now think I was wrong on two points.
The first is that Fama is not represented on this card as a Virtue (she does not appear in any list of moral or social Virtues that I have been able to consult) but as a Domination, another angelic creature, of the same rank in the celestial hierarchy.
Indeed in Volume II of the above-mentioned treatise, Book X (Angels and Demons), Chapter V, I read about them :
“In Milan, they have the scepter and the globe. "
I know the Charles VI is supposed to come from Ferrara, but yet this is exactly what we can see on the card.
The sphere that Fama holds in his left hand, and this is my second mistake, would therefore not be a fragile crystal ball but a golden globe indicating the extent of its power.
Therefore, i adopt for the moment the idea that the card called "The World" of the deck of Charles VI represents Fama, not as a Virtue but as a Domination. Therefore, she is not our fourth Virtue and, therefore, the place freed up by Prudentia remains to be taken.
Q. E. D.
Your argument is as follows:
Premise: Dominations have the scepter and the globe.
Premise: The lady on the Charles VI has the scepter and the globe.
Therefore: The lady on the Charles VI is a Domination.
This argument is of the form, A is a B, C is a B, therefore C is an A. That form is quite fallacious. It is perfectly appropriate that Dominations should get scepters and globe, because "domination" means "rule" and scepters and globes are symbolic of rule. But lots of figures, usually rulers, or at least "kings for a day", are shown with scepters and globes. It is like saying "Emperor Maximilian is shown with a scepter and globe. The Lady on the Charles VI has a scepter and globe. Therefore The lady on the Charles VI is Emperor Maximilian.
It takes more than a scepter and a globe to establish the identity of that lady. And perhaps I am unfair in assuming your "QED" implied a deductive argument. It is a question of finding enough qualities in the picture to narrow down the identification. On your side you have the fact that she is standing on a model of the cosmos, the earth with rings around it. She is rather far up, where you would expect some kind of angelic being to be. Not only that, the previous cards also represented particular spheres in the cosmos. In that respect, a Domination is in the right spot. And the title suggests the appropriateness of scepter and globe. But it would be nice to have a Ferrarese source, if you think the card is Ferrarese, or a Florentine one, in case it is Florentine, or at least something suggesting that the Milanese practice noted is generally followed. And what about Thrones and other types of angelic beings, like Divine Providence? How are they shown? And what is the particular function of this angelic being in relation to the card after it (if Florence) or before (if Ferrara), namely the Angel card?
Actually, I think we should deal not just with this card but its cognate in the "Alessandro Sforza", many of whose cards look very much like the Charles VI. Here they are side by side:
As you can see, the octagonal halo is not all that essential, just a nice addition. The "Alessandro Sforza" may have a golden headpiece, or just blond hair; it is not quite clear.
One possible identification is with the guide in Boccaccio's Amorosa Visione
, his predecessor poem to Petrarch's I Trionfi. Boccaccio was a rich source of imagery, at least in Florence. I quote (Ch. 1, lines 36-42):
…alzai gli occhi alla sua bionda testa
ornate di corona e più che ‘l sole
splendida e vaga, ed oltre mi parea
il bel vestir suo tinto di viole.
Ridente in vista, nella destra avea
un real scettro ed un bel pomo d’oro
chiuso nella sinestra sostenea.
English translation (Hollander et al):
..I raised my eyes to her blonde head
Adorned with a crown and more splendid
And fair than the sun, and her comely
Clothing seemed to be of a violet hue.
Smiling, she had in her right hand
A royal scepter, enclosed in her left
She held up a beautiful golden apple.
So who is she? We are not told in so many words, but she is some sort of guide not of this world, like Dante's Beatrice or Lucius's Isis in the Golden Ass
(just then among the first printed books in Italy), but in Boccaccio beckoning the narrator away from scenes of earthly triumphs toward a narrow gate that leads to the heights, and to "Gloria", cognate to Fama. She is in that respect like
Prudence, the highest of the cardinal virtues, the one leading them all toward the apprehension of duty, or Plato's Wisdom, directing the other virtues, even if she doesn't have Prudence's or Wisdom's attributes. It's OK to leave a little mystery and ambiguity.