PMB Fool - club or trumpet?

A secluded place, set aside for the exclusive use of those wishing to study the iconography of tarot cards. Each trump has its own thread, allowing exploration of each card in detail from a variety of sources and possible inspirations.

Do you think the PMB Fool is carrying a club or a trumpet?

Club
4
100%
Trumpet
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 4

Re: PMB Fool - club or trumpet?

Postby Huck on 20 Aug 2014, 11:36

SteveM wrote:The goitre and the crown of feathers suggests he belongs to the 'God is Not' tradition of fool representations. In such a context he is often shown with a club or marotte stick--so such a context favours the representation being that of a club rather than a trumpet.

See here for 'there is no god' fool with a crown of feathers:

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=383&start=60#p8243

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=383&start=70#p8996


Both seem to be imitations of the picture of the Andrea Vitali article "Fool" (Figure 2); or otherwise, it imitates the others:
http://letarot.it/page.aspx?id=112

Image

Andrea comments:
In a 16th century Bible, I found the same depiction of the Fool as in the Florentine minchiate (figure 1): a man dressed in rags, with feathers stuck in his hair, who walks riding a stick; in his hand, he holds a pinwheel, and children appear around him (figure 2). Ripa, again, provides an identical description: “Un uomo di età virile starà ridente e a cavallo sopra una canna, nella destra mano terrà una girella di carta istromento piacevole, e trastullo de fanciulli, li quali con gran studio lo fanno girare al vento” (A man of adult age will be laughing, and riding a reed; in his right hand, he will hold a paper pinwheel, a pleasant instrument and an amusement for children, who take great care to make it turn in the wind). The same author also tells us that “reputandosi saviezza nella città ad un huomo di età matura trattare de reggimenti della famiglia e della Repubblica, Pazzia si dirà ragionevolmente alienarsi da queste attioni, per esercitare giuochi puerili e di nessun momento” (In the city, it is held to be wisdom for a man of mature age to engage in matters of the family and of the Republic, hence it will be reasonably called Folly to abstain oneself from these actions, in order to play childish games, of no import). The laughter of the Fool, which we find on the card of the so-called Tarot of Charles VI and in that of Ercole I d’ Este, is “facilmente indicio di pazzia, secondo il detto di Salomone; però si vede che gli uomini reputati savii poco ridono e Christo N.S. che fu la vera saviezza, e sapienza, non si legge, chi ridesse giammai” (easily evidence of folly, according to the words of Solomon; however, one can see that the men considered to be wise rarely laugh, and of Our Lord Christ, who was true wisdom and knowledge, we never read that he laughed). An anonymous etching of the 16th century shows a fool laughing before an angel, who covers his eyes with his hands in order not to see such an unconscionable deed (figure 3).


Figure 1 (Minchiate):

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Figure 3 (Angel with Fool):

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Not to forget the Mitelli Fool (the same pin-wheel):

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This one might be a Mitelli Fool, too ...

Image

... but it's identified as Mitelli Magician.
http://a.trionfi.eu/WWPCM/decks03/d01865/d01865.htm
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Re: PMB Fool - club or trumpet?

Postby Kate on 21 Aug 2014, 04:48

Fascinating...Thank you, both, for the illustrations and reading material.
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Re: PMB Fool - club or trumpet?

Postby SteveM on 21 Aug 2014, 06:08

Huck wrote:Both seem to be imitations of the picture of the Andrea Vitali article "Fool" (Figure 2); or otherwise, it imitates the others:


I think the Malermi Bible, 1490 is the earliest of the three (Vitalli doesn't state which bible he found it in, but does say it is 16th century, as are the bible illustrations by Holbein).

The woodcut frames and many of the narrative scenes have been attributed to an artist known as the Master of the Pico della Mirandola Pliny, after his most famous illuminated manuscript. Characteristic of many miniaturists active in Venice at the end of the fifteenth century, the Pico Master illuminated printed books as well as manuscripts and, around 1490, seems to have turned to the design of woodcut illustrations as well. A second miniaturist, known as the Master of the Rimini Ovid, may be responsible for some of the other narrative vignettes.


http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/33.66
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
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Re: PMB Fool - club or trumpet?

Postby Huck on 21 Aug 2014, 19:13

Gutenberg.org has a report to it, including also the relevant picture, in ...
OLD PICTURE BOOKS WITH OTHER ESSAYS ON BOOKISH SUBJECTS,
BY ALFRED W. POLLARD
LONDON: METHUEN AND CO, 36 ESSEX STREET, W.C. 1902
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/43518/43 ... 3518-h.htm
(search for malermi)
THE search for old books has been so assiduous of late years that no little surprise was felt when it was announced in 1900 that two copies had been found, almost simultaneously, of a handsomely illustrated folio edition of the Italian Bible of Niccolo Malermi, printed at Venice in 1493, and similar to but quite distinct from the illustrated editions already known. A third copy has since been discovered, and this has been acquired by the British Museum, which since 1897 has also possessed the first of the editions with the original woodcuts, that printed in 1490 for Lucantonio Giunta. As both editions are very rare, and no comparison has yet been made between them, an attempt is here to be made to describe and contrast them.

The first edition of Malermi's Italian version of the Bible was printed by Jenson, who finished it on August 1st, 1470, apparently the same year in which the translator entered the monastery of S. Michele in Murano, near Venice, at the age of forty-eight. He was then stated to be 'natus quondam spectabilis et generosi viri domini Philippi de Malerbis, de Venetiis'; but nothing else is known of his family or early life, and the subsequent records only refer to his transfer from one monastery to another. Besides the Bible he also translated into Italian the lives of the saints from the 'Golden Legend' of Jacobus de Voragine, with additions of his own. This book also was printed for him by Jenson, and published in 1475.


At ..
http://books.openedition.org/pup/4027
I find a version with some text ...

Image

... and another horse-riding Fool

Image
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Re: PMB Fool - club or trumpet?

Postby SteveM on 21 Aug 2014, 19:49

The text is Psalm 53:

1 The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good.

There are loads of illuminations to this psalm (and others to which priestly convention attached the God denying fool, such as 13:1, 51:1 & 52, as well as Psalm 53), which usually show a fool within the letter D, in several he is riding his 'hobby horse'. Examples of 'There is no god' fools:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

In some of the illuminations the fool is shown eating a round thing, which I presume is bread, after:

4 Do all these evildoers know nothing?
They devour my people as though eating bread;
they never call on God.

Sometimes also there is a figure of God demarcated in a cloud above, in reference to the verse:

2 God looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
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
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Re: PMB Fool - club or trumpet?

Postby Huck on 21 Aug 2014, 22:41

... :-) ... this looks fine.

An old place for some Fool iconography
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Re: PMB Fool - club or trumpet?

Postby Phaeded on 21 Aug 2014, 22:52

SteveM wrote:The text is Psalm 53:

1 The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good.

There are loads of illuminations to this psalm (and others to which priestly convention attached the God denying fool, such as 13:1, 51:1 & 52, as well as Psalm 53), which usually show a fool within the letter D, in several he is riding his 'hobby horse'. Examples of 'There is no god' fools:
Image


I highly recommend Chapter VIII, "God-denying Fools", of V. A. Kolve's Telling Images: Chaucer and the Imagery of Narrative II (Stanford, 2009: 223-257).

The PMB Fool is unquestionably modeled on Giotto's "foolishness" version of the God-denying Fool, yet with significant alterations: 1) Giotto's Fool is gluttonously fat while the PMB one is not; 2) the PMB fool does not look up at God (imagined or otherwise); 3) in PMB the crown of feathers are stuck into the thick mane of hair and suggestively number 7 (for this item in general see Ruth Mellinkoff's “Demonic Winged Headgear,” Viator 16 (1985): 367–81); the PMB Fool's genitals are explicitly pointed to (something the CVI and Este Fools do as well); and 4) the gnarled club of Giotto's fool has become elongated, smooth and straight - not curving (to suggest that which it came from - a tree limb) like your example above nor the one I provided lying next to a peasant in the Visconti Tacuinum Sanitatis .

In regard to this last item, I've noticed that everyone has studiously avoided addressing the fundamental problem that there is an unquestionable club in the PMB deck (the Strength card) and it does not look at all like what the PMB Fool is holding, but very much looks like Giotto's Fool's club. Any takers on explaining why this is so?
Giotto Foolishness rotated right, club detail.jpg
Giotto Foolishness rotated right, club detail.jpg (63.58 KiB) Viewed 3935 times

Upper third of the PMB Fool's so-called club.jpg
Upper third of the PMB Fool's so-called club.jpg (15.1 KiB) Viewed 3935 times

PMB Strength club detail.jpg
PMB Strength club detail.jpg (26.64 KiB) Viewed 3935 times

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Re: PMB Fool - club or trumpet?

Postby Ross G. R. Caldwell on 22 Aug 2014, 07:47

I'm not "studiously avoiding" the Fortitude-Fool comparison, I'm just casually dismissing it, as a pseudo-problem.

Different artist
Different subject
Different club

- there's no comparison to be made, or contrast to be drawn.

If your theory itself had any merit, then a better question with a more apt contrast would be to ask why the Fool's "trumpet" looks nothing at all like the actual trumpets painted by the same artist on the Judgment card.

But even that is going too far in engaging with your interpretation, since your arguments aren't persuading anybody, by the looks of it. Maybe you'd get some followers if you published it in the wider art history world, like in Artibus & Historiae, or even an art history forum on the net.
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Re: PMB Fool - club or trumpet?

Postby Huck on 22 Aug 2014, 13:39

SteveM wrote:The text is Psalm 53:

1 The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good.


Interestingly the Ship of Fools starts with two ship pages with pictures and one of the both is decorated with a quote from another psalm, No. 106 (though the text looks corrupted and "somehow composed").

http://biblehub.com/vul/psalms/107.htm
offers this as text:
(106-23) qui descendunt in mare navibus facientes opus in aquis multis

25 (106-24) ipsi viderunt opera Domini et mirabilia eius in profundo

26 (106-25) dixit et surrexit ventus tempestatis et elevavit gurgites eius

27 (106-26) ascendunt in caelum et descendunt in abyssos anima eorum in adflictione consumitur

28 (106-27) obstipuerunt et intremuerunt quasi ebrius et universa sapientia eorum absorta est

29 (106-28) clamabunt autem ad Dominum in tribulatione sua et de angustia educet eos

30 (106-29) statuet turbinem in tranquillitatem et silebunt fluctus eius


Image
http://digital.slub-dresden.de/werkansicht/dlf/11823/8/

It's Psalm No. 106, and curiously 53 = 106/2 ... so somehow, as if the author wished to express "doubled foolishness". (Psalm 53 is the one with the many Fools pictures, shown in earlier parts of the thread).

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

This picture precedes the other picture (the Fools are approaching the Ship and enter) ...

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... and the content starts the "Voored" (Introduction) and then with with pictures and accompanying poem text, opening interestingly with an "author picture" as a foolish book-collector, who has many books, but doesn't know and doesn't understand them.

Image

The year 1494 is just 2 years after Columbus detected America. I wonder, if the title "Ship of the Fools" reflects the actual situation.
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Re: PMB Fool - club or trumpet?

Postby Phaeded on 22 Aug 2014, 16:14

Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:Different club…

Funny you should mention Artibus et Historiae, in Dummet's article in that periodical ("Six XV-Century Tarot Cards: Who Painted Them?" Vol. 28, No. 56, 2007: 15-26 - the essential info is all on p. 22) he notes that since all of the later 15th century copies of the trumps always follow the PMB decks' 6 cards by a different hand (i.e., there were no earlier variations), they were likely all painted at the same time, just some by a different artist in the studio. He also notes the significance of the 1451 letter of Malatesta asking the Sforza court for a deck to be made in Cremona. We thus have a likely time (no need to ignore the date given by Malatesta and push the deck into the 1460s, based on Benedetto’s career, as Dummet has done), and more importantly for the question at hand, the place for the creation of the PMB: Cremona. I have my druthers with Dummet in identifying Benedetto Bembo as the artist of the 6 cards, based as it is on Voelkle’s tentative identification of Ferrarese influences and hence Benedetto, who also painted in Ferrera (“Thus William Voelkle, in his essay in the Brera catalogue of 1999, remarks cautiously [my emphasis] that the three supplementary cards in the Pierpont Morgan Library were by an artist influenced by Ferrarese art…”), but find it more significant of how the Bembo studio in Cremona operated in general:
Sandrina Bandera, in the catalogue to the Brera exhibition of the three packs by Bonifacio Bembo, emphasizes the production by the Bembo workshop of paintings and of decorated objects of all kinds; she also stresses the use by such workshops of "sketch-books" containing standardized motifs which could be used in different works. 40 [footnote 40 = Sandrina Bandera (ed.), Tarocchi: II caso e la fortuna, catalogue to Brera Gallery exhibition, Milan, 1999:16, 26]

What I have called a studio “copy book” and here as “sketchbook” begs the question again as to why the standardized motif of a club, essentially the same in Giotto’s fool and the PMB strength, would be represented in yet a different way for the PMB Fool. The basis for positing “different clubs” is lacking. And you have still failed to provide a comparable of a straight club flaring into a conical shape at its end.
Ross wrote:
the Fool's "trumpet" looks nothing at all like the actual trumpets painted by the same artist on the Judgment card.

My gawd, a three year old would match the shape of what the Fool holds with Judgement’s trumpet before doing so with any other object in the PMB. Besides the color (but the Fool trumpet is the same color as the CY Judgement trumpets) this is a baseless charge. They are the exact same shape, albeit in reversed positions:
PMB Judgement and Fool Trumpets .jpg
PMB Judgement and Fool Trumpets .jpg (21.16 KiB) Viewed 3907 times

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