Temperance

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Re: Temperance

Postby Ross G. R. Caldwell on 06 Sep 2013, 17:31

The unusual depiction of Temperance in the Catania cards may have been inspired by Psalm 41 (42 in Prostestant Bibles) -

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

In Latin -
Quemadmodum desiderat cervus ad fontes aquarum, ita desiderat anima me ad te Deus

Note the "fontes aquarum", which might have been enough to suggest this rather unique depiction of the virtue. The "cervus" is a metaphor for the soul (anima), which is perhaps then personfied by the nude pouring water.

Searching for "temperanza cervo" and "temperance deer" led me to a page with a description of Catholic symbolism for animals -

"STAG/HART/DEER/HIND: Piety.Faithful Christian longing for God. Christ the Savior. The stag takes its symbolic significance from Psalm 41:1: "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God." Thus, the stag has come to typify piety and religious aspiration. Similarly, because the stag seeks freedom and refuge in the high mountains, it has been used to symbolize the solitude and purity of life."

http://www.catholictradition.org/Saints/signs1.htm
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Re: Temperance

Postby Phaeded on 06 Sep 2013, 23:23

Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:Searching for "temperanza cervo" and "temperance deer" led me to a page with a description of Catholic symbolism for animals -

"STAG/HART/DEER/HIND: Piety.Faithful Christian longing for God. Christ the Savior. The stag takes its symbolic significance from Psalm 41:1: "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God." Thus, the stag has come to typify piety and religious aspiration. Similarly, because the stag seeks freedom and refuge in the high mountains, it has been used to symbolize the solitude and purity of life."

http://www.catholictradition.org/Saints/signs1.htm


Hey Ross,
Was this prompted by my Saturn/Temperance "shared attributes" post under the Hermit subject? Obviously that tangent belongs under Temperance here.

Oddly, the symbolism of the deer you found would also explain why the deer was Time/Saturn's animal, as he is usually depicted as a hermit-like ascetic taking refuge in nature (but oddly not in the PMB - he looks like a wealthy Byzantine scholar, i.e., the hat and beard).

The Psalm connection makes sense...but again, the deer-as-symbol in the quattrocento only seems to be connected with the Trionfo of Time (besides St. Eustace or Actaeon). If that is indeed a penis that the water is being poured on in the Catania card (tempering one's enflamed eros) then the addition of the deer would not rule out either meaning - solitude (deer = forest)/purity from the source you found and the deer-as-Time's symbol: the solitary contemplation of time naturally leads to the next Trionfo - Eternity/God.

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Re: Temperance

Postby marco on 06 Sep 2013, 23:43

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A few years ago, I proposed the identification of the character on this card with Diana, on the basis of this painting by Chranach. A naked person, wearing only a necklace and sitting on a deer is rather peculiar, so I thought the similarity was not accidental. It certainly is not easy to say if the person on the card is a man or a woman.

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Diana is associated with virginity, but I am not sure she could stand for temperance.
At the time, I quoted Boccaccio:

"Diana, gli aspri fuochi temperante con le sue onde,"
Diana tempers harsh fire with her waves,

As for the deer pulling the Chariot of Diana:

Callimachus wrote:Artemis, Lady of Maidenhood, Slayer of Tityus, golden were thine arms and golden thy belt, and a golden car didst thou yoke, and golden bridles, goddess, didst thou put on thy deer.
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Re: Temperance

Postby Ross G. R. Caldwell on 07 Sep 2013, 09:16

Thanks for reminding me of that image, Marco. It is certainly a striking cognate. The card has no lunar imagery, which means no one would mistake it for the Moon, which is a point in its favour. Modesty-Virginity-Temperance is not a far leap - I seem to remember some text or other making the identification (not necessarily with Diana, but she personifies pudor) - besides Boccaccio's mention of tempering the harsh flames (of desire) I mean, but maybe that is enough.

It is stronger than the Psalm idenification, I think, because although the stag and quenching thirst imagery (leading to associations with baptism) are present in Christian art, I have to stretch it to include the nude.
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Re: Temperance

Postby Phaeded on 07 Sep 2013, 16:36

Why would Artemis sprout a penis?
Re: Invisibility
by Ross G. R. Caldwell on 12 Apr 2010, 09:28
I have to admit I "see" a phallus - or the typical way a phallus might be represented in the 15th century, pointed at the end. There is a curl at the end, suggesting a flower. Maybe the figure really is a hermaphrodite - but why?

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Was Artemis upon a deer a popular motif in N. Italy, c. 1440-1480? Say in contrast to the myth of Actaeon where the deer has a much more sinister connotation of being ripped to shreds by one's own hounds (a birth tray dated to 1440 does portray this specific meaning):
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I think all we have here so far with the deer is that it symbolized purity - perhaps due to being wild in the forest, untouched by civilization, Artemis's domain. If anything related fits the card, however, it is the Actaeon myth - the venal discovery of Diana at her bath (violation of that purity) and paying the penalty with death. By tempering one's libido - venal urges - one avoids becoming the deer (or rather the deer's fate), hence the appropriateness for Temperance. There are hunting allusions in other Sforza decks - e.g., hawks - that would fit the courtly culture of the time moreso than extolling virgin Artemis alone as a signature trump.

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Re: Temperance

Postby marco on 07 Sep 2013, 19:27

Phaeded wrote:Why would Artemis sprout a penis?


Hello Phaeded,
I am sorry, but I don't see a penis. I think I prefer accepting Dummett's description, since he likely saw the original (Il Mondo e L'Angelo): “una ragazza nuda, reclina su di un cervo, con una collana di corallo. Nella mano sinistra regge un oggetto che, essendo dipinto in oro su fondo d'oro, è di difficile identificazione; nella destra, sollevata sulla sinistra, regge un altro oggetto, anch'esso dipinto in oro su fondo d'oro, che, come il primo, sembra essere un vaso” (translating in my poor English: “a naked girl, reclined upon a deer, with a coral necklace. In her left hand she holds an object which, being painted in gold on a golden background, is difficult to identify; in her left hand, raised above her left hand, she holds another object, also painted in gold on a golden background, which, as the first one, seems to be a jar”). Dummett goes on saying that this suggests that the card represents Temperance. It has been so interpreted by Ronald Decker and Robert Klein.


Phaeded wrote:Was Artemis upon a deer a popular motif in N. Italy, c. 1440-1480? Say in contrast to the myth of Actaeon where the deer has a much more sinister connotation of being ripped to shreds by one's own hounds (a birth tray dated to 1440 does portray this specific meaning):
Image


I am certain that Actaeon images were much more common than the kind of image we are discussing. If images like this were common, there wouldn't be much to discuss :) I don't know of any Italian example of Artemis/Diana/Luna upon a deer. Yet a German Renaissance example is better than nothing.

One could also ask: which other people upon a deer are documented in the Renaissance? Were naked men wearing only a necklace popular? What about men pouring water on their genitals?

The association of Diana/Artemis with a Deer is visually documented e.g. by the Hypnerotomachia or this Roman sculpture (“Diana of Versailles").

300px-Diane_de_Versailles_Leochares_2.jpg
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Boccaccio about Diana (in the Vth book of the Genealogia, Italian translation): “ Se le aggiunge il carro non solamente affine che perciò s'intenda il girar del cielo, il cui camino da lei viene fornito più velocemente di tutti gli altri pianeti, anzi per designare il girare che fanno i cacciatori per li monti et boschi; la qual carretta viene detta essere guidata da cervi perché pare che il desiderio de' cacciatori sia condotto da selvaggi animali. “

“Her chariot denotes not only her path trough the sky, which is quicker than all the other planets, but also to symbolize hunters wandering on the mountain and in the woods. Her chariot is pulled by deer because it seems that the desire of hunters is led by wild animals”
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Re: Temperance

Postby Phaeded on 09 Sep 2013, 18:58

Marco translated the Dummett Italian version as:
a naked girl, reclined upon a deer, with a coral necklace. In her left hand she holds an object which, being painted in gold on a golden background, is difficult to identify; in her left hand, raised above her left hand, she holds another object, also painted in gold on a golden background, which, as the first one, seems to be a jar” [my emphasis].


Do you agree that this deck is "Sforzan"? Would the most relevant comparable for that detail then be from that family of decks? Note the coral necklace...
Image

Having pointed that out, Temperance is always a woman and I do agree that this card is Temperance. However the "difficult to identify" object appears shaft-shaped and protrudes from the genital area; explicit phallus or not, the object would easily have been taken to refer to such. Mike H even points out that scholars' commented on the Scheggia nude on a cassone that most closely resembles our Temperance's breasts/hair with the note that it is gender neutral:
The particular cassone lid that has the person with the characteristic breasts (a Nudo, Bellosi and co-author Margaret Haines say, meaning either male or indefinite) is identified as a work of the artist's maturity.

http://forum.tarothistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=964

Perhaps Ross's throw away comment deserves more consideration - that this figure is hermaphroditic. Certainly that odd figure had already made the rounds among humanists in the form of Beccadeli/Panormita's Hermaphroditus(dedicated to Cosimo de Medici of all people)...and oddly enough this card ended up in Panormita's home island of Sicily (the poet was himself from Palermo), but that is certainly just a coincidence.

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Re: Temperance

Postby Phaeded on 10 Sep 2013, 01:05

To tack on to my post above - a fairly contemporary medal with some of the same themes and imagery (a partially nude woman in a related virtue context - chastity [vs. temperance] - with a very phallic image near her lap); but this time with a lunar symbol:
Pisanello, Medal of Cecilia Gonzaga (reverse), 1447
Bronze, diameter 8,7 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington
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The reverse of Cecilia Gonzaga shows a rocky landscape lit by a crescent moon, in which a semi-nude figure (Innocence) sits with a male unicorn (an emblem of chastity or knowledge tameable only by a virgin). On a pedestal on the right is the artist's signature.
http://www.wga.hu/html_m/p/pisanell/2medals/cecilia.html
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Re: Temperance

Postby marco on 10 Sep 2013, 18:10

Phaeded wrote:
Marco translated the Dummett Italian version as:
a naked girl, reclined upon a deer, with a coral necklace. In her left hand she holds an object which, being painted in gold on a golden background, is difficult to identify; in her left hand, raised above her left hand, she holds another object, also painted in gold on a golden background, which, as the first one, seems to be a jar” [my emphasis].


Do you agree that this deck is "Sforzan"? Would the most relevant comparable for that detail then be from that family of decks? Note the coral necklace...
Image


Thank you Phaeded,
that is an interesting detail. Actually, I don't know why a coral necklace is associate with this "Diana" and with the Sun. I know the coral necklace is commonly associated with Christ as a symbol of his passion, I think.

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Re: Temperance

Postby mikeh on 13 Sep 2013, 08:30

Here is the text from Lo Scheggia, Bellosi and Haines, 1998, p. 74.

The words "male or neuter" were my interpretation of the Italian "nudo", which is the word they used. Maybe "nudo" means "male nude" in such contexts, unless otherwise indicated, I don't know the conventions. WikiCommons has "Reclining youth".

I vaguely remember seeing a picture of a young man holding his hands up in front of his genitalia like on the card in Renaissance art somewhere recently, I can't remember where, meant to indicate restraint, I think. At least I think it was a man; there would be a similar gesture for women (as with the girl on the TdMII Lover card, per some people), though not with the same physical implications. And of course there's the thing about deer antlers and sexuality, as an aphrodesiac, as Google will inform you. I don't think it was just an Asian belief.

That's excellent, about the bead necklace. I never noticed it on the PBM.
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