Having gone down yet another rabbit hole in regard to Marziano, I came across these fascinating and well-executed depictions of all seven virtues in the title page of a manuscript of Apuleius and the Golden Ass, Vat. lat. 2194. Executed for none other than Bruzio Visconti, known to us from Song of the Virtues
, translated by Mike Howard on his blog. http://songofthevirtues.blogspot.com/
Vat. lat. 2194 f.1r overall and details:
Note the Theologicals with the Apuleius manuscript being offered to Bruzio, as if they somehow mollify the pagan-ness of the work; also note the uroboros-like creature in the margin below (normally a symbol of time and perhaps related to the Visconti stemma but seems out of place here, unless "time" is a reference to the antiquity of the offered work, just rediscovered at the beginning of the century).
I can't quite make out the crowning angel detail on his back - what looks like a basin of water with a clouded sky above (and compare the basin into which Temperance pours above, who also dangles the bridle attribute). One might compare Pizan's illuminations of Jupiter in her Othea, where Jupiter is sprinkling dew from a vase on his children, the dew representing his gifts (perhaps seen as prefiguring "grace" or "mercy" from a Christian perspective, and the illuminator has certainly gone to lengths here to frame the pagan "magician" Apuleius within Christian symbols).
The Pizan Othea
comparable - Harley 4431 fol 99v detail (Jupiter). Paris, France 1410-1414; her own description of this image: "...because the dew of heaven is the cause of fertility and abundance, and sweet humid air comes from this planet, it is portrayed here hurtling down dew " (tr. Blumenfeld-Kosinski and Richards, 2017: 45); her Christian "allegorical" interpretation is mercy (ibid, 46).
No need for me to muse any further on this manuscript as I was able to convert large chunks of the Google scan of the book which describes these illuminations:
The illuminations in Petrarch's manuscript show the several personae of Apuleius that the artist or scribe perceived in his works. Those in another manuscript, just a few years later, both illustrate and interpret the Golden Ass. This manuscript, also now in the Vatican Library, is Vat. lat. 2194, transcribed in 1345 by the Bolognese scribe Bartolomeo de' Bartoli and dedicated to Bruzio Visconti, illegitimate son of Luchino Visconti, duke of Milan.30 Bartolomeo, brother of the artist Andreade' Bartoli, collaborated on manuscripts with some of the most celebrated illuminators in Bologna." Bruzio, described by contemporaries as a very wicked prince, was also a powerful and highly cultivated one.32 Both men took a special interest in literature of a moral, religious, or edifying character. Bartolomeo's other works include manuscripts Of the Office of the Virgin Mary, the Roman Missal, the Divine Comedy, and a work of his own composition, La Canzone delle Virtü e delle Scienze (The Poem of the Virtues and the Arts), also dedicated to Bruzio.33 Bruzio's library contained (in addition to the Canzone and the Golden Ass copied by Bartolomeo) Augustine's City of God and Compendium of Moral Philosophy, compiled at Bruzio's request by Luca de' Mannelli, a Dominican monk.34
Offices, Augustine, Dante, missals, virtues—these choices of scribe and patron seem strange company for the Golden Ass. But in the presentation and iconography of their manuscript, Bartolomeo and his illuminator have made Apuleius' novel a worthy shelf mate for these edifying texts.35 The tone is established on the elaborately decorated first folio, which contains both a very brief dedication to Bruzio and the opening chapters of the novel.36 Two themes dominate the illumination: the Visconti arms and emblems, shown in the upper and lower margins, and the seven virtues, which appear in two miniatures, one centered in the lower margin, the other in the initial A, which begins the novel.37 In the lower miniature the Visconti stemma is surrounded by four female figures representing the cardinal virtues (Prudence, Temperance, Justice, and Fortitude), each with her appropriate attributes. Within the initial A (see plate 9), Bruzio is shown on the right, facing a kneeling Bartolomeo, who presents an open book to his patron. Between them stands a winged female figure representing the theological virtue Charity. On the left, outside the A, are the winged figures of the other theological virtues, Faith and Hope.
The decoration of the page firmly establishes an association between Bruzio and the virtues, seemingly one of his favorite themes, to judge from the subject and iconography of two other works dedicated to him at roughly the same time: Luca de' Mannelli's Compendium of Moral Philosophy (ca. 1344) and Bartolomeo's Canzone delle Virtid e delle Science (dated ca. 133949).38 Luca's Compendium is subtitled Tract on the Four Cardinal Virtues. Bruzio appears twice on its first folio: first receiving the book from Luca and then—depicted as the virtue Justice—seated on a throne and trampling Pride (Superbia) underfoot." Bartolomeo's Canzone treats the seven virtues and the seven liberal arts. Its first folio shows Bruzio on horseback accompanied by seven figures: two male riders (labeled Vigor and Sensus); four female figures (labeled Circumspectio, Intelligentia, Discretio mater virtutum, and Docilitas mater scientiarum); and the kneeling Bartolomeo (labeled compositor operis), again presenting his book.40 Docilitas, "mother of the arts," has her hand placed protectively on Bartolomeo's shoulder to indicate that he is under her patronage.
But Vat. lat. 2194 does something different from the manuscripts of these moral treatises. In the manuscripts of the Compendium and the Canzone, the decoration on the first folio both matches the contents of the works and associates Bruzio Visconti with the virtues. In Vat. lat. 2194, by contrast, the decoration still associates Bruzio with the virtues, but it does more, implying—or creating—a match between itself and the contents of the manuscript. To put it another way, the opening decoration in Vat. lat. 2194 treats the Golden Ass as if it, too, were a moral treatise, suggesting that the novel is to be interpreted in a religious—or at least in a moral—light. The seriousness of Bartolomeo's reading is announced by placing the first chapters of the Golden Ass on the same page with Bruzio and the virtues. It is further emphasized....[next two pages not scanned]
(Julia Haig Gaisser, The Fortunes of Apuleius and the Golden Ass: A Study in Transmission and Reception, 2008: 82-84)