The Wheel of Fortune

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.

Re: The Wheel of Fortune

Postby mmfilesi on 05 May 2011, 15:32

Thanks friend. The finding is from Jan of Fragmentalia.

............

This is a very interesting picture. I think the soup Fortune-Nemesis-divine providence can explain some misterious female in the World of some tarots, as the tarot of Paris.

centumfort_03.gif
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The text said:

Fortuna Adrastea.

Ineluctabile fatum:Aristotle says that (here a line has been cut out by the binder) Adrastea is an inevitable thing; being by nature always a goddess, one of the Parca'. Strabo says that she is the daughter of Necessity and Jupiter, whose vengeance, like the thunderbolt of Jupiter, is inevitable. The theologians of Ancient Egypt wished to convey that her seat was beneath that of the moon, in order that as queen and judge she might look down upon the lower and earthly regions.
When a man has a theory // Can’t keep his mind on nothing else (By Ross)
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Re: The Wheel of Fortune

Postby Huck on 03 Sep 2012, 12:09

Image

Fortuna woodcut for "PETRARCA, Francesco. De remediis utriusque fortunae. Praga, 1501."
http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/book ... b093ac144d

Interestingly there are 6 persons on the wheel
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Re: The Wheel of Fortune

Postby Kate on 28 Nov 2013, 00:17

Greetings,

I am new to the forum and apologize if this has been covered, but I seek your kind feedback and guidance on this subject.

I would first refer you to an illustration from a French manuscript entitled Boethius: The Consolation of Philosophy (ca. 1460, Tours), which forum members have examined previously.

http://www.wga.hu/art/zgothic/miniatur/ ... secula.jpg

Here, Boethius sits inside a room as Lady Philosophy explains the nature of Fate to him. The bicephalic Lady Fortuna stands at the room’s doorway. Her white visage faces the room’s interior and its inhabitants, with right hand poised above Boethius’ head. In contrast, her black visage faces the outside world of nature and the Wheel of Fortune, with left hand poised at the Wheel’s rim.

Fortuna’s position at the doorway recalls the similarly bicephalic Janus, god of doorways, and thus her link with transitions and time. Additionally, her bicephaly recalls that of the androgynous Prudence. One might be tempted to speculate as well that the interior space containing Lady Philosophy equates to the wheel’s hub or circle’s center for the Divine Mens and eternal present, where all things can become known. The exterior space would, thus, equate to the wheel’s rim or the outer circumference of a circle, which is subject to time and, thus, the necessities of Fate, making it difficult to discern the chain of causation born of Providence. Nonetheless, according to Boethius, this chain of causation drives the wheel, giving order to the cosmos, and leading the soul through various trials of boon and loss to virtue and self-knowledge.

Four figures sit securely on the wheel—a merchant (left); reigning figure (meridian); squire (right); and knight (nadir)—recalling four archetypical stations of humanity found in the Mantegna Tarocchi and their correlates, including the four cardinal virtues of temperance, justice, prudence, and fortitude, respectively. For instance, the Squire figure is pictured with a bird of prey (black eagle?) perched on his left (outer) hand and prudence’ mirror in his right (inner) hand.

Mantegna Tarocchi Archetypical Stations of Humanity & Cognates:

(4) Merchant: temperance, Erato (desire), Geometry (Arithmetic?), Sun
(7) Duke: Justice, Melpomene (tragedy), Poetry, Saturn
(5) Squire: Prudence, Polyhymnia (heroic hymns), Arithmetic (?), Mars
(6) Knight – Fortitude, Thelia (Comedy), Music, Jupiter

http://www.levity.com/alchemy/mantegna.html

Has this forum investigated this point of attack? Have any kind insights to offer?

Warmly,
Kate
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Re: The Wheel of Fortune

Postby mikeh on 28 Nov 2013, 06:44

Welcome to the Forum, Kate. I'm interested in learning more about your insights. Could you say more about the cognates? I understand the correlations to Cardinal Virtues, and they suggest the possibility of other cognates; but then I falter and don't understand.
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Re: The Wheel of Fortune

Postby Ross G. R. Caldwell on 28 Nov 2013, 09:32


http://www.rosscaldwell.com/images/triu ... dences.jpg

Mike, Kate is just going straight up the line in the Ps-Mantegna order (column-rank):

44-45-46-47 (Planets)
34-35-36-37 (Virtues)
24-25-26-27 (Arts)
14-15-16-17 (Muses)
04-05-06-07 (Stations)

It's debatable whether there is - or is intended to be - a strict correspondence on every level, but I suppose that is why she asked.

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Re: The Wheel of Fortune

Postby mikeh on 30 Nov 2013, 21:50

Thanks, Ross. Well then, I agree with her suggestion for the first two on her list, Stations and Virtues. I can't for the rest. But maybe there is another way of doing it for those, diagonally for example, in some combination. It is an interesting puzzle.

Another puzzle, at least for me. What does the illustration Kate started with have to do with Boethius? Nobody seems to be falling, which was Boethius's main point. One thing that occurs to me is that the artist might be making the observation that contrary to proper medieval protocol, all sorts of people are becoming rulers. A commoner soldier becomes ruler of Milan, calling himself Duke (when by rights, of course, Milan should have gone to the French after Filippo's death); a banker controls Florence; another merchant is or will probably be elected Pope (Paul II in 1464, per wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Paul_II); and perhaps that's better than idle princes inheriting the job.
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Re: The Wheel of Fortune

Postby Kate on 01 Dec 2013, 08:13

Dear Mike and Ross,

Thank you both for your kind replies and welcome.

Ross: You are correct. I came seeking information and feedback.

From my preliminary review, it appeared that the Mantegna Tarocchi demonstrates a high degree of organization. I thus hypothesized that it was the artist’s intent to establish correspondences across the decades.

The first decade (social stations of humanity) and fifth decade (heavenly spheres) unambiguously follow a conventional ascending order from 1-10. Likewise, the third decade (liberal arts) follows convention, in ascending order of 1-10, in terms of the Trivium, Quadrivium, and so-called Queenly Arts, except for the placement of astronomy above philosophy—presumably, so that astronomy appears in the ninth sphere of the Primum Mobile and zodiac.

In terms of the fourth decade (called “Virtues”), I had difficulty in assessing the first three figures as such—viz. Iliaco (word etymology?), Chronico, and Cosmico. I tentatively hypothesized that this decade might be better understood as “Philosophy”—viz. natural philosophy (figures 1-3, as previously mentioned), moral philosophy (figures 4-7, cardinal virtues), and metaphysics/theological ethics (figures 8-10, theological virtues)—or, alternatively, the three realms related, thereto.

That leaves the second decade of the nine muses, plus Apollo Mousagetes. The figure of Apollo in the 10th spot of this decade would, again, seem to indicate an ascending order. However, assuming my hypothesis holds any water, the artist did not go by the few models with which I am familiar—viz. Agrippa’s muse: planetary associations or other muse: musical chord associations. Further, I’ve had difficulties locating many reliable sources on the subject.

On the other hand, if one views the line items in the 10th position of each decade, for instance—Pope, Apollo, Theology, Faith (an attribute of St. Peter), and First Cause—the hypothesis seems to hold.

Mike: Keep in mind that I posted not to present a new theory, but to seek information. Thus, my research is not complete. That said, returning to my Wheel model posted the other day . . .

(4) Merchant: temperance, Muse Erato (desire), Geometry (Arithmetic?), Sun
(5) Squire: Prudence, Polyhymnia (heroic hymns), Arithmetic (?), Mars
(6) Knight – Fortitude, Thelia (Comedy), Music, Jupiter
(7) Duke: Justice, Melpomene (tragedy), Poetry, Saturn

Merchant et al., vs. Squire et al., on wheel’s horizontal axis

The virtue temperance was traditionally associated with moderation, proportion (thus, the link with geometry by some models), or the reasoned ability to measure. An interesting treatment of the subject is found in Peter Bruegel’s Temperance (1560). Here, Temperance is shown with a rein in her mouth for the concept of restraint, while a live snake is knotted around her waist as a belt, presumably, in reference to her mastery over the physical desires, including lust. Various groups around her are pictured with measuring instruments, including a merchant counting at foreground and geometers at background. The work has the notation: “We must see to it that we do not give ourselves over to a life of lust, extravagances, and waste, and that we do not, because of miserly greed, behave despicable or miserly.”

Illustration:

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=htt ... CEcQ9QEwBA

Further, by some Renaissance models, the muse Erato acquired a link with geometry. For instance, please find link for engraving by Crispijn de Passe the Elder (ca. 1590-1637) of Erato with geometry instruments at her feet:

http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/c ... 3&partId=1


That said, it’s interesting to compare merchant (and cognates) and squire (and cognates) on the horizontal axis by this model—e.g., the association of the two with the mathematical arts. In fact, I’m more accustomed to seeing the compass linked with the virtue Prudence. For a personal favorite:

http://ejmas.com/jwma/articles/2005/jwm ... t_0105.htm

Further, both temperance and prudence have an association with time—temperance as a pun on “tempus” and the proper measure or use, thereof; prudence as foresight or the human cognate of Providence. Thus, referring back to the Bruegel work, a clock is pictured on top of Temperance’ head. Then, again, we have Titian’s Allegory of Time Governed by Prudence (ca. 1565-70) with the inscription, “From the past, the present acts prudently, lest it spoil future action.”

http://www.renaissance-in-art.org/Alleg ... 65-70.html


Duke et al., vs. Knight et al., on wheel’s vertical axis

The link between Melpomene as the muse of tragedy with Saturn, presumably, relates to the melancholic humor. In contrast, that of Thelia, the muse of comedy, seems appropriate to the sanguine humor of Jupiter.

Mike, you wrote:

Another puzzle, at least for me. What does the illustration Kate started with have to do with Boethius? Nobody seems to be falling, which was Boethius's main point.

Falling? You lost me there. Can you explain?

Thank you and regards,
Kate
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Re: The Wheel of Fortune

Postby Huck on 01 Dec 2013, 10:39

hi Kate, welcome

Kate wrote:In terms of the fourth decade (called “Virtues”), I had difficulty in assessing the first three figures as such—viz. Iliaco (word etymology?), Chronico, and Cosmico. I tentatively hypothesized that this decade might be better understood as “Philosophy”—viz. natural philosophy (figures 1-3, as previously mentioned), moral philosophy (figures 4-7, cardinal virtues), and metaphysics/theological ethics (figures 8-10, theological virtues)—or, alternatively, the three realms related, thereto.


Iliaco, Cosmico and Chronico are astronomical termini since Sacrobosco (13th century)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_de_Sacrobosco

In the Accademia Romana of the 1460s "Cosmico" and "Chronico" were used as personal nick names. A period, when "astronomy" was a hot topic (Regiomontanus had visited Italy in 1461 on request of Bessarion and stayed some years). This trend developed with Pius II, who was close to emperor Fredrick III. Fredrick III had a astronomy/astrology favor, which was accompanied by good astronomers in Vienna (Peuerbach/Regiomontanus).

That leaves the second decade of the nine muses, plus Apollo Mousagetes. The figure of Apollo in the 10th spot of this decade would, again, seem to indicate an ascending order. However, assuming my hypothesis holds any water, the artist did not go by the few models with which I am familiar—viz. Agrippa’s muse: planetary associations or other muse: musical chord associations. Further, I’ve had difficulties locating many reliable sources on the subject.


The Muses row is traditional (though there is more than one "tradition"). The used Muses row seems to be from Fulgentius.
http://trionfi.com/0/m/11/

Lazzarelli used the same row of Muses in c. 1471.
Filelfo (c. 1455) used a part of the row in his 'Odes', though with one exchange. We discussed this text recently.

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You find easily more material by typing "Sacrobosco" or "Fulgentius" and "Mantegna Tarocchi" in the search engines (mostly our discussions).
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The E-Series model book

Postby mjhurst on 01 Dec 2013, 16:28

Hi, Kate, Huck,

Huck wrote:
Kate wrote:In terms of the fourth decade (called “Virtues”), I had difficulty in assessing the first three figures as such—viz. Iliaco (word etymology?), Chronico, and Cosmico.

Iliaco, Cosmico and Chronico are astronomical termini since Sacrobosco (13th century)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_de_Sacrobosco

These identifications of the three forms of celestial rising, from Sacrobosco, were made by John Shephard, in his 1985 book The Tarot Trumps: Cosmos in Miniature, subtitled The Structure and Symbolism of the Twenty-Two Tarot Trump Cards. He deserves to be cited, for this and other reasons.

Shephard's attempt to analyze the trump cards was an interesting failure, a great hunch which turned out to be completely mistaken. However, along the way he makes an excellent argument regarding the design of the E-Series model book, (the falsely so-called Mantegna Tarot). He explains the five decades of subjects (each with a different type of subject matter) as a cosmological analogy of the four elements (Earth, Water, Air, and Fire) and the Heavens.

There is an attempted hierarchy within each decade, but these fail in some cases -- notably the Liberal Arts and the Virtues. Only the highest series, the celestial hierarchy, is neatly conventional. Naturally, being rather haphazardly crafted, the decades can not parallel each other in any coherent fashion.

Best regards,
Michael
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Re: The Wheel of Fortune

Postby Kate on 03 Dec 2013, 03:05

Hi Mike and Huck,

Thank you, Gentlemen, for your very kind responses. Very interesting reading. I was hoping, however, to obtain some clarifications from you.

Shepherd (1985) Model

I assume—and, please, correct me where I’ve erred—that Shepherd essentially used a revised Sacrobosco geocentric model composed of five concentric spheres for each of the E-Series model book decades as listed below; is that correct?

1) Earth: Decade 1 (Social Stations of Mudman)
2) Water: Decade 2 (Muses, plus Apollo Musagetes; cf. Lazzarelli, Poetry)
3) Air: Decade 3 (Liberal Arts)
4) Fire: Decade 4 (Virtues)
5) Ether: Decade 5 (Spheres; cf. Lazzarelli, Music)

Can you expand on this insofar as the rationale/supporting arguments for this model?

Lazzarelli Model (ca. 1471)

Further, the E-Series Model Book comports with the Lazzarelli Model (ca. 1471). Lazzarelli’s Book I links the Spheres (E-Series 50-41) with Music (E-Series 26), presumably, in reference to the “Music of the Spheres.” Lazzarelli’s Book II links Apollo Musagetes, plus the nine muses (E-Series 20-11) with Poetry (E-Series 27).

Interestingly, this recalls Dante’s Commedia where, if I recall correctly, the muses are said to be water nymphs in the terrestrial realm and stars in heaven; further, it tends to support Shepherd’s model, which links Decade 2 with water and Decade 5 with Ether. However, I noticed that you reversed the order of muses—viz. putting Calliope at First Mover (instead of Moon) and Clio at Moon (instead of First Mover), while presumably keeping Apollo at First Cause. Can you tell me why?

http://trionfi.com/0/m/11/

Additionally, Lazzarelli’s Book II lists five gods, possibly in reference to the five elements—[speculating] Pluto (earth); Neptune (water); Juno (air); Athene (fire); and Victoria/Nike (ether). Do you have any further information insofar as Lazzarelli’s portrayal of these gods?

Sacrobosco Model: Chronico, Cosmico, Helical

As I understand it, “Chronico” relates to the “poetic” (?) ascent/descent of (6) astrological signs at sunset, “Cosmico” to the ascent/descent of (6) signs at sunrise, and “Helical” to the emergence or cloaking of signs due to their relative proximity to the Sun.

I’m really having a hard time wrapping my mind around this. Originally, I understood “Chronico” as “Time” in contrast to “Cosmico” as “World”. As such, the iconography of the ouroborus for Chronico and globe for Cosmico made sense to me. Can you explain how you understand these items in terms of the decade?

Btw, I couldn’t help noticing a certain pattern on this forum—Ross as a goat head with the motto, “Pedant”; Huck in fool’s cap with ass ears; and Mike as a skull. Very Shakespearean or Bruno-esque.

Thank you and regards,

Kate
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