I saw ...
http://books.google.de/books?id=QZu2-VM ... ta&f=false
... Pupilla Augusta (Dürer) addressed as "made for Celtes book".
I don't know, how true this attribution is.
Further I saw a dating of 1496-98 ... with insecurities.
"Celtes" is Konrad Celtis, a sort of Goethe at the end of 15th century, and the most important German poet since 1500. He made a lot, that Emperor Maximilian sponsored literature in Vienna and Germany.
Watching the phenomenon "Pupilla Augustus" with German eyes and some historical background knowledge, one gets impressions, which have not so much to do with theories in art history, as far I read about them.
The German word for "eye" is "Auge", Italians call it "occhio". Italian also have the word "Auge", but for them "auge" means peak, height, climax, also "Scheitelpunkt" (angular point, zenith).
Augen (= eyes) are used, to see (German "sehen") something. Germans have the expression "Sehen" and this developed the word "Seher", and this mean something like a divination master, or seer or "augur" (well, this Augur contains the Auge).
"Augustus", seen with German eyes, remembers the word "Auge". "Pupilla" remembers the word "Pupille" and that's the center of the eye, the black part (actually der "Sehpunkt")
Now I don't know, what this painter meant ...
... but for Dürer, who was German, one might be sure, that he thought in German associations and German contexts.
... so ...
... and so ...
When I look in Grimm's Wörterbuch, the German authority for old words, then the use of Pupille (as part of the eye) in the modern understanding in old times seems not recorded. It was used as pupilla for a "Mündel" (a foster child), or generally for small children. Pupilla as Pupille seems to have developed from the puppet, that you see in the eye of somebody else ... naturally you are yourself the puppet, and the eye of the other just mirrors you.
But if you look at the pictures, then one has naturally the idea, that the word association Pupilla = part of the eye must have existed. Well, the painters had heir optical development during 15th century, attested by Alberti's work about perspective and used by Mantegna far before Dürer ...
... and it's difficult to imagine, that they hadn't a word or the Pupille in the eye.
Very trivial. Not really mysterious.
Here we have two lovers ...
... or two women?
A 3rd or 2nd woman here ...
Some say, that we write 1496, when Dürer painted the picture:
Germany waits for a son from Bianca Maria Sforza, later empress of Germany. Dürer wasn't so successful as later, and the connection between Maximilian and the intellectuals wasn't so intensive as later.
"Augustus" in German is relative synonym to "Emperor", somehow one could address the emperor with it. [Added later: The name "Caesar" developed to the expression "Kaiser"; Augustus had similar importance as Caesar] Maximilian wasn't formally crowned as emperor, but one expected, that it would happen. The emperor was young in his position, and naturally Dürer and others attempted to get his attention and that the Pupila Augusta would choose to see just them, so that the own future might become bright, clear, famous, successful etc. in the light of the sun, and the light of the sun was naturally the Pupila Augusta as typical for such situations with new emperors and the expectations on them, not very mysterious.
As I said, Germany expected, that Bianca Maria would get a son soon. It never happened, as we know. The perhaps male / perhaps female figure is painted in a way, that is open, which gender he/she had.
Maybe the painting was later, perhaps 1498.
I wonder about this ...
.. (I read 1516 ?) ...
... and I am amused about the disappearing animal ...
... at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... a-1498.jpg
... and I ask myself, if there is more than one version ?
Pen and ink, 25.4 x 19.4 cm ... not very big, and provisionally made, likely for the preparation of an engraving, which ('possibly) never took place.
Alright, let's assume, it's from 1498, just for fun.
Here we have the Habsburg.
The place of origin of the Habsburger, and Maximilian was a Habsburger.
Rudolf I. von Habsburg was chosen as Roman king 1272, mainly cause he was too weak to be too dangerous to other mighty houses, which weren't interested in a strong emperor. The first Habsburger king. He had some possessions in the region of Strassburg, Baden-Würtemberg and in Northern Switzerland, not very much territory. As King he gained some possessions in Austria and the Habsburger got a greater orientation to this region.
Habsburger Kings were these:
Rudolf I., König 1273–1291
Albrecht I., König 1298–1308
Friedrich der Schöne, Gegenkönig 1314–1330
Albrecht II., König 1438–1439
Friedrich III., König 1440–1486, Kaiser 1452–1493
., König 1486, Kaiser 1508–1519
The early Habsburger Kings were weak, and the Luxemburger house was dominant:
Heinrich VII. 1308-1313
Karl IV 1346-1378
Till 1437 the Habsburger had about 44 reigning years (and 16 of them only as Gegenkönig) and the Luxemburger house had 86.
In 1415 - a glamorous year for Sigismondo the Luxembourger cause of the council in Constance - the Habsburger lost the Aargau (part of Switzerland since then) and the place of the origin of the Habsburg house (the Burg Habsburg). Distance of the Habsburg to Constance: close 100 km. It seems obvious, that the then mighty house of Luxembourg wasn't interested to protect territory, which belonged to the house of Habsburg.
In 1460 the house of Habsburg lost further territory in Switzerland, which also became Swiss territory. It's sure, that Frederick III didn't found this funny, but most of his life he was a weak king and emperor of Germany, who long 27 years didn't visit the German Empire, just keeping himself at the territory, which belonged to the Habsburgers. But he was lucky enough to live longer than his enemies and opponents. So Maximilian got a good start after 53 years, in which Frederick reigned (often only nominally) in Germany.
Maximilian as his heir had the natural idea to get old territory back (he was not the only heir with such ideas), so - for instance - the Habsburg. But the Swiss had proven, that they could resist even Karl of Burgund, who had a strong army (in 1477). And Maximilian attempted it too, but didn't do better in its result. He was prudent enough to stop this war and so didn't end as Karl of Burgund at the battle field. This happened 1499. Hypothetical this happened one year after Dürer painted Pupilla Augusta, which (likely) never became an engraving.
The red territory belonged to Habsburger, the red-white territory was allied. The big map has more details, see ...
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... nkrieg.png
The Imperial View
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=903&p=13165&hilit= ... ung#p13165
... I spoke about Donauversickerung and some specific regions in Germany., where the rivers Donau and Rhein are very close to each other. The both rivers are the longest rivers in Western Europe. The position of big rivers decided the early development of mankind. The Nile region, Euphrat and Tigris, the Indus and the Yellow river in China became the most populated and dominant regions of the world.
The greatest Empire in Europe with its capitals in Rome (without a long river) and Constantinople (also without a long river) got their position by the luck of a relative calm Mediterranean sea and good climatic conditions, which made it possible to nourish a large population by trade. Constantinople had additionally the ideal position as the bridge between two continents.
Northern regions in Europe were simply too cold to develop in the same manner very early. But the "river-rule" as a natural condition for a big Empire naturally comes to the mind, when we see the geographical point, where the fountains of Rhein and Donau are close to each other. Well, in the mid between both fountains (taking Donaueschingen for the Donau and the Tomasee for the Rhine) is the big "eye" of the Bodensee, one of the largest lakes in Western Europe. The mid of the way is more St. Gallen, but at the lake is also Constance and in miniature it's somehow the Constantinople of the Bodensee as it bridges the lake, which with its long extensions is just a large traffic difficulty ... if one hasn't a ship.
One has to see it: The position of the Bodensee invites "imperial ideas", one can easily feel there as the belly button of Europe. And these idea might have been quite vivid in the year 1415 during the council of Constance.
Not too far from here developed the Habsburger dynasty, which in their long history actually often felt like the personified belly buttons.
In Donaueschingen ...
... once again a Pupilla Augusta. The arrangement is surely later, but a first statement, that this would be the fountain, existed 1538.
Maximilian made a lot to arrange self-identifications with the help of the new media, which knew book-printing and graphic. Everything, which looked usable to bind the population to the Habsbuger as the reigning dynasty, was used, and what shall one say about his strategy, "it worked". In spite of their weak beginnings the Habsburger formed Europe for a few centuries. Dürer was also used, especially since 1512.
Wasn't there a 1516 at the picture?
Strauss (MikeH's source) writes "The background combines portions of 'Innsbruck Seen from the North" (1495/44) and "Trent Seen from the North". (1495/33)'
Well, both from 1495, and so likely belonging to Dürer's first journey to Italy. Trent (nowadays Italy since WWI) belonged to Habsburg since 1363. Innsbruck was very important to Maximilian, especially in the 1490s, more than Vienna, which, earlier the capital, between 1485-90 had fallen to Hungary and Matthias Corvinus.
Trent became important as the way to Verona, when Verona was taken during the war against Venice 1508-1512. Then it stayed in Austrian hands till 1517.
1517 is not far from 1516, the number, which appears at the document. We have a work, which (likely) didn't become an engraving, so it actually "somehow" was thrown away as not usable by the hand of the master, just second choice. Dürer noted, that he wouldn't get as much money for his drawings as he would get by engravings, and Wikipedia says to Dürer:
Indeed, complaining that painting did not make enough money to justify the time spent when compared to his prints, he produced no paintings from 1513 to 1516. However, in 1513 and 1514 Dürer created his three most famous engravings: Knight, Death, and the Devil (1513, probably based on Erasmus's treatise Enichiridion militis Christiani), St. Jerome in his Study, and the much-debated Melencolia I (both 1514).
What I get from Strauss and Panowsky, more or less all elements of the picture are from dates in the 1490s. So likely it developed the opinion, that it should have been done 1496-98.
But we have this:
http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Maximil ... man_Empire
"Having made an alliance with Christian II., king of Denmark, and interfered to protect the Teutonic Order against Sigismund I., king of Poland, Maximilian was again in Italy early in 1516 fighting the French who had overrun Milan. His want of success compelled him on the 4th of December 1516 to sign the treaty of Brussels, which left Milan in the hands of the French king, while Verona was soon afterwards transferred to Venice."
... and this ...
Der Triumphzug Kaiser Maximilians I., 1516-1518 : 147 Holzschnitte. [Albrecht Altdorfer; Hans Burgkmair; Albrecht Dürer; Horst Appuhn;
In the Spring of 1512, the newly elected emperor Maximilian I of Habsburg sojourned in Nuremberg, where he got acquainted with Dürer. To celebrate the emperor and his house, the artist conceived the large Triumphal Arch woodcut, for which he was rewarded with 100 yearly florins.
In 1518, during the Diet of Augsburg, Maximilian called Dürer to portray him. The artist met the emperor in the castle and made a pencil drawing of him, from which he later painted the panel portrait. On the drawing's martig, he noted: "Is the emperor Maximilian that I Albrecht Dürer portrayed in Augsburg, up in the high palace, in his small room, Monday 28 June 1518".
There seems to have been not much between Dürer and Maximilian before 1512 ... if this is correct. Somehow astonishing, as Dürer had worked for Celtis (at least since 1502) and Celtis was installed by Emperor Maximilian to high positions (since 1497/1502).
Well, may it be, as it is written, Dürer might gotten the idea to focus on Emperor interests in 1512. If "Pupila Augusta" doesn't refer to the "month of August", as Strauss and Panowsky seem to assume, but just to the more real and more profitable Emperor connection, 1516 isn't so impossible. Maximilian worked then at his own glorification (triumphal procession). The way Innsbruck-Trent (Maximilian's way to Italy) might have been presented as a triumphal part in the running project, but actually the factual result of the adventure 1516 was negative (Milan lost, Verona lost), so away with this stuff and that was, what what happened and what we observe. It didn't become an engraving.
If Dürer got a sort of commission to make something about Italy around 1516, and hadn't opportunity to travel himself again to Italy, he naturally would have looked in his older paintings, if there was something, which might be recycled.
Well, just for my own fun ... cause it's fun to explore alternative possibilities. I just see, what I see. And in this case I see a Pupille in the picture.
I think, everybody else can see the Pupille
It was thrown away, just as we don't know, what sort of animal disappeared behind the bush.
I fear, it hasn't too much to do with Tarot. Only this Sola Busca artist, somehow in Ferrara ...
... actually I would expect, that the exhibition catalog of Milan 2012 has some more to say to the artist and especially the connection to Lazzarelli would interest me. Is this all hot air or is there something real in it?