Re: The Magician

#81
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: My opinion is just that if you put Pen's reconstructions beside Mike's, I think Pen's is the most reasonable solution as to what the artist meant to convey. The fact that the legs never really "work" from a strictly orthodox perspective position is irrelevant, since it is not strictly orthodox perspective. It's the degree of divergence I'm talking about.

Pen and I take less as being more logical, you and Mike take more as being more logical.
I don't think the legs work particularly well from either perspective; my only point is that in the terms of byzantine perspective the table top shape suggested by Mike is conventional, as 'wierd' as it may appear to some. You yourself have given us the example of what may be considered the prototype of the image and which uses perspective more akin to Byzantine than the linear perspective we are more accustomed to. Mike is right to say his image of the table top is no more or less wierd than Pen's. Both are conventional and thus 'right' within the confines of differing systems of perspective: Pen's may only seem less wierd to some because it is one we are nowadays more familiar with and our accustomed way of reading a pictorial space (personally Pen's is more wierd looking to me by the standards of linear perspective that Mike's table top is in terms of Byzantine). It is not about more or less logical, but upon the anachronistic imposition of a perspective we are more familiar with in our time given greater credence over the possibilty of another perspective perfectly in keeping with the time and with other examples.
debra wrote: mmf, I wrote something about the similarities between the Vieville and the cubists for the ATA newsletter. I love these strange impossibilities.
Sounds like an interesting read :) Inverse perspective was one of the techniques made use of in cubism of course. Of our own time I like the use Hockney makes of it in some of his work.
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

Re: The Magician

#82
SteveM wrote: I don't think the legs work particularly well from either perspective; my only point is that in the terms of byzantine perspective the table top shape suggested by Mike is conventional, as 'wierd' as it may appear to some. You yourself have given us the example of what may be considered the prototype of the image and which uses perspective more akin to Byzantine than conventional. Mike is right to say his image of the table top is no more or less wierd than Pen's. Both are conventional and thus 'right' within the confines of differing systems of perspective: Pen's may only seem less wierd to some because it is one we are nowadays more familiar with and our accustomed way of reading a pictorial space (personally Pen's is more wierd looking to me by the standards of linear perspective that Mike's table top is in terms of Byzantine). It is not about more or less logical, but upon the anachronistic imposition of a perspective we are more familiar with in our time given greater credence over the possibilty of another perspective perfectly in keeping with the time and with other examples.
I don't think it's a matter of anachronism. All of the visible legs are at - or very close to - corners; even if the table were as weirdly shaped as Mike suggests, the unseen leg should be at the corner in the upper right, not in the middle of the table. It isn't a matter of perspective, but even by the logic of the artist it would be weird for the leg to be in the middle of the table instead of at the corner.
Image

Re: The Magician

#83
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:All of the visible legs are at - or very close to - corners; even if the table were as weirdly shaped as Mike suggests, the unseen leg should be at the corner in the upper right, not in the middle of the table. It isn't a matter of perspective, but even by the logic of the artist it would be weird for the leg to be in the middle of the table instead of at the corner.
As I said, i don't think the issue with the legs work well seen from either perspective, including that with a table top as conventionally shaped as Mike suggests.
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: I don't think it's a matter of anachronism.
It would be anachronistic to consider only the type of perspective we are more familiar with to have been 'the convention' and the 'right' way to read the image, and the one we are unfamiliar with to be just 'wierd' and therefore 'wrong'. The table top shape suggested by Mike is perfectly conventional within the remit of Byzantine perspective, I would say more so than the wierd table shapes demonstrated by Pen that result from the application of the linear perspective to which we are more accustomed (although it works better with some versions of the juggler than others).
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

Re: The Magician

#84
I would add that even if the Cary Sheet image is useful to show that the "Marseille" images are part of a tradition of four-legged tables, yet the "Marseille" images add a meaningful sense of uncertainty about where the leg is and to a lesser extent even whether there are still four at all. They--and especially a "Marseille II" like the Conver, with its straight-edge trouser-leg--do a better job of that than the Cary Sheet does. (And they also are better at it, I think, than the the PMB, which also shows mostly three legs. There the main issue is how many legs it has, since a leg divided at the bottom is more stable than one that isn't. But the artist has pity on us and shows us a bit of the fourth leg, from behind the man's leg, or so I imagine.)

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And the Cary Sheet image has its own weirdness, if we look too closely. We can only see one corner all the way to the floor, and there we have to look very hard--is that the outlines of a leg, or just my imagination? It also looks like the table is floating in the air, or perhaps on the floor where it is closest to us and rising mysteriously upwards on the other side. From that perspective, the table might just have one leg, in the middle of the side away from us. (Above, I include the Cary Sheet Fool in case anyone wants to talk about the "monkey" on his back. Or is it the pseudo-Egyptian three-tiered crown of Hermes Trismegistus? The image at the right is the 1760 Conver, allegedly unrestored, from http://en.camoin.com/tarot/Tarot-Marsei ... -1760.html)

Re: The Magician

#85
Pen wrote:
mikeh wrote:Before we get off the table topic entirely, I can't resist posting de Gebelin's artist's version of the card, 1781, from trionfi.com's reproduction.

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Not only that but the back edge of the table is wider than the front...

Pen
Another example of inverse perspective (the use of which we find also in the Cary Sheet juggler).
Pen wrote: Unlike the Gebelin, the perspective of the tabletop is accurate.

The Gebelin tabletop is accurate too, as an example of inverse/byzantine perspective. I wonder which deck she was copying from...
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

Re: The Magician

#86
Yes, and I love how he has no qualms about cutting off the purse in the middle. I didn't have the nerve to do that.He's drawing exactly what he sees. Could it be a Swiss version of the "Marseille II"? The lady who introduced him to tarot was from Switzerland or Germany (he doesn't remember which). On the other hand, he might have wanted to get the earliest he could find. The designs are actually close to Chosson, Marseille 1672, or Madenie, Dijon 1709 (I'm looking in Kapaln vol. 2), if you allow for failures to see details. But for the Bateleur even the Conver is close. Both have four-legged tables, rectangular tops in the same proportions, purses and other objects on them, same outfit on the bateleur, same things in his hands, his body comes up against the table in the same place, legs in front the same way, and he's looking off to the side just the same. He's even improved the design, by showing us all four table legs, putting them where they should be, getting the perspective right, and making the hat a little less ridiculous. I can just hear him looking at us in disbelief. "Is there something wrong with the face?" he says. "It looks all right to me. What's your problem?"
P.S. SteveM, I may have edited my previous post a bit since you saw it. I'm not sure about the timing.

Re: The Magician

#87
I thought it would be fun to post some other Bateleur tables done around the same time as the Conver, for comparison. I think you can see that other factors play into the legs issue besides perspective and placement vis a vis corners. Below is Lando left (c. 1760 Turin, Kaplan v. 1 p. 150), Burdel center (1751 Fribourg Switzerland), and for reference Conver 1760.

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In the Lando, the tilting legs on the left contrast with the straight leg on the right, creating the impression of two legs on one side and one leg in the middle on the other side. The Burdel creates the impression that the leg on the right is in front, by the relatively wider spacing between it and the Bateleur's left leg, compared to the Conver, plus the lack of shading on the right, very straight up and down part of his leg. Also there is a line in the middle of the right leg, suggesting the possibility of another leg in back of it. The Conver, with narrower spacing but still the contrast within the leg, even a different color, is beautifully ambiguous.

Next, look at the Vieville left (c. 1650 Paris), the Noblet (Flornoy's "restoration," with its blue line which may or may not be in the original), and the Dupont (2nd half 18th century Brussels, Kaplan vol. 2 p. 330). The Dupont is typical of numerous Flemish-Belgian decks of the 18th century, the ones that have Captain Fricasee instead of the Popess. Vieville has a Popess, according to Kaplan. But the Vieville Bateleur's face and buttons resemble those of the Flemish-Belgian decks, suggesting a relationship.

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Here the Dupont clearly does not have a table leg behind one of the Bateleur's legs. The narrow spacing between the rather phallic tableeg and the two Bateleur legs on either side excludes that possibility. The slanting leg on the right vs. the vertical legs in the middle create the impression that the fourth leg is beyond the left frame, and the length of the table creates the impression that it is in front. In the Vieville, a table leg might possibly be behind the Bateleur's leg, but the spacing, the table leg so close, suggests otherwise. So it is more like the Dupont. Noblet's, by the wider spacing, is more ambiguous.

In general, the more ambiguous cards are in decks that have proven, for whatever reason, to be the more popular decks after their own time.

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