Re: The Fool

#34
Lol! fine map.

I go to buy a ticket for narrland, the country where days have 44 hours, and ALL documentation its in Google Bocks, and ALL pictures are in Google (high resolution), and the "man and moose" its Venus or Santa Klaus...
When a man has a theory // Can’t keep his mind on nothing else (By Ross)

What Kind of Fool...

#35
mikeh wrote:Robert has managed to post my favorite Fool cards, the d'Este and the Noblet. I can't let the opportunity go by to say something about them. I don't think the d'Este Fool is a court Fool, or buffone. These professional Fools were often very clever. Galeazzo Maria Sforza's buffone made enough money to have a wife and a sizable bank account, and he once traveled on his own to the duke's country residence when he had to go late for some reason (Lubkin, A Renaissance Court, p. 115, in Google Books). In contrast, the d'Este Fool is a simpleton; we would call him developmentally disabled, very disabled. He fell in that category of people who were considered not responsible for their actions (it included psychotics as well). There was a taboo against grown men letting little boys touch their penises, and that would have applied to buffone. But it didn't apply to the developmentally disabled.
Mike, a fascinating interesting article - you've presented some compelling ideas, none of which I can, or wish to argue against. It's just that, looking at the D'Este Fool, seeing the competence of the artist and trusting my eyes, I simply can't accept this statement:
In contrast, the d'Este Fool is a simpleton; we would call him developmentally disabled, very disabled.


Even without comparing him to the Visconti-Sforza and the Charles V1 Fools, his face (which is the main part of his body we'd expect to find it), shows no sign of developmental disablement. Yet it would have been so easy for the artist to indicate this - we only have to look at the other two Fools to know this to be true.

And surely we can discount this Fool being psychotic? He'd very likely look normal, but I don't think the children would be allowed anywhere near him if that were known to be the case.

I realize this is not helpful or constructive. Your explanations re. the taboos etc. are good ones, and the only alternative I have is my initial impression of the tableau, which I admit is not strong, and for which I have no corroborative research. It's just that after Marco's miraculous discovery of the white girdle and its significance on The Moon thread (for which he deserves some sort of Tarot Medal), I'm determined to trust what I see rather than accepting or offering the opinions of Moakley et al.

Incidentally, I did wonder if the fact that all the figures (except the Fool, who's practically naked) in the D'Este Tarot are dressed in the same or similar rich fabric has any significance or bearing on the question of what kind of Fool this is. It does reinforce the feeling/impression that the scenes on the cards are personal to the D'Este court and exclusive of the outside world. Just a thought...

Added on the 24th: although to find Diogenes dressed in rich clothing on the Sun card seems somewhat ironic...

Pen
He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy...

Re: The Fool

#36
Pen wrote,
looking at the D'Este Fool, seeing the competence of the artist and trusting my eyes, I simply can't accept this statement:
In contrast, the d'Este Fool is a simpleton; we would call him developmentally disabled, very disabled.
Even without comparing him to the Visconti-Sforza and the Charles V1 Fools, his face (which is the main part of his body we'd expect to find it), shows no sign of developmental disablement. Yet it would have been so easy for the artist to indicate this - we only have to look at the other two Fools to know this to be true.
Yes, you are totally right on this point. I was conflating the d'Este and Charles VI Fools in my mind and not paying attention to the d'Este image. (When I was writing, I didn't have the image in front of me, just the url location code. Usually I look at the picture in the preview as I proofread, but in this case I missed the discrepancy.) His face is definitely modeled on a court Fool, quite intelligent. And Ferrara seems to have been well known for its Fools. Here is what Lubkin says about these professional Fools (this is in footnote 71, commenting on the first paragraph on p. 115; the footnote itself is in the back of the book, p. 318; both are in Google books):
During Galeazzo's reign, these figures flourished most under Este patronage at Ferrara; see references in letters from Sforza Maria to Galeazzo, 28 Aug. 1468, Medellana, and 8 Sep. 1468, Belfiore (ASMi, AS c. 1481).

ASMi = Archivio di Statto, Milan. AS = Archivio (Ducale) Sforzesco (c: cartello number). Belfiore is of course the Belfiore Palace outside of Ferrara. I don't know Medellana: Google gives me a village east of Ferrara, Medelana, and also a picture of a lake. Sforza Maria was born in 1451, so 17 or 18 years old at the time of his letter.

My new explanation for the d'Este Fool: Perhaps the court Fools had some paper mache phalli that they used in their routines, or vegetables with which they could make ambiguous gestures. I have seen some pretty funny skits with such props. O perhaps he is a variation on the personages on Roman sarcophagi, existing in the world of the Bacchanals, where the taboos are all flouted, as in Carnival or the Roman Saturnalia. (I don't know about other places, but in New Orleans even these days Carnival is the one time groups of young women are allowed, almost expected, briefly to expose their breasts in public upon request by the opposite sex, and likewise the men their penises. At least it was that way in the 1980's, when a friend of mine went.) Or, in that topsy-turvy world of the Bacchic processions and Carnival parades, it is as Daimonax says, the Dionysian cult object from the sarcophagi, put on the god instead of a tray, with the contemporary appearance of the court Fool.

Thanks for catching my error, Pen.

Re: The Fool

#37
D'Este Fools:
Burckhardt: "The better type of these people is the amusing man (l'uomo piacevole), the worse is the buffoon and the vulgar parasite who presents himself at weddings and banquets with the argument, 'If I am not invited, the fault is not mine.' Now and then the latter combine to pluck a young spendthrift, but in general they are treated and despised as parasites, while wits of higher position bear themselves like princes, and consider their talent as something sovereign. Dolcibene, whom Charles IV had pronounced to be the 'king of Italian jesters,' said to him at Ferrara: 'You will conquer the world, since you are my friend and the Pope's; you fight with the sword, the Pope with his bulls, and I with my tongue.' This is no mere jest, but the foreshadowing of Pietro Aretino."
Likely at the visit in 1367 ...

Gonella is the Ferrarese Fool in the time, when the Trionfi cards took their start:

Image


.... painted by Jean Fouquet, likely at the council 1438/39. Described with stories by Poggio.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: The Fool

#38
mikeh wrote:
My new explanation for the d'Este Fool: Perhaps the court Fools had some paper mache phalli that they used in their routines, or vegetables with which they could make ambiguous gestures. I have seen some pretty funny skits with such props. O perhaps he is a variation on the personages on Roman sarcophagi, existing in the world of the Bacchanals, where the taboos are all flouted, as in Carnival or the Roman Saturnalia. (I don't know about other places, but in New Orleans even these days Carnival is the one time groups of young women are allowed, almost expected, briefly to expose their breasts in public upon request by the opposite sex, and likewise the men their penises. At least it was that way in the 1980's, when a friend of mine went.) Or, in that topsy-turvy world of the Bacchic processions and Carnival parades, it is as Daimonax says, the Dionysian cult object from the sarcophagi, put on the god instead of a tray, with the contemporary appearance of the court Fool.
Mike, that makes sense in relation to the D'Este Fool. Something to look out for in texts. I read something similar about the Venetian Carnival in past times, where being masked made it allowable (for the Carnival only), to be unfaithful to one's husband or wife.

Huck, that's a truly wonderful painting. Gonella looks gentle and wise, and who could doubt, looking into his eyes, his intelligence and wit - pretty much essential for a court fool I'd imagine (to keep those highly educated Renaissance nobles amused). Which makes me wonder if I should rethink what kind of Fool is depicted on the Charles V1 card...?

Pen
He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy...

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