Re: Decker's new book

#41
Phaeded wrote: Belated reply to the original post (after receiving my own copy of the book). Am I the only one struck by the lazy, circular argument Decker is making here: Marseille must be the original order, therefore the first 14 cards of the must be the original ur-deck? Problems with that assumption and what Decker declines to explain:

1. Why would any deck culminate in Temperance (#14), instead of Judgment or the World? Either Justice or Prudence(=World, IMO) are valued over the other cardinal virtues in the quattrocento; e.g., Bruni: "We said earlier that there were five intellectual virtues. Among these we come first of all to prudence, since in its activity it is generally allied with the moral virtues. Prudence is the same thing as right reason, which is controlled by the moral virtues, and which, fleeing from extremes, causes us to rest in a morally excellent mean. Whence it follows that none of the moral virtues can exist without prudence"(Isagogicon moralis disciplinae, 1426: 29).
2. The CY dates close to the ur deck and contains both Judgement and the World - why would these cards be missing in Decker's 5x14 theory?

Phaeded
The 5x14-theory developed from the PMB and the problem of the 2 artists, not from the 1441 document or the document of 1457. Inside the research these both other findings confirmed the assumptions in the 5x14-theory ... which for some mathematical reasons was already calculated as 99% secure, against the alternative hypothesis, that cards were accidently lossed and replaced.

The Ferrarese order has a high Justice, it wouldn't produce the key-element ...

0-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 ... 12 - 13 ... 20

and anything like the Florentine or Bolognese order also wouldn't come close.

Reasons, why the Fool dropped from 11 to "Zero" and why the 14 was shifted to "20", were easily found.

I don't think, that Decker had the same argument, but his suggestion, that the first part of PMB (first painter)formed the Marseille order, seems logical.

For point 2: There are other cards in the Cary-Yale, which are not element in the 14 Cards of the first painter of PMB. I personally think, that it's just a different version, likely a deck with 5x16-structure. Likely - in the upper classes - there were lots of experiments. We don't have so much examples, but we know Boiardo Poem and Sola-Busca, Guildhall and Goldschmidt, Michelino deck and Mantegna Tarocchi, and 14 Bembo Cards und Charles VI are in my opinion also in the class of "variants".
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Decker's new book

#42
Huck wrote:
Phaeded wrote: The 5x14-theory developed from the PMB and the problem of the 2 artists, not from the 1441 document or the document of 1457.
Huck,
Ah, your own historiography as evidence. But how you came to 5x14 is not as important as the evidence that indicates 14 trumps. You can't even verify that one artist painted only 14 cards since two of the trumps are missing from the PMB. That there are 14 surviving cards painted by one artist in the PMB is a coincidence in regard to the 1441 and 1457 historical records. That the number of cards painted by the "original" PMB artist was what lead you to note the possible importance of the historical records from 1441 and 1457 is immaterial. The historical records indicating the specific number of 14 are much more important than an incomplete deck whose count of hypothetical subunits cannot be ascertained because...the deck is not complete. Surely that makes sense to you, even if you came to the material in the reverse order. And the simple possibility of card replacement or doling out the work to two different artists (possibly in the same Bembo studio per Dummett) in order to produce the deck in time cannot be ruled out.

Finally: The CY likely had all 7 Virtues - the theologicals are present as are Strength and Prudence(/World), just Temperance and Justice are missing like several of the other standard trumps - so why would a subsequent deck not contain Temperance, Strength and Prudence(/World)? At the very minimum you need to explain why the surviving CY standard trumps of Strength and World are not present in the "original" painter's 14 PMB cards.

Phaeded

Re: Decker's new book

#43
Huck,
Ah, your own historiography as evidence. But how you came to 5x14 is not as important as the evidence that indicates 14 trumps. You can't even verify that one artist painted only 14 cards since two of the trumps are missing from the PMB. That there are 14 surviving cards painted by one artist in the PMB is a coincidence in regard to the 1441 and 1457 historical records. That the number of cards painted by the "original" PMB artist was what lead you to note the possible importance of the historical records from 1441 and 1457 is immaterial. The historical records indicating the specific number of 14 are much more important than an incomplete deck whose count of hypothetical subunits cannot be ascertained because...the deck is not complete. Surely that makes sense to you, even if you came to the material in the reverse order. And the simple possibility of card replacement or doling out the work to two different artists (possibly in the same Bembo studio per Dummett) in order to produce the deck in time cannot be ruled out.

Finally: The CY likely had all 7 Virtues - the theologicals are present as are Strength and Prudence(/World), just Temperance and Justice are missing like several of the other standard trumps - so why would a subsequent deck not contain Temperance, Strength and Prudence(/World)? At the very minimum you need to explain why the surviving CY standard trumps of Strength and World are not present in the "original" painter's 14 PMB cards.

Phaeded
... :-) ... it might well be, that most others see it in this way, as you describe it.

But the number ...
111111111110110000010
... which is just another way to describe the situation of ...
0-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 ... 12-13 .... 20 ...
.. , simply doesn't look "accidental".

There are about 4,000,000 ways (2^22) to part 22 sequential cards (0-21) in two groups, about 350.000 of them fall in the category 14:8. You're right, that the condition of "14 cards" might be well just coincidence. The point is just the sequence of thirteen times "1" between "the first 14 cards".

It's not well believable, that it just happened "accidental".

If the number would be ...
1111111111111100000000
... likely more people would see, what I mean,

but ...
111111111101100000010
... is very close to it, such a composition is also "rare and unusual", so that one can conclude, that an "accidental appearance" of such a "number figure" would have a probability of less than 1:100.
It simply looks "sorted" ...maybe a "stupid accident" is behind it (somebody stood at a bridge, had the cards "sorted in his hands, and a part of the deck dropped "sorted in the water" and so they needed to be replaced ... or the deck was sorted, but somebody stole just the top cards or had another stupid way to get the cards "sorted" out of the world.
Such a "stupid scenario" one cannot exclude well just by looking at the numbers. A "natural reason" is always "possible", but it is not the "most plausible" explanation of the deck situation.

A second (also rather unlikely) view is on the choice of the 6 cards: Sun-Moon-Star (a triad) and 3 cardinal virtues Temperance-Strength-Prudentia (whereby the latter triad is little weak, cause the World is not very clearly Prudentia). But nonetheless this group also doesn't look "accidental".

And that just Devil + Tower are "totally missing" also looks not accidental.

So there are three strange groups, not only one.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Decker's new book

#44
Huck wrote,
I don't think, that Decker had the same argument, but his suggestion, that the first part of PMB (first painter)formed the Marseille order, seems logical.
Decker doesn't have the Angel in his ur-tarot, or anything like the CY's Fame/World, but does have Fortitude and Temperance. His suggestion is that the first 14 cards of the Tarot de Marseille are the original tarot, with the Popess as Prudence. I assume you don't agree with him on these points.

Re: Decker's new book

#45
mikeh wrote:Huck wrote,
I don't think, that Decker had the same argument, but his suggestion, that the first part of PMB (first painter)formed the Marseille order, seems logical.
Decker doesn't have the Angel in his ur-tarot, or anything like the CY's Fame/World, but does have Fortitude and Temperance. His suggestion is that the first 14 cards of the Tarot de Marseille are the original tarot, with the Popess as Prudence. I assume you don't agree with him on these points.
I don't have Decker's book of 2013 and know only fragments. In Decker's discussion of 1974 with Dummett, the 14 cards of the "first painter" in the PMB served Decker to make a short (not really presented) argument (the content of these 14 cards played no role). The talk then was more about the CY, and that this possibly had also 14 trump cards (Decker's argument and opinion; it has "14", if one just adds the 3 missing virtues) and 14 + 64 (64 = the assumed number of pips and courts in the CY) = 78, which Decker interpreted as a point on his side.

This was opposed with good arguments by Dummett, who pointed out, that "78" as number of the total cards wouldn't be a value, i the Tarot game wouldn't exist.
The "discussion", if one would call this one, went through different issues of the IPCS papers ... possibly inside the public discussion (which one can read from our perspective) there had been another personal letter exchange during the same time between Dummett and Decker, who knows.

In the new book (as far I've seen it), Decker refers to the earlier discussion and says somehow, that he had pointed to the possibility of a 5x14-deck earlier. Decker refers to the 5x14-theory as "discussed in internet" (or similar), here's a part of the text.

Image


He notes there, that he sees the first 14 Marseille-Tarot-trumps preceding the later Tarot. These are - only roughly - similar to the 14 first-painter-trumps, but not identical. So Decker followed 3 different 14-trumps compositions in the course of time ...
a. the 14 cards of the first painter PMB
0-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 ... 12, 13 ... 20 in the Marseille oder

b. the 14 cards, which were once the Cary-Yale (according Decker's 78 cards reconstruction in 1974)
11 still existing cards + 3 reconstructed virtues

c. The 14 first trumps of Marseille, as suggested 2013
which should be
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14 in the Marseille order
Personally I assume also, that the Marseille order was influenced by an early 14-cards-Milanese order, but I don't see any reason for fantasies, which contradict the information given just by the cards in PMB and the two different artists.
The Cary-Yale had in my opinion 16 trump cards, and the total composition looks like a 5x16-composition.

16 trumps were also in the Michelino deck, and 16 figures appeared in a Visconti system around 1350, as we recently discussed (7 virtues + 1 and 7 artes + 1).
Other contemporary 16-elements- structures are the 16 figures of chess and the related 16-figures-geomancy-system ... Filippo Maria had an own chess club, and he was especially interested in astrology, and geomancy is for a special part "astrology".

Systems with 16 elements can't be called "unusual" for Filippo-Maria Visconti.

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

What we also discussed recently discussed were the "15 signs of last judgment", which were distributed in high number and survived in many manuscripts. Similar to Tarot are especially the last parts. (which according the considerations of Decker and me - different as the positions might be - is the last greater part, which was added to the composition of Tarot.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Decker's new book

#46
Yes, I see your point on Decker re the PMB, if you include what Decker said in the IPCS article.

Indeed, the part from Devil to Sun might not have been in the PMB. But I'm with Phaeded when it comes to Fortezza and Temperanza. Fortezza was in the CY, so it's got to be in the PMB. I think that the World or Fame had to be there, too, for the same reason, regardless of whether it is Prudence. And if Justice and Fortezza are there, so is Temperanza. It seems to me that the PMB had at least 16 trumps plus the Fool (which, strictly speaking, is not a trump, as Dummett said).

Re: Decker's new book

#47
I need to explain more fully why the Devil and Lightning didn't have to be in the PMB first artist deck, or even the 2nd artist deck, because on the other hand I do think that the Charles VI had a Devil card.

For the Charles VI, that it had a Devil card is indicated by the numbers on the cards. To be sure, these numbers were added after the cards were painted (although not in modern times). But it most likely was a full deck of 22, all painted at the same time, or there would have been no point in putting on the numbers. The numbers assist the players, and a deck with missing cards isn't much good for playing, especially one with as many point-getters missing as this one. And if the cards have been kept just for show, why advertise that you think there are missing cards if there aren't?

Another thing is that the Charles VI Hanged Man card is clearly Judas, because of the money bags he is clutching. A Judas requires a Hell, and also a Devil to tempt him. The Lightning card by itself doesn't imply anything but a lightning-struck tower.

But the PMB Hanged Man does not require a Devil or a Hell, because he did not do anything wrong. That card is done for the Sforza family, whose grandfather had such a depiction put up against him by an anti-pope. He had to endure shame, but not hell. He is in fact the seed of the Sforza spirit, the willingness to dare to do the prudent thing, against the odds. That "seed" connotation is implied by the v-shaped hole beneath his head, where he will be planted like a seed (the hole is partly in blue, as though water had been added to help the seed grow). There is no such hole in the Charles VI. Also, the PMB's man is blond, as though he had a halo; the other's red hair implies hellfire. So the PMB narrative can go directly to the raising of the dead, or, if you wish, go by way of the three celestials, which in the 2nd artist version either represent the passage of time or some allegory about the soul or the Last Days (allegory doesn't have to depict directly what it is an allegory of; that is why it's called allegory).
Image

Re: Decker's new book

#48
I think that the money bags depicted so consistently in Florentine Tarots (Charles VI, Rosenwald, Minchiate) show that the original designers were familiar with the most common use of shame paintings in Florence, which was for debt, bankruptcy and fraud. See Samuel Y. Edgerton's survey of the Florentine practice in Pictures and Punishment: Art and Criminal Prosecution During the Florentine Renaissance (Cornell UP, 1985), particularly chapters 2 and 3, and Appendix A.

You can get the book on scribd
http://fr.scribd.com/doc/33835722/Samue ... enaissance

(or try Google Books -
http://books.google.fr/books/about/Pict ... edir_esc=y )

In addition to the trial, fine and imprisonment when caught, defaulters were to be publically shamed, a practice formalized by statute in 1283/84 -


http://www.rosscaldwell.com/images/book ... tonp75.jpg

Edgerton's study makes it clear that the statute, however revised, never refers to the crime of treason as a reason for such a picture, although those instances we know of from histories are almost always for that crime. Thus, in addition to the money bags, the name of the card in Florentine sources, the blandly descriptive impiccato, "hanged man", shows that Florentines didn't automatically associate the image with treason, as it would seem the Bolognese did, always using the name traditore. Unfortunately, Bologna's use of the shame painting is not so well studied as Florence's, and I am unable to find out even if its use were statutory or merely ad hoc in that city.

It was interesting for me to find out from Edgerton (pp. 85-87) that in Florence the earliest recorded shame painting with the victim shown hanging by one foot occurs only in 1377 (of Ridolfo Varanno; the first ever use of this posture for a shame painting is recorded from Rome, 1347 (p. 87, n. 84)); mostly they were shown upright, in creatively denigrating ways.

Also enlightening for me is Edgerton's reminder that many of these paintings, in the center of town on the Bargello, were intended to remain in perpetuity. For instance, in 1440 there would have been around 30 shame paintings in view on the walls of the Bargello alone (the Duke of Athens Walter of Brienne and his administration (8 figures), painted in 1344 (upright, not hanging); 11 portraits from 1425 (traitors from the battles of Zagonara and Anghiari (originally including Niccolo Piccinino, but his defaming portrait was removed on the insistence of Filippo Maria in 1430)), as well as new ones in 1440 of Rinaldo degli Albizzi and his administration (10 portraits, of which the verses written underneath have survived)). So these, in addition to the regular ones of debtors painted by statute on their homes and wherever else it was deemed fit (like brothels), placed the shame painting very much in the quotidian consciousness of Florentines.

So it seems to me that the money bags allude clearly to the local Florentine practice, whereas in the rest of Italy, to the extent that these images were proverbial, they were thought of mostly as depictions of treason.
Image

Re: Decker's new book

#49
mikeh wrote:Yes, I see your point on Decker re the PMB, if you include what Decker said in the IPCS article.

Indeed, the part from Devil to Sun might not have been in the PMB. But I'm with Phaeded when it comes to Fortezza and Temperanza. Fortezza was in the CY, so it's got to be in the PMB. I think that the World or Fame had to be there, too, for the same reason, regardless of whether it is Prudence. And if Justice and Fortezza are there, so is Temperanza. It seems to me that the PMB had at least 16 trumps plus the Fool (which, strictly speaking, is not a trump, as Dummett said).
One has to keep in relation to facts:

Artist 1 of PMB painted 14 trumps, and these didn't contain Fortezza and Temperanza and World. All cards are known.

Artist 2 painted painted 6 trumps, and it is considered, that this happened later. Actually I don't know the reason, why these must have painted later, but it's so considered (I'm not the origin for this idea).

Two trumps of the later Tarot row are not there: Devil and Tower. One might argue, that these were lost, either already belonging to the group of 14 cards or to the group of 6 cards.

It's a given fact, that in 1457 Borso ordered 70 cards, which fits with the general 5x14-theory.

If a Monsieur A made something (had virtues in the deck), there's no guarantee, that a later Monsieur B must have followed Monsieur A in all his actions (he could make a deck with virtues, but must not), even when A and B were part of the same family.

Filippo Maria Visconti ordered the Michelino deck and also ordered the Cary-Yale, which are quite contrasting objects (and this was even the same man, not only members of the same family).

... :-) ... I don't understand, what idea about general creativity you have.

Either the fact of the two different artists of the PMB tells us something about general playing card development, or NOT.
There is no alternative. If one assumes some importance for the fact of the two different artist, then one has to keep in the own speculations to the information, that the document allows. Otherwise one becomes "creative" oneself.
That's, just my opinion, is not allowed in "history, as I understand it". The historian is receptive, not creative. One just wants to understand, what happened.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Decker's new book

#50
In light of the above, I should probably clarify that I do not mean to imply that the impiccato means "debt" in the trump sequence.

I think it means "shame", public shame, as possibly the worst fate that could befall a man, while living, in that culture.

For an insightful discussion of what shame could mean to a man of that time in Florence (and broadly applicable of course across Europe and similar cultures where a man's reputation was his most important possession), see chapter one of Nicole Cama's 2009 paper "Defining the 'strano': Madness in Renaissance Italy"
http://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/bitstrea ... Thesis.pdf

Although Cama's thesis is on the social ramifications of madness, she provides a neat summary of the culture of onore and vergogna that form its context (pp. 14-18, with ample sources and references for every concept and term she uses):

"In light of Manetti's tale, it is necessary to outline the social and cultural framework that delineated madness as a form of social deviance in Grasso's story of friendship, betrayal and alienation. The elements of the story are comprehensible when placed in a social context that privileged words, actions and behaviour as symbols within an elaborate communication system. This system of verbal and behavioural codes designated 'fama' ('reputation') as the core component of social relations. The inexorable social structures of 'onore' and 'vergogna' ('honour' and 'shame') dictated the complexity behind 'fama' and social relations. This facilitated the 'face-to-face' nature of society which was characterised by an elaborate system of behavioural codes in which the individual was tested on a daily basis. Although these were elements integral to the proper function of civic life, it is important to note that this was also a society that defined the male role in society as distinctly public in nature and appointed women as the absent players in the community. Women's absence from this public role meant that a man's social status in the community depended on his ability to project a certain level of 'social ambiguity' and decipher the range of gestures, words and behaviour presented to him. Those who did not preserve their honour and maintain the right level of ambiguity within their social relations faced a serious social threat.
This ambiguity was colourfully reflected when, in 1609, the Venetian scholar Paolo Sarpi wrote, "I am constrained to wear a mask, in as much as one can do no less, if he lives in Italy." However, this theme was noted in earlier Italian texts. As early as the mid fourteenth century, Paolo da Certaldo, highlighted the importance of façade, and even went so far as to compare his secrets with his 'liberty' saying that those who revealed their secrets 'were mad'. Da Certaldo also noted the centrality of 'fama' saying that the respect of fellow citizens was "worth more than great riches."
In a culture that privileged the importance of 'fama' and the intricate workings of surface appearance, 'words, actions and works', 'onore' and 'vergogna', were all intimately connected. Hence, social alienation remained an ever-present possibility for those who neglected the importance of façade. This emphasis on façade indicates that an individual's sense of self was "bounded" or restricted by the external pressures that threatened shame on those who acted against the prescribed social codes. An individual's sense of self and identity was like a complex patchwork. It included a multiplicity of overlapping features that demanded loyalty to a range of groups such as patrons, 'parenti, amici e vicini' ('kin, friends and neighbours'). Consequently, a person's obligations and allegiances meant that their actions, gestures and words often conflicted with their desires and beliefs.
However, as noted previously, this was a community that centered on notions of 'fama', 'onore' and 'vergongna' and so, an individual often faced the challenging task of consolidating their own interests and self-preservation with what external groups and institutions expected of them. Their behaviour was constantly mediated by the awareness that what they did in front of their fellow citizens would be noted, disseminated and never forgotten. Madness, understood as a form of social deviance, thus represented the moments where the social 'mask' failed, where an individual temporarily suspended their vigilant persona and revealed words and behaviour commonly interpreted as 'strano.'

Analysis of the cultural framework that dictated social interaction alludes to another dominant theme of life in early Renaissance Florence – ‘amicitia’ (‘collective, corporate or communal friendship’). This was a world where individuals played a precarious balancing act between ‘onore’ and ‘vergogna’ depending on how they managed their social networks because, as Alberti commented, ‘“social exchanges hid many layers of meaning, even during exchanges between friends.”’Da Certaldo provided some illuminating statements concerning the nature of friendship as he maintained that ‘“a man who loses his friends is worse than dead.”’ Such comparisons echo the familiar Italian expression, ‘“It is better to die than to live with shame”’; however, there is another element to these proverbial statements that connects with how social deviance was perceived. Alberti noted that friendships were the most ‘highly prized’ of all relationships, indicating that it was not only an essential part of social survival, but a fundamental ingredient to ‘living well and rightly.’Also writing in the early fifteenth century, Francesco d’Altobianco degli Alberti claimed that ‘“nulla sanza gli amici si può far”’ (‘“nothing can be done without friends”’).The ability to maintain friendship networks in this context was seen as a virtue, and one that required consistent attention and skilful ambiguity as Da Certaldo once proclaimed: ‘Now, I am not saying that you should be completely distrustful, but rather that there should be a happy medium in all things. If you always keep to this happy medium in every aspect of your life, you shall be praised and considered wise.’Not long after Da Certaldo’s comments, Giovanni di Pagolo Morelli recorded his thoughts in a chronicle, also recognising the critical ability to maintain a vigilant disposition: ‘Once you have won your friends and relatives...you must be sensible enough to keep their friendship, and even to increase it; and this is how to do it. Don’t be ungrateful for favors received....If you see that you can be useful to them or honor them, do so; don’t wait to be asked.’ Social deviance, in light of these characterisations, represented the rifts and cracks in social networks. The process of stigmatisation served as a social demarcation of ‘strange’ behaviour in a way that reinforced the importance of what Alberti termed, ‘“the face value of social exchanges”’. If social relationships were part of a complex tapestry, then Alberti’s metaphor of the ‘filo e tessura’ (‘the thread and fabric’) of friendship is an accurate description of this element as it formed the backbone of life in the Florentine commune.This mentality indicates that those who exhibited ‘strange’ behaviour and neglected to project a certain persona were deviant because they threatened the very existence of the social codes established to mediate behaviour in the first place. They were mad insofar as they did not conform; they threatened social harmony in the community by desecrating the virtues considered central to maintaining the imperative social masquerade. Contemporary comments concerning the complexity of social relations highlight the way that social codes mediating identity and the self were perceived as a sacred order, and an intrinsic part of the community’s cultural make-up that people honoured and occasionally undervalued."


The sentiment "shame is worse than death" is expressed by the phrase "Meglio è morir che viver con vergogna" - Better to die than to live with shame.
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