckling infants, in two artists in Florence a century earlier.]

The PMB Moon lady is different from these Faith ladies, in the CY and after. But as in the case of the the Star and the Sun cards, a visual correlation can be maintained between the CY and the PMB. The right hand of each is raised: Instead of the communion cup floating next to the CY Faith-lady's raised hand, the PMB Moon lady has her raised hand on a crescent moon. The left hand of each is lowered: the one holds a long cross, the other a bridle. I show both cards below; if my image-processing program were working, I'd show you the detail of the cup.) I have added the Moon card from a 16th century printed deck, which I think conveys the same mood and symbolic meaning as the PMB lady's face, sadness.
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The bridle may mean restraint of the will, and maybe the sadness is following anger at frustration. In terms of the Faith lady's cross, it might mean that we must "bear our cross," and not rebel against our fate--a suitable message for young people, who must learn to obey their parents in all important matters, such choosing a career and marriage partner. So the symbolic meaning is that in the dark night of this world, we have the Moon of faith as our guide. Compare it for example to Bosch's Saint John at Patmos, who to be sure is not sad but beatific, the proper attitude to have:
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Whatever the interpretation, the PMB Moon is a visual variation on the CY Faith card.

The correlations are complete. They work well for all the PMB original cards, a little less well for the last three the second artist cards, which may have been influenced by a different framework. (In the Plethon thread on Aeclectic, I suggested Filelfo's familiarity with MIddle Platonism. In any case it seems to me that the PMB World card is just the CY Fame card with two putti--Sfroza children, I suspect--below instead of a lady above: in each case, it's a Grail Castle-type motif.) In the case of the 2 cards not in the PMB, the Scrovegni framework works for the versions in other early decks. The 16 of the Cary-Yale are now 22.

It is not at all clear how the Moon card as depicted in the Charles VI and the BAR relates to a program of the triumph of virtue. they look like a lesson in astronomy or geometry. However the visual parallels of the PMB to the CY make the relationship clear.

I also note that the lion of Giotto's Fortitude and the bridle of his Temperance appear only, among the early tarot, in the PMB cards, suggesting a special affinity of the ur-standard tarot to the Visconti-Sforza family. Moreover, the Popess and the Hanged Man have a special relationship to Milan's ruling family due to Sister Manfreda, the ancestor-Popess, and Muzio Attendola, the ancestor hanged-man poster-person of antipope John XXIII.

In summary, here is my proposal for a deck of the PMB type:
0. Fool: Giotto vice Stultitia
1. Magician: Giotto virtue Prudence
2. Popess: Giotto virtue Faith
3. Empress: Giotto virtue Justice (chess Queen, Imperator Empress)
4. Emperor: Giotto Injustice (chess King, Imperator Emperor)
5. Pope: Giotto vices Injustice and Anger
6. Love: Petrarch Love (pawn = 8th virtue)
7. Chariot: Petrarch Chastity (knight = paired with Death)
8. Justice: Giotto virtue (pawn = one of cardinal virtues)
9. Hermit/Old Man: Petrarch Time (bishop = paired with Wheel)
10. Wheel: Giotto vice Infidelity (bishop = paired with Old Man)
11. Strength: Giotto virtue (pawn = one of cardinal virtues)
12. Hanged Man: Giotto vice Inconstancy
13. Death. Petrarch Death (knight = paired with Chariot)
14. Temperance: Giotto virtue (pawn = one of cardinal virtues)
15. Devil: Giotto vice Envy
16. Tower: Giotto vice Inconstancy.
17. Star: CY and Giotto Hope (pawn = one of theological virtues)
18. Moon: CY Faith, Giotto Faith/Temperance/Anger (pawn = one of theological virtues)
19. Sun: CY and Giotto Charity (pawn = one of the theological virtues)
20. Judgment/Angel: Petrarch Eternity (rook = paired with CY Fame)
21. World: Petrarch and CY Fame (rook = paired with CY Judgment)

Now another question is, did the new cards all come quickly, so that the entire set of 22 was complete by the time of the actual PMB (say, 1452), or was it slower? The reason I ask is that the PMB and its copies have no Tower or Devil.

It seems to me that three of the original PMB cards that were probably not in the CY look much like their Scrovegni counterparts: the Fool, the Popess, and the Hanged Man. Given those three, Giotto's Inconstancy and Envy are so close to the conventional Tower and Devil that I can't imagine that if someone was inspired by the first three, he wouldn't have also been inspired by the second two. So it may well have been all at once, going immediately from 16 to 22. Possibly he borrowed one image first, the Fool, for his wild card. But by the time of the original PMB, all the others would likely have followed. In other words, from the perspective of the Scrovegni (and only this perspective, as there are other considerations) I would expect some decks of the PMB type to have had all 22 trumps. (I was rather surprised at this result. I expected a lower number.)

I am aware that some people will say that the simplest account is that the standard 22-trump tarot was created all at once, with no need for any intermediary, just taking conventional images from a variety of sources to build up a sequence of virtue triumphing, or the course of Christian salvation, etc. It seems to me that the psychology of human invention doesn't work that way. Shakespeare could have made up his plays from nothing either, but he didn't, most of them. Letting someone else invent the plots and focusing on the best means of expressing them on stage seemed to work better. Likewise, Kepler was trying to confirm Pythagoreanism and got something else instead. People start from pre-existing structures, not just masses of data. So we have the seven virtues and the Petrarchan sequence of triumphs. We have existing card games, both ordinary and special, such as the Michelino. We have Giotto's virtues and vices. Putting them together isn't easy and doesn't quite get you to the standard tarot anyway; but with an ur-Cary-Yale as an intermediary and an ur-PMB as its successor (with perhaps other intermediaries before), it's easier and it does.

Re: Revisiting Petrarch and Giotto

#2
I went to the library today and did some reading on medieval virtues and vices. I've been trying to see where the Cary-Yale's attributes for Fides and Caritas were used earlier.

On Caritas, an article by R. Freyhan, "The Eviolution of the Caritas Figure in the Thirteen and Fourteenth Century" (Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 1948), was useful. I see that I misinterpreted Giotto's Caritas: she isn't accepting something from God, she's offering him her heart, with a flame behind her. It's a combination of two ideas: love of God, in giving the heart, and love of neighbor, the fruit-basket.

The suckling infant image, which is what the CY has, starts, according to Freyhan, with Tino da Camaino's statue of Caritas for the Baptistry of Florence c. 1321. You can see it at http://www.lib-art.com/artgallery/5370- ... maino.html. It derives from some statues his master Giovanni Pisano did in Pisa, with personifications of Pisa, Grammatica, and a larger figure, apparently Ecclesia, all with two infants suckling. This is also the origin of the Madonna del Latte motive, he says. Freyhan says that Tino only did this one like that; the rest had flames, a convention started by Niccolo Pisano.

Another pupil of Giovanni Pisano's, Giovanni di Balduccio, did a Caritas at the Or San Michele in Florence; it had two infants, but instead of breasts, their mouths sucked at flames coming down from her heart. Balducci did similar sculptures in Milan, Bergamo, and Pavia. Meanwhile another sculptor in Florence Andrea Orcagna, did a Caritas at the tabernacle of Or San Michele. Of Orcagna Freyhan says:
...and being in daily contact with Balduccio's Caritas there, it is no accident that he, as the first within the Giotto succession, submits to the Pisano motive. His Caritas (PL 16e) holds the burning heart in her left hand, nurses a child with her right and bears the flaming crown on her head, thus combining as gracefully as she can the main symbols and motives of both Giotto and Pisano traditions.
So that's where Caritas as the suckling infant comes from--sculptures in Florence, 1321 and a little later.

Also, I see at http://www.lib-art.com/art-prints/the-faith.htm that Donatello, 1427-29, did a Faith holding a communion cup. I am still researching the floating wafer. In the meantime forget the paragraph I wrote about how Pollaiolo's paintings suggest that maybe tarot decks with CY-type theological virtues on them were circulating in Florence.

One other thing I found out is that the figure of Ira, Anger, in Prudentius's Psychomachia, was described as killing herself with her sword in frustration when she couldn't penetrate Patience's God-given armor (Jennifer O'Reilley, Studies in the Iconography of the Virtues and Vices in the Middle Ages, p. 10 and Plates 1b (11th century), 5a( 9th century), 8a-c (12th century) and 16 (late 15th-early 16th century Flemish or German woodcut based on a 12th century diagram). Sculptures and illuminations showed her putting a big sword into her chest. Anger thus merges with Despair. Giotto's Ira, I notice beats her chest in anger--but it could also be frustration. And so maybe the PMB Moon-lady combines this frustration with the need for faith, symbolized by the moon she clutches, a psychomachia in her soul.

Re: Revisiting Petrarch and Giotto

#3
mikeh wrote: I am aware that some people will say that the simplest account is that the standard 22-trump tarot was created all at once, with no need for any intermediary, just taking conventional images from a variety of sources to build up a sequence of virtue triumphing, or the course of Christian salvation, etc. It seems to me that the psychology of human invention doesn't work that way.
We don't need a priori reasoning, when we have an actual example of a card game invented from scratch - Marziano's. His arrangement isn't based on a pre-existing model (like another game), text, or list of gods, and his invention didn't happen incrementally or gradually. The inventor of the Tarot trump sequence can therefore safely - by concrete analogy - be seen as equally original in his choices for a set of permanent trumps.
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Re: Revisiting Petrarch and Giotto

#4
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
We don't need a priori reasoning, when we have an actual example of a card game invented from scratch - Marziano's. His arrangement isn't based on a pre-existing model (like another game), text, or list of gods, and his invention didn't happen incrementally or gradually. The inventor of the Tarot trump sequence can therefore safely - by concrete analogy - be seen as equally original in his choices for a set of permanent trumps.
Well, you're right, as any other model it has chances to be invented early.

The problem is the assumption, that it was early already very dominant, far spread and the reason for all other arrangements, that we know. If this would have been the case, we should have been able to find in our intensive researches some reflection in the social reality of the following years. Beside "incomplete card decks" I think we've nothing outside of the card decks.
If one would assume one great iconographic hit and all other arrangements followed as a variation, one should assume, that the time and the available documents somehow would reflect the "first author" (cause a lot contemporary people would remember the step) ... but this isn't the case.
If one assumes an evolutionary development, none of the steps was revolutionary and immediately very strong, and the development had variants and none of the steps (beside those, about which we know, but these are not the later often repeated GREAT MODEL) was so important, that it necessarily must have appeared elsewhere in documents.
Actually we have information about discussions, how the true old and ancient Trionfo has been (Biondo Biondi etc.; should Francesco Sforza take a triumphal chariot or ride on a horse; was Pope Pius Ii - not of a stable health - allowed to use a chariot). Discussion means, that there was not only "one opinion", but contrasting interpretations and so we've a lot of different triumphal celebration descriptions. None of them is very near to the later far spread Tarot model, as the most near I would assume the Fame Trionfo in Naples 1492 ... not totally identical, but somehow near. Well, and this was not at the beginning of the development.

The idea of mass production and conformity and "standard" developed with printing. Book printing started for Italy in some greater dimensions around 1470, not before. Borso's bible stands for the highest "luxury" in an individual book production between 1455-60.

Well, I think, the many numbers in Franco Pratesi's findings, and the possibly many numbers, which Franco will find in some future and the expected Esch material with also much numbers about imports will give us more insights about the start of mass production in matters of Tarot. Actually, that was to be done in the moment, is the start of some solid analysis of that, what we already have.
Possibly there is in these numbers a clearer mirror of that, what we before could only speculate about.
Before we more or less could only see the Ferrarese perspective, now the Florentine perspective appears as dominant. With the new publication of Esch we perhaps get a clearer picture of Rome, but also possibly of the exporting cities.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Revisiting Petrarch and Giotto

#5
I am aware that some people will say that the simplest account is that the standard 22-trump tarot was created all at once, with no need for any intermediary, just taking conventional images from a variety of sources to build up a sequence of virtue triumphing, or the course of Christian salvation, etc. It seems to me that the psychology of human invention doesn't work that way.
MikeH
I think it is the least simplest account is that there were 22 trumps right at the start.
It has been easier to divide the possible 22 images into smaller groups- like 12/14/20 and see some reason for them, than take the whole sequence and explain it.
It is like Cinderella's glass shoe- we have not yet found the correct foot.
It would seem that originally the 'foot' was easily recognised and did not need to have a number attached to it, to place it in trumping order.
So I reckon I would ask "what changed?" The images on church walls were still there, the art work remained, the Christian beliefs were still there etc etc. What happened to make the sequence less obvious? Certainly not a salvation sequence. Nothing ever quite fits- not even Giotto's images with the exception of the Foolish creature.
I think it might have been Ross or Robert some years back that said the only place these images were as a group, was Tarot- which is my Number one clue that they had been grouped for a specific idea for a game complete at the start.
That is not to say I do not appreciate all the work and imagination that went to make this thread.

~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

Re: Revisiting Petrarch and Giotto

#6
Lorredan wrote.
So I reckon I would ask "what changed?" The images on church walls were still there, the art work remained, the Christian beliefs were still there etc etc. What happened to make the sequence less obvious? Certainly not a salvation sequence. Nothing ever quite fits- not even Giotto's images with the exception of the Foolish creature.
I would say that what changed was a conscious decision--in Florence or Bologna, not Milan--to make the "salvation" theme less obvious, especially in the Moon, Magician, Fool, Love, Chariot, and World. Lorenzo de' Medici, and the Bologna students, were young and liked partying. The CY and PMB sequences look to me totally like salvation sequences. What doesn't fit?

Re: Revisiting Petrarch and Giotto

#7
The Este World card has the traditional prudence iconography; and the Cary-Yale card may have had the same intent.

The virtues then were a lot like diets now -- it would be worthwhile knowing if the card makers were just exposed to the pop-virtues, or had access to the medieval and classical expertise. For instance, in the Nicomachian ethics, available in this period, Aristotle pairs each virtue with two vices, one of excess and one of dearth. Strength is between rashness and timidity; justice between harshness and mercy; temperance between excess and ascesis. The Tarot de Marseille has some odd hits on this sequence (temperance between anorexic death and overfed devils).

The problem in seeing an Arostotelian golden mean source for the tarot is that he had a whole boatload of virtues, not the fixed system discerned by medieval commentators. Moreover his highest virtue is the practical/political one of tact (phronesis); and the one thing I cannot see in the tarot is Castigleone. The Stoics are the proximate source for the four classical virtues. In medieval time, these were seen as equal "cardinal" virtues; but the stoics saw them as part of practices that included applied logic, physics, and ethics. Again, in terms of their appearance in the Tarot, it's a question of who knew what.

It seems unlikely that anyone would bother to code a precise philosophy into the cards, either by Tortona at their origin, or by some secret craft society at their redesign. The inventor of "Monopoly" was being playful and amusing, not giving a real estate course. The virtues and life course information in the tarot have this playful nature; while the precision is reserved for the rules of play. But there is simple play and deep play; and the tarot images are deep play; which is why people look for mysteries in them.

Re: Revisiting Petrarch and Giotto

#8
Hi JIm. I'll keep my eye out for relevant Aristotelian-mean thinking. I'd like more elaboration on how the Cary -Yale and d'Este cards embody the iconography of Prudence. I see no mirrors or snakes. I like your concept of "deep play". It is in that sense that I see the possibility of sneaking in various erudite references, including philosophical ones--as part of the play involved, memory hooks in the game and also part of the banter in certain circles.

Lorredan: you might be interested to know the titles of some of the games that were being sold. Hind mentions the inventory of the print-maker and print-seller Francesco Rosselli, after his son's death in 1525. Besides many of the engravings commonly attributed to him, it listed such games as "Game of the Seven Virtues," "Game of the Planets," and "Game of the Triumphs of Petrarch" (Early Italian Engravings p. 222). All good educational games.

Ross: One thing about Martiano's game. He was doing the sort of thing I would have expected: putting two existing structures together with a little elaboration of his own. One was the standard deck of cards, minus a couple of court cards. The other was the 12 Olympian gods, a standard list, plus 4 demi-gods, and arranged in a hierarchy. The non-standard thing was the 4 additional. Why? Well, Huck's Chess analogy is one psychological explanation. Or he just liked the symmetry of 4x4.

Re: Revisiting Petrarch and Giotto

#9
The"Charles VI" world card shows a robed female figure with a polygonal halo, very similar to the strength, temperance and justice cards in the same deck. However, she is holding an orb and mace, not a mirror and snake.

I'm speculating here; but bear with me.

The three virtues of strength, temperance and justice are called "appetitive" both by the Stoics and by Aquinas; and deal with the practical life. Prudence, on the other hand, gets itself promoted to the more general and contemplative wisdom. For instance, in Mantegna's "Triumph of the Virtues," painted for the Estes in the 1502, the three appetitive virtues are placed inside a cloud dais, overlooking the scene, while Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, drives the vices out of the garden below.

Perhaps, the world card has gone through a series of promotions. It starts as the new Jerusalem in the early cards. Gets promoted to prudence, then wisdom, in the Ferrara decks. And finally ends up as Logos/Sophia/Anima Mundi in the Tarot de Marseille pattern.

Re: Revisiting Petrarch and Giotto

#10
Jim: I agree with all of what you said except the part about Prudence; and I would still say that the Cary-Yale card is Fame with a Grail-castle type scene below (the trumpet in her hand is Fame's attribute), which did evolve into a Grail-castle cum New Jerusalem in the PMB.

For the PMB, here is an image from Kaplan vol. 2 p. 174 with the card.
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In the CY, the Fame lady is in a pose that also suggests Sapientia, Latin for Wisdom, as I once suggested at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=365&p=4839. Here are the main points:

(1) A trumpet was associated with Sapientia: (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sapientia.jpg).

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(2) Sapientia was represented as standing above others enfolding them in his or her cloak. Here is an example, with an enlarged view of the writing:

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(3) We could easily imagine the above image as female, since virtues were conventionally represented as female.
An example is in the Aurora Consurgens, where she offers her breasts for the philosophers to suck.

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(4) There was a medieval legend, invented or at least made into a versified play by Brotswitha, a poet of Lower Saxony, in which Sapienta was a Christian lady brought before the Emperor Hadrian with her three daughters Spes, Fides, and Caritas. We already have these three in the deck. God’s Wisdom is the fourth from which the others spring (http://www.letu.edu/people/annieolson/p ... ienta.html).

For my argument as to how the lower part of the card relates to the Grail Castle, see the rest of my earlier post.

Jim Schulman wrote,
The three virtues of strength, temperance and justice are called "appetitive" both by the Stoics and by Aquinas; and deal with the practical life. Prudence, on the other hand, gets itself promoted to the more general and contemplative wisdom. For instance, in Mantegna's "Triumph of the Virtues," painted for the Estes in the 1502, the three appetitive virtues are placed inside a cloud dais, overlooking the scene, while Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, drives the vices out of the garden below.

Perhaps, the world card has gone through a series of promotions. It starts as the new Jerusalem in the early cards. Gets promoted to prudence, then wisdom, in the Ferrara decks. And finally ends up as Logos/Sophia/Anima Mundi in the Tarot de Marseille pattern.
I don't agree that Prudence got merged with Wisdom, i.e. Sapientia. We kicked that Mantegna painting around quite a bit on the thread "Plato and the Virtues" (viewtopic.php?f=12&t=826). Sapientia, in the view of more recent art historians, is the mother of the virtues, locked up on the right side represented only by an inscription. Minerva is probably Prudentia here. Some people think Prudentia is the one locked up, and Minerva is Sapientia. Either way, they're separate. Another example where Prudentia is distinct from Sapientia, done for the same studiola as the other painting, is Correggio's "Triumph of Virtue", http://copiosa.org/images/virtue_correggio.jpg. Here Minerva is clearly Sapientia and you can see the attributes of all four cardinal virtues on the figure below her.

Also, if you look on the ladder of virtue in the frontispiece to The Holy Mountain, Florence 1477 (my source: The Gualenghi-d’Este Hours, p. 196), you will see Prudentia on a lower rung and Sapientia at the top.

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Here is the bottom of the ladder, made larger, showing Prudentia:

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Sapientia, in contrast, is near the top, just as the World card is at or near the end of the trionfi sequence. (I am quoting myself again, at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=365&p=5017).

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I think this elevation of Sapientia, reflected in the World card's number 21 position, derives straight from Prudentius's Psychomachia, where, as Jennifer O'Reilley describes (Studies in the Iconography of the Virtues and Vices in the Middle Ages, p. 12), the book ends as follows:
Concordia and Fides set themselves up on a platform in the camp, and extol the merits of watchfulness, peace and harmony, before ordering the building of a magnificent temple in which Wisdom is finally enthroned. (p. 355).
Sapientia’s depiction was quite different from that of Prudentia; in its feminine personification, Sapientia as Minerva is the figure on the Charles VI and d'Este, as I think you recognize, Jim. Here is a Florentine medallion.

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We see her holding a scepter and a globe, just like on the Charles VI card. At that time, Prudentia was quite distinct, with her snake and mirror, as in the Correggio and in numerous other depictions, e.g. c. 1470 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: ... udence.jpg. The Pollaiolos are interesting for their depictions of the other virtues, too,. Some are at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Categ ... _Pollaiolo.

So Sapientia, yes, for the early so-called "World" card. But Prudentia, I still don't see--although, to be sure, the Charles VI, Este, etc. figure, might have been mistaken for her, as well as for Fama.

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