Dating a certain tarot card & Scheggia cassone lid

#1
Huck (http://tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=171021 and elsewhere) noticed a similarity between the Catania (also known as the "Alessandro Sforza") so-called "Temperance" card and a cassone lid attributed to the younger brother of Masaccio (1401-1428), Giovanni di Ser Giovanni (1406-1486), known as Lo Scheggia, Also, Lo Scheggia is in the account records of the times as producing playing cards in the years 1447-48 (Franco's essay at http://trionfi.com/evx-lo-scheggia). The lid, Huck says, is attributed to the "first half of the 15th century". I think he is quoting the information that someone put with the image on Wikimedia Commons. Perhaps it comes from the museum in Avignon. In any case, if one led to the other, we might think mid-century, plus or minus 5 or 10 years, as the time for the cards. But Huck says no, more like 1460s, after the Charles VI (which he hypothetically dates to Lorenzo's 14th birthday, i.e. 1463, viewtopic.php?f=11&t=858&start=60#p13821). I wanted to look further.

Reading about Lo Scheggia, I see that he is at least the right sort of artist to have been doing tarot cards. In the book Lo Scheggio, 1999, Luciano Bellosi says (my highlighting and translation, p. 30; corrections are welcome):
A uno sguardo d'insieme, il fratello di Masaccio ci appare come uno di quei pittori fiorentini di seconda fila che fondarono la propria fortuna su una produzione minore ma di lusso e di larga diffusione. Sono pittori che troviamo impegnati a dipingere carte da tarocchi, a preparare disegni per ricami, ad eseguire affreschi poveri in terretta verde, a colorare e dipingere rilievi in stucco o in terracotta, a disegnare carte da gioco per la stampa, a mettere in opera cartoni per vetrate (magari su disegno di artisti più importanti di loro), ma soprattutto impegnati a dipingere "cofani" (cioè cassoni), spalliere e deschi da parto, rispondendo alle esigenze di una moda che si era largamente diffusa nella Firenze del Quattrocento tra le famiglie facoltose. Questa moda sembra allargarsi, via via che, sui soggetti galanti e novellistici più diffusi nei primi decenni del Quattrocento, prendono il sopravvento i soggetti di ispirazione umanistica, tratti dalla storia, dall'epica e dalla mitologia degli antichi, oppure (come accade frequentemente nel caso dello Scheggia) dai Trionfi del Petrarca. Con questo, i cassoni diventano il segno della crescente influenza degli umanisti, uno dei quali, Ugolino Verino, dedica un elogio in versi latini ad Apollonio di Giovanni e alle sue raffigurazioni di soggetti tratti dall'Eneide (33), che sono i favoriti anche
per i cassoni di questo collega e contemporaneo dello Scheggia. Lo Scheggia stesso sembra preferire, oltre che i Trionfi, i soggetti di storia romana.
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33. L’pigramma, composto da Ugolino Verino, fu pubblicato da E. H. Gombrich in un articolo su Apollonio di Giovanni comparso sul "Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes" del 1955. Lo si può' leggere oggi in edizione italiana in E. H. Gombrich, Norma e Forma, Torino 1973, pp. 18-42. Grazie a questa composizione poetica, il Gombrich potè identificare Apollonio di Giovanni con l’attività del pittore fino ad allora anonimo chiamato Maestro del Virgilio o Maestro di Didone.

(In an overview, the brother of Masaccio appears to us as one of those Florentine painters of the second rank who founded his fortune on a smaller production but luxury items that were nonetheless widespread. They are painters who are busy painting tarot cards, preparing designs for embroidery, executing frescoes in poor greenterretta, coloring and painting reliefs in terracotta or stucco, drawing playing cards for printing, putting in place cartoons for stained glass windows (perhaps designed by artists more important than they), but especially busy painting "cafoni" (i.e. cassoni), headboards and birth trays, meeting the demands of fashion that were widespread in fifteenth-century Florence among wealthy families. This fashion seems to expand, gradually, to the gallant narrative [?: novellistici] subjects that were popular in the early decades of the fifteenth century, taking over subjects of humanistic inspiration, from history, from the epics and mythology of the ancients, or (as often happens in the case of Lo Scheggia) from the Triumphs of Petrarch. With this, the cassone become the sign of the growing influence of the humanists, one of which, Ugolino Verino, devotes a eulogy in Latin verse for Apollonio de Giovanni and his depictions of subjects drawn from Aeneid 33, which are also favorites for cassoni by this colleague contemporary with Lo Scheggia. Lo Scheggia himself seems to prefer, as well as the Triumphs, the subjects of Roman history.
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[Footnote] 33. The epigram, composed by Ugolino Verino, was published by E. H. Gombrich in an article on Apollonio di Giovanni that appeared in the "Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes" of 1955. You can read it today in Italian in E. H. Gombrich, Norma e Forma, Turino, 1973, pp. 18-42. With this poem, Gombrich could identify Apollonio di Giovanni with the activity of the hitherto anonymous painter known as the Master of Virgil or Master of Dido.)
And later (p. 31):
...Lo Scheggia, oltre che nel dipingere cassoni e deschi da parto, fu molto impegnato nella produzione di anconette e di Madonne col Bambino destinate a privati, ma non sembra avere avuto entrature per le grandi commissioni. Se come pittore di cassoni lavorò più volte anche per i Medici, i suoi affreschi e le sue tavole d'altare arrivate fino a noi sono quasi tutti destinati al contado. Ma la furbizia dello Scheggia fu proprio quella di rendersi conto dei propri limiti di artista e, conseguentemente, di specializzarsi come "cofanaio", dedicando quasi esclusivamente la propria attività ad un tipo di prodotto che vide fiorire un nuovo mercato per i pittori fiorentini del Quattrocento, del quale egli fu il più industrioso fornitore. Con questa attività egli dovette diventare di gran moda a Firenze fra il 1430 e il 1460 circa, popolare soprattutto fra le signore, visto, che i cassoni e i deschi da parto erano prodotti di destinazione femminile. Si può', forse, paragonare il suo grado di popolarità a quello dei grandi stilisti di moda dei nostri giorni. Così, potè tenere bottega nel cuore di Firenze e mettere assieme un cospicuo cespite, che gli permise certo di aumentare i beni di famiglia e perfino di lasciare in odore di nobiltà la propria discendenza, che da allora in avanti assunse il cognome Guidi, cioè il cognome di quella che era stata la più antica e potente famiglia feudale fiorentina.

(Lo Scheggia, as well as in painting caissons and birthtrays, was very involved in the production of anconette and Madonna and Childs to private persons, but does not seem to have had entry to large commissions. If as a painter of cassoni he also worked several times for the Medici,the frescoes and altarpieces that have come down to us are almost all destined for the countryside. But the cunning of Lo Scheggia was precisely to realize the limits of his artistry and, consequently, to specialize in the "cofanaio", dedicating his activities almost exclusively to a type of product that flourished a new market for Florentine painters of the fifteenth century, of which he was the most industrious supplier. With this activity he must have become all the rage in Florence between 1430 and 1460, popular especially among the ladies, seeing that casssoni and birth trays were products that targeted women. You can, perhaps, compare the degree of his popularity to that of the great fashion designers of our time. Thus he could keep a shop in the heart of Florence and put together substantial assets, allowing him certainly to increase the family's goods and even to leave the the odor of nobility to his offspring, who henceforth assumed the surname Guidi, that is, the last name of what had been the oldest and most powerful feudal family in Florence.)
The last sentence suggests that the last name "Guidi" or "Guido" sometmes given to Lo Scheggia is anachronistic. According to Bellosi in the above, the period 1430-1460, roughly, was the time of Lo Scheggia's cassoni--and perhaps also his card-painting. But of course there may be later ones. Dating such cards as might be his, or the cassoni, more precisely depends on various factors: did the artist's style change after particular dates? Did the demand for that style of figure, the reclining nude (with or without those breasts characteristic of both the cassone and the card), change at some particular point?

In the back of the book Lo Scheggia is a list of his works, with tiny pictures of them. For dating, what is mostly given is one of three designations: juvenile (giovanile), of maturity (da maturita), and late (tarde). 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.

The above is what is comparable to the tarot card (http://www.letarot.it/cgi-bin/pages/sag ... za/t_3.jpg). In addition, there are three other similar cassone lids attributed to him. The two in Copenhagen are identified as mature works, and one as early. I think you can see why; it is more awkward than the others


There are better pictures of at least the first two on the web (e.g. at http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=%22Lo%2 ... =all&adv=1, 1st and 2nd rows), but I wanted something authoritative regarding the artist and date (or period) of execution.

So when is "juvenile" and when is "maturity"? Looking at the essay, I see the word "early" attached to works of the 1430s. The works of "maturity" are ones from the 1440s and 1450s. And "late" attaches to works of the 1460s and later. This does not necessarily mean that the division goes precisely by calendar decade. It is just that for pieces given a date, that is how they correlate with the three periods.

However it might be significant that one is early and none late. That suggests to me that lids with that subject were popular in his "early" and "mature" years but not later. (I could be refuted if someone knows of post-1460 reclining nudes on cassone lids, by any artist for the Floremtine market.) Or that he felt like doing such lids early and middle but not late. Given that the period of production starts early, i.e, before 1440, and stops, most likely the one we are interested in is from the earlier part of his "mature" period, i.e.from somewhat before 1460 but after 1440. In other words, within around 9 years of1449, the year of the Lorenzo birthtray.

The cassone in Florence that has the four triumphs Love, Death, Fame, and Eternity (they are not on the "Lo Scheggia" page of Wikimedia Commons, but I gave several views of all four at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=858&start=60) is also judged by Bellosi and Haines to be a work of Lo Scheggia's maturity. In contrast, the other cassone with Trionfi associated with Lo Scheggio (the one now in Siena, whose panels appear with the trionfi.com article by Franco, http://trionfi.com/evx-lo-scheggia, seen better at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Lo_Scheggia) is a different matter. According to Bellosi and Haines, it is not only "late" but also has its figures painted by a different artist! The same goes for a cassone with the seven virtues that is sometimes attributed to Lo Scheggio.

For clarification, here is what Bellosi says (bear in mind that the term "Master of the Cassone Adimari" refers to an artist who only became identified as Lo Scheggia in the 1990s):
Se osserviamo le due fronti di cassoni con le Virtù e le Arti Liberali della Collezione Cambò, oggi nel Museo d'Arte di Barcellona, dobbiamo riconoscere che, mentre la seconda (fig. 47) si legge benissimo come un'opera tarda del Maestro del Cassone Adimari, la prima (fig. 48) se nè differenzia per qualcosa di più moderno e aggiornato alla pittura dell'epoca del Verrocchio, del Palliaolo o del giovane Botticelli, ma ad un livello d'arte molto modesto. Ora, lo Scheggia aveva un figlio, Antonfrancesco, che lavorava con lui come pittore; nato nel 1441 e morto prematuramente nel 1476, la sua presenza nella bottega del padre dovette incominciare a farsi sentire almeno a partire dal 1460-65 e la differenza che abbiamo notato in uno dei due cassoni di Barcellona si spiegherebbe molto bene con l'intervento ormai autonomo di Antonfrancesco (31).
Probabilmente i dipinti più antichi in cui sia reperibile l’intervento di Antonfrancesco sono i quattro pannelli della Pinacoteca di Siena con i Trionfi dell'Amore, della Castità, della Morte (figg. 49,50) e della Fama (32), dove le figure sembrano di Anton Francesco e i fondi dello Scheggia; commovente quello del Trionfo della Morte in cui si snoda in alto a sinistra un vivace corteo funebre fra un casolare di campagna e una chiesetta (fig. 49). E diverse altre opere rientrano in questo stesso problema della presenza di un collaboratore, modesto ma abbastanza diversificato, nella bottega del Maestro del Cassone Adimari, che si spiegherebbero bene con quello che si sa dello Scheggia e del figlio Antonfrancesco.
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31. Insieme a Monica Folchi, ho sviluppato queste osservazioni nel catalogo della mostra dedicata alla collezioni Cambó (AA, VV, Colleción Cambó, Madrid-Barcellona 1990, pp. 160-170), oggi quasi tutta nel Museu d'Art de Catalunya e Barcellona.
32. Se ne veda ora le schede di Laura Cavazzini nel catalogo della mostra II fratello di Masaccio: Giovanni di Ser Giovanni detto lo Scheggia, catalogo della mostra, San Giovannni Valdano, Casa di Masaccio, 14 febrerrio - 10 maggio 1999, Siena 1999], pp. 84-88.

(If we look at the two fronts of cells with the Virtues and the Liberal Arts of the Collection Cambò, now in the Art Museum of Barcelona, we must recognize that, while the second (fig. 47) reads very well as a late work by the Master of the Cassone Adimari, the first (fig. 48) is differentiated by something more modern, updated to the paintings of the era of Verrocchio and Palliaolo or young Botticelli, but at a very modest level of skill. Now, Lo Scheggia had a son, Antonfrancesco, who worked with him as a painter, born in 1441 and died prematurely in 1476; his presence in the workshop of his father had to begin to be felt at least since 1460-65. The difference we noticed in one of two cassoni in Barcelona is explained very well by the intervention of the now independent Antonfrancesco (31).
Probably the oldest paintings in which the intervention of Antonfrancesco is found are the four panels of the Pinacoteca di Siena with the Triumphs of Love, Chastity, Death (Figs. 49, 50) and Fame (32), where the figures seem to be by Anton Francesco and the backgrounds by Lo Scheggia, such as in the Triumph of Death where in the upper left a lively funeral procession winds between a farmhouse and a church (fig. 49). And several other works, modest but diverse enough, fall into this same problem of the presence of a co-worker in the workshop of the Master of the Cassone Adimari, which is explained well by what is known about Lo Scheggia and his son Antonfrancesco.
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31. Along with Monica Folchi, I developed these remarks in the catalog of the exhibition dedicated to the Cambó collections (AA, VV, colleción Cambó, Madrid-Barcelona, 1990, pp. 160-170), now almost all in the Museu d'Art de Catalunya in Barcelona.
32. See now the note by Laura Cavazzini in the exhibition catalog Il fratello [di Masaccio: Giovanni di Ser Giovanni detto lo Scheggia, catalogo della mostra, San Giovannni Valdano, Casa di Masaccio, 14 febrerrio - 10 maggio 1999, Siena 1999], p. 84-88.)
I have reproduced the page with the Triumph of Death, showing details by the two artists (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KiWJyyX3UO8/U ... page29.JPG). The pictures at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Lo_Scheggia are also helpful for seeing the difference between the two styles.

And below, the Liberal Art, Bellosi's fig. 47, is by Lo Scheggia; the Virtue, fig. 48, is by his son, according to Bellosi.

For more figures from these cassoni, I can offer Bellosi's fig. 9, which is all the Liberal Arts (Lo Scheggia), and the small picture at the end of the book that has both the Virtues (Antonfrancesco) and the Liberal Arts, but where it is not easy to make out the details.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XLmzVFVycoA/U ... page13.JPG

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ziL6GTFp50I/U ... Page75.JPG

Large color images of the Virtues panel can be seen online, e.g.
http://www.unannoadarte.it/dalgiglioald ... .%2018.jpg

And the Liberal Arts, at
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... roject.jpg.

The Catalunya Museum site gives c. 1460 for this one, and 1465-70 for the other, which it attributes to Antonfrancesco (2nd and 3rd rows at http://art.mnac.cat/byCollection.html;j ... legatCambo). It seems to me a bit odd that two series often, at least in miniatures, done together would be separated by so many years, but I suppose it is possible, the son completing what the father began. The workmanship of the Virtues is indeed superior to that of the figures on the Siena Trionfi panels, suggesting a considerably later date.

We might ask, what do we make of the Charles VI virtue cards, based on what we have seen? Are they more in the style of the Liberal Arts or of the Virtues, or neither? I am no expert, but they seem to me more like the Virtues. We might also ask,are the Charles VI virtues more in the style of the Palliaolo Virtues (1470s, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piero_del_Pollaiolo, compare especially with Justice) or of the work of the mature Lo Scheggia? If the former, that is also the style of Antonfrancesco.

On the web I see an interesting "allegory of fortitude" attributed to Lo Scheggia that is very much in the style of the Charles VI virtues, including the octagonal halo (http://www.polomuseale.firenze.it/inv18 ... %20Vecchio).

Image


However this image is not included in Bellosi and Haines' list. It is hard to know whether to believe the attribution, presumably that of the museum (Museo di Palazzo Davanzati, Florence). Lo Scheggio is an artist who formerly had very little ascribed to him; now, on the web (http://www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/scheggia_lo.html), there is a large number, perhaps too many.

Then there are the Rothschild cards, which Phaeded has noticed bear resemblance to the Master of the Vitae Imperatorum's Fame, of c. 1440-1450 Milan, in a manuscript for G.S. (which I hypothesize as Ginevra Sforza, Alessandro's daughter (viewtopic.php?f=11&t=858&start=60#p13821)? These to me seem closer to the Catania (the "Alessandro Sforza"), as opposed to the Charles VI. The style, like that of the Catania, is earlier than that of the Charles VI, or so it seems to me.

Re: Dating a certain tarot card & Scheggia cassone lid

#2
Thanks for this research, it improves the situation.
Huck (http://tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=171021 and elsewhere) noticed a similarity between the Catania (also known as the "Alessandro Sforza") so-called "Temperance" card and a cassone lid attributed to the younger brother of Masaccio (1401-1428), Giovanni di Ser Giovanni (1406-1486), known as Lo Scheggia, Also, Lo Scheggia is in the account records of the times as producing playing cards in the years 1447-48 (Franco's essay at http://trionfi.com/evx-lo-scheggia). The lid, Huck says, is attributed to the "first half of the 15th century". I think he is quoting the information that someone put with the image on Wikimedia Commons. Perhaps it comes from the museum in Avignon. In any case, if one led to the other, we might think mid-century, plus or minus 5 or 10 years, as the time for the cards. But Huck says no, more like 1460s, after the Charles VI (which he hypothetically dates to Lorenzo's 14th birthday, i.e. 1463, viewtopic.php?f=11&t=858&start=60#p13821). I wanted to look further.
Yes, I just followed a dating given to the observed picture without special arguments, which I found in the web.

My dating of the Charles VI to 1463 (made winter 2007/2008, if I remember correctly) followed various arguments. Naturally the situation was then rather different than today, Franco Pratesi's new articles and his many new findings didn't exist.
Ross came up short before with new arguments, that the Charles VI should belong to Florence and not to Ferrara, as it was traditionally believed before. Between these arguments was the observation of the octagonal halos, which I personally found very convincing, cause the studies to the 5x14-theory had postulated earlier, that there should be a connection between "World" and the virtue Prudentia. In the Charles VI World had an octagonal halo and so should have been meant also as a cardinal virtue, so again "likely" Prudentia.

In contrast to Ross I'd earlier spend a lot of energy to clear the role of Luigi Pulci, who had appeared in the first Minchiate document (1466). Further I'd focused long time on the year 1465 as the possible date, when the 14 Bembo trumps might have gotten 6 additional cards, possibly initiated by a visit of the young Lorenzo de Medici in May 1465 in Milan (preparation of the wedding of Ippolita Sforza). Part of the discussions was the change of the Medici heraldic from 7 palle to 6 palle, which occurred parallel to the visit of Lorenzo in the same month May 1465.

The charioteer of Charles VI had 7 palle, not 6. So the deck should have been done before 1465. The charioteer was male, not female, as in other decks of this early time and he is young. The whole family situation of the Medici was so, that there was a great focus on the young Lorenzo, all older Medici were sick and of bad health (they wouldn't have made "good triumphal charioteers").

Lorenzo was grown up with 14. A Medici charioteer on a triumphal chariot before 1463 wouldn't make sense. To this added the condition, that the law of 1450 (Trionfi was allowed) was repeated in 1463 with the inclusion of Cricce and Ronfa. Card playing was a domain of young persons, a new allowance was a political step to gain sympathies in the younger generation. When this did run parallel with Lorenzo's 14th birthday, Lorenzo would gain these sympathies. As the Medici wished to give Lorenzo big importance very quick, the timing of the new law had some logic.

Confirmations for the assumed date "1463" came with cards "Moon" and "Fool". "Moon" showed two astronomers and te presented figures might have shown Toscanelli and Regiomontanus (similarities in the traditional pictures). Regiomontabus came to Italy in the year 1461 and before there was no reason to show him on a Florentine card deck.
The figure of the "Fool" shows a giant involved in a stone throwing battle. "Morgante" - a longer Pulci poem mainly written 1461-63 (chapter 1-15, so more than the half of the final version, which had 28) - starts with the giant Morgante, a stone throwing battle and the problem of Morgante to find the right armor. The Charles VI Fool looks like Morgante.

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From Franco's later studies we have much new data to Florentine development. It seems, that there was a peak of Trionfi card interests in 1452-55, which slowed down in the following years, gaining more interest and a new high production level since since 1462-63, somehow confirming older hypotheses about the development.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Dating a certain tarot card & Scheggia cassone lid

#3
Thanks for the information pertaining to the Charles VI, Huck. The 1463 date isn't just a matter of Lorenzo's 14th birthday!

In the light of Franco's examination of trionfi production in Florence, with its surge at 1452-1455, and the prohibition before 1450, i would think 1450-1455 would be reasonable for the Carrera/Alessandro Sforza, assuming that it is from the Lo Scheggia workshop. That is about when Alessandro's daughter Ginevra (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginevra_Sforza, and my proposal for the G.S. on a 1440-1450 Milan illuminated manuscript of Petrarch's Trionfi) turned 14, incidentally.

Re: Dating a certain tarot card & Scheggia cassone lid

#4
mikeh wrote:Thanks for the information pertaining to the Charles VI, Huck. The 1463 date isn't just a matter of Lorenzo's 14th birthday!

In the light of Franco's examination of trionfi production in Florence, with its surge at 1452-1455, and the prohibition before 1450, i would think 1450-1455 would be reasonable for the Carrera/Alessandro Sforza, assuming that it is from the Lo Scheggia workshop. That is about when Alessandro's daughter Ginevra (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginevra_Sforza, and my proposal for the G.S. on a 1440-1450 Milan illuminated manuscript of Petrarch's Trionfi) turned 14, incidentally.
Well, the new Esch report is on its way, but I don't know much about its content. For the current moment I see some signs of a deeper change in the period 1461-1466 (and I expect, that the new data of Esch will fall in this same perspective):

1462 ... The Cambini report suddenly speaks of a trade with 96 Trionfi decks, before we had only 1 dozen = 12 decks as the highest number in the known trades.
1463 and later ... Earlier Esch publications report other high number deals of Trionfi cards since 1463 (309 etc.)
1463 ... Borso stops his home-made productions, perhaps cause the market has changed
1463 ... a new allowance of games in Florence
1465 ... our own speculations, that the journey of Lorenzo had something to do with the change "from 14 to 20" in Milanese decks
1465 ... Florentine Trionfi deck recorded in Mantova
1466 ... first note of Minchiate, possibly indicating a change in the game-structure

In most of these documents Florence seems to play a larger role. For the early period 1440-1442 there are good reasons to assume, that then also Florence might played an initiating role in using the "Trionfi name" for specific decks (whatever these have been).
For the period 1418-1425 we've creative decks from Milan (Michelino deck) and Florence (Imperatori deck in 1423). Ferrara, importing the Imperatori cards, has the role to be influenced.

Somehow Florence seems to have had the innovative function, it wouldn't surprise, if this had been the case also in 1461-1463. One of Franco's general remarks is, that Florence mostly had the innovative role in all matters, it would surprise and would be "outside of the rule", if it had not in some.
Part of these novelty-productions in Florence are the commissioners, in other words those people in Florence with money, which stimulated artists to open new ways. The Medici belonged to these "persons with money" and "interesting taste".
Scheggia painted for the Medici in 1449 (the birth picture Lorenzo). It wouldn't surprize, if he had also a commission for Trionfi cards then or around the time (as he was a known card producer in 1447).
A deck in 1463 (also a Medici commission) might have repeated some earlier motifs (maybe Scheggia had been again the artist or somebody else). Anyway, the Alessandro Sforza deck with its similar cards and variations might have been earlier than the 1463 deck. It's a possibility.

Andrea Vitali was involved in a costume research about the Charles VI. I can't speak of details, but there was the opinion, that the costume motifs appear to be from different times, some earlier and some later, which naturally could result from the condition, that some cards were copied from earlier decks and others were replaced or added by more modern iconography.

For the understanding of the period 1458-1462 let's turn to Luca Pitti ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luca_Pitti
Luca Pitti (1398–1472) was a Florentine banker during the period of the republic presided over by Cosimo de' Medici. He was a loyal friend and servant to the Medici [? always] and the republic. He was awarded a knighthood, and received lavish presents from both the Signory of Firenze and the Medici family as a reward for helping maintain the government during the last years of Cosimo's rule when Cosimo was too old and feeble [this is described different elsewhere] to maintain power alone.

As the head magistrate of Florence, known as "The Gonfalonier of Justice," he wielded great power and influence. In August, 1458, he staged a coup to seize control of Florentine government in the name of its existing ruler, the elderly and now frail Cosimo de' Medici. In effect he wished to strengthen the existing government, as a result many leading citizens were banished, and many other citizens were driven from power [some speak of a terror regime]. The newly formed government was to last eight years with Cosimo as its figurehead, the reality being he was too frail to maintain power alone. Pitti's chief opponent at this time was Girolamo Machiavelli who was banished. However, he travelled the neighbouring principalities whipping up opposition to the new Florentine government. He was consequently declared a rebel, betrayed and returned to Florence where he mysteriously died in prison.

Pitti was then ennobled and very wealthy indeed, Niccolò Machiavelli in his History of Florence estimates no less a sum than twenty thousand ducats was presented to him. He thus was able to maintain his power and influence, in reality he, not Cosimo, was the ruler of Florence.

It was then that he sought to rival the glory, if not power, of the Medici and began construction of the Palazzo Pitti intended to rival the palazzo of the Medici. He also began work on a villa at Rusciano. For the Palazzo Pitti, legend has it he "decided to employ the most brilliant architect of the times, whom he ordered to make the windows as big as the doors of the Medici residence and create an internal courtyard that was large enough to contain the whole of the Medici's palace on the Via Larga". This is almost certainly apocryphal as the architect Brunelleschi often credited with the design had been dead twelve years. The true architect, often thought to be Luca Fancelli, was less well known at the time and the new palazzo, while awe inspiring, was not a true rival to the magnificence of the Medici residences. Machiavelli also states that Pitti would give sanctuary to any criminal within his walls if they could be of use in their building or decoration. Machiavelli also hints that Pitti's wealth was further increased by bribes and presents in return for favours. These allegations may or may not be true, one should remember that Machiavelli was not only opposed to the Medici himself, but also a kinsman of Pitti's arch enemy Girolamo Machiavelli who had been most likely murdered by the government which in effect Pitti controlled.

It has been said that Pitti wished to become first citizen and dictator himself, but history and his actions do not support this theory. After the death of Cosimo in 1464, although he supported a return to strict and stronger form of republicanism, he later supported Piero di Cosimo de' Medici who ruled Florence from 1464 to 1469.

Pitti's prosperity declined from 1464, following the death of Cosimo, his patron. Pitti died in 1472, work on his grand palazzo had stopped in 1465, and he was not to see it completed. However the family survived the upheaval following the overthrow of the Medici's power in 1494, and the tyrannical and puritanical rule of Girolamo Savonarola. Retaining some limited power and influence the family continued to reside at the Palazzo Pitti until finally in 1549 failing fortunes compelled Pitti's descendant Buonaccorso Pitti to sell the palazzo to the Grand Duchess of Tuscany, wife of Grand Duke Cosimo I who re-enforced, the restored but hitherto wavering, power of the Medici in Florence in 1537.


What's not noted in the article ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1466
August 26 1466 – A conspiracy against Piero di Cosimo de' Medici, led by Luca Pitti and Borso d'Este, is discovered and put down in Florence.
... and after it Luca Pitti was allowed to stay in Florence, but he lived unlucky with many foes till his death.

Luca Pitti's reign is a factor, which one shouldn't overlook. This was a not so splendid period for Florence between 1458-1462. It resulted in a year 1463, when Lorenzo became 14, the Platonic academy was founded, Giovanni di Medici died, and Cosimo prepared death.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Dating a certain tarot card & Scheggia cassone lid

#5
Thanks for telling us about Vitali's costume study, Huck. I'll ask him about it. I tried to do one for the Cary-Yale. The trouble is that people also dressed in old-fashioned costumes on special occasions, like weddings. It is the same today. Tuxedos are old-fashioned; at least where I live, nobody wears one except at a wedding. It's "formal attire", also somewhat amusing, like the big condottiere hats on little people, and so fashionable on cards long after it is fashionable in real life.

I'd like to see is a costume-study for the Tarot de Marseille and the Besancon. I haven't a clue, except again, 15th-16th century Italy, But what would it prove?

I am skeptical of Franco's premise that everything innovative comes from Florence. The 1423 Imperator deck was made in Florence, but perhaps commissioned in Ferrara, one of a kind, to Ferrarese specifications. The Florentines were the best record-keepers, even then. Are there records in Florence of Imperator decks being made for Florentines? The Giusti deck, likewise, might have been made with Malatesta's tastes in mind. maybe even to his specifications, and not as simply something fashionable in Florence for him to see. In his Templo ,Malatesta commissioned an artistic syle that was unlike anything in Florence. Likewise, Ferrara was very innovative in the series of Muses done for Leonello, followed by the innovations of the new Muses and the Schifanoia for Borso. Mantua had Mantegna. Etc. etc. Florence was innovative for the middle class, I'll grant that.

Also, Franco says that the Cary-Yale wasn't a marriage deck, just because decks of cards weren't given on the occasion of marriages. I'd ask, were manuscripts given on the occasion of marriages and betrothals in Florence? They were in Milan, by the Visconti, as Kirsch shows. Decks of cards, as paper products, are just an extension of illuminated manuscripts.

Re: Dating a certain tarot card & Scheggia cassone lid

#6
In a recent article on the Catania (aka Alessandro Sforza) "Temperance" card ('The Stag Rider from the so-called "Tarot of Alessandro Sforza" at the Museo Civico di Castllo Ursino of Catania", The Playing Card 42:3, Apr-Jun 2014, pp. 231-236) Emilia Maggia connects a "Venus and Cupid" illumination by Apollonio da Giovanni--not himself especially, but just the style--to the card, as part of her argument that the person portrayed is perhaps male rather than female.

This is the illumination that Huck posted at viewtopic.php?f=23&t=390&start=10, in connection with Venus's winged helmet.

Image


The fanciful helmet seems to me in keeping with the fanciful style of the "Temperance" card and also with the winged helmets found on A-type Chariot cards. On the other hand, Venus's gown is reminiscent of the lady's gown on the Cary Sheet Love card.

Looking in Google Images, I find a similar image of Cupid on a birth tray's Triumph of Chastity from the same workshop.
http://italianrenaissanceresources.com/ ... e-studies/

Image


But it seems to me that the Lo Scheggia cassone that Huck found is closer in style than Apollonnio's Cupids.

In any case, these show that this particular style was fashionable 1450-1460.

Re: Dating a certain tarot card & Scheggia cassone lid

#7
May as well throw this back into the mix:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=460&p=13118&hilit= ... 435#p13118
At the moment I'm more intrgued by this Scheggia depiction of a sibyl(? the vague on-line descriptions call her an "oracle") as she has the winged trumpets of fame and pointed halo of Virtues with the painted starry ceiling portico of an Annunciation; all rather odd:
Image


So what is the relationship of this image to the other non-Virtue, Fama, also wearing a pointed virtue halo in Scheggia's Lorenzo de Medici birth tray? Fama, in its use on the Lorenzo birth tray, Prudence and the oracle/Sibyl are all future-oriented...thus an argument for the conflation of Fama with Prudence, i.e., "the World".

At all events I'm leaning towards a theory of Scheggia as the likely painter candidate of the earliest trionfi deck in 1440 (certainly interesting in light of Pratesi's find of him and a deck he pained in 1447). He did the cartoons for the intarsia vestments cabinets in S. Maria Fiore from 1435-1440, thus freed up at precisely the right time and in connection with something that was specifically lit up - the S. Maria Fiore dome - for the Anghiari celebrations

Re: Dating a certain tarot card & Scheggia cassone lid

#8
Thanks, Phaeded. I hadn't noticed this. Good eye. As for your other thesis, about Lo Scheggia doing the tarot cards for Giusti, that is within the realm of realistic possibility. He specialized in such things. Earlier I wrote:
So when is "juvenile" and when is "maturity"? Looking at the essay, I see the word "early" attached to works of the 1430s. The works of "maturity" are ones from the 1440s and 1450s. And "late" attaches to works of the 1460s and later. This does not necessarily mean that the division goes precisely by calendar decade. It is just that for pieces given a date, that is how they correlate with the three periods.

However it might be significant that one is early and none late. That suggests to me that lids with that subject were popular in his "early" and "mature" years but not later. (I could be refuted if someone knows of post-1460 reclining nudes on cassone lids, by any artist for the Florentine market.) Or that he felt like doing such lids early and middle but not late. Given that the period of production starts early, i.e, before 1440, and stops, most likely the one we are interested in is from the earlier part of his "mature" period, i.e.from somewhat before 1460 but after 1440. In other words, within around 9 years of1449, the year of the Lorenzo birthtray.
A pack of hand-painted cards for a condottiere would be just the thing to give him a name in this particular specialty.

Re: Dating a certain tarot card & Scheggia cassone lid

#10
Huck,
I'd just like to point out that the "charioteer" on the right in the first cassone image you posted is quite similar to the CVI Chariot, only in profile instead of frontal (and closer to the manuscript Sfera of Mars I previously posted). Also note the the brown, black and white dogs are essentially the same as those on Lorenzo's birthtray, also in the foreground (again, I argue the CVI charioteer is Lorenzo, c. 1478, right after the Pazzi Conspiracy).
cassone with similar CVI chariot.jpg
cassone with similar CVI chariot.jpg (21.31 KiB) Viewed 4382 times

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