Re: Literary source for the trumps: Dante’s Paradiso

#31
Mikeh wrote:
Actually, looking into it further, I am not convinced that the PMB King of Swords' shield has anything to do with Venice either…
Wow. I can only assume you never noticed the lion’s halo and paw on the book on the PMB King of Swords’s shield, because there is absolutely no mistaking the connection to Venice:
Image

This appears to be from a little later, perhaps 16th century, but an actual Venetian shield with the Lion of St. Mark on it:
Image

Want to take another crack at explaining why the PMB does reference Venice?
Mikeh wrote:

Your placement of Death is in fact not in accord with anything. In no tarot order is it after the Last Judgment. It makes no sense for it to be after Last Judgment It seems to me that your theory is more acceptable if Death is placed before Judgment, e.g. with Mars, if necessary together with Fortune. Then Judgment, the Angel, can be put with the 9th sphere.
I never argued for the placement of death, just noted its order in Dante. Dante explains which trumps (with the exception of the Fool) but not the sequence, the problems of which (“ad hoc rules”) I discuss in this companion post: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1063
Mikeh wrote
The purgation of the soul ascending through the planets does not result in its death at Saturn. Any death involved, in Macrobius's picture, is before it even gets to the Moon. It descends at birth and ascends at death, through all the spheres. And Dante is not comparing himself to Semele being immolated; it's Beatrice's image comparing herself to Jupiter and explaining that her true light is brighter than what he sees, so she and the other spirits shield it from him for his protection. Looking at XXI:82ff I see nothing about any rebirth. The "me" in your quote is a voice within a light speaking to Dante.
The soul does not die so obviously I am not arguing that a soul's “death at Saturn” occurs, but rather the last physical vestiges of the body - a purgation of the planetary influences that began at Saturn, and necessarily end at Saturn. On a related note, although they all reside in the White Rose in the Empyrean, the souls that also appear in each plantary sphere are tainted by the less than perfect attributes of the vices and plantary influences opposed to that sphere’s virtue; e.g., the oath-breakers with the Moon (Piccarda left her Franciscan convent), the ambitious with Mercury, amorous with Venus, etc. These taints are all described as enveloping the soul in Macrobius:
When the soul if being drawn towards a body in this first protraction of itself it begins to expereince a tumultuous influx of matter rushing upon it. This is what Plato alludes to when he speaks in the Phaedo of a soul suddenly staggering as if drunk as if it is being drawn into the body, he wishes to imply the recent draught of on-rushing matter by which the soul, defiled and weighted down, is pressed earthwards.” (Commentary on the Dream of Scipio, Book I.XII.7, tr. Stahl, 1952: 135)
Obviously the soul takes on matter-like attributes before even having been born – on its fall from the stars - and can expect the same in the postmortem ascent. At XII.14, Macrobiuus details each planet’s influence; e.g., “in Venus’s sphere, the impulse of passion.”

Finally, in regard to the “death” of the soul and its return:
In truth, the soul is not destroyed by its death but is overwhelmed for a time; nor does it surrender the privledge of immortality because of its lowly sojourn, for when it has rid itself completely of all taint of evil and has deserved to be sublimated, it again leaves the body and, fully recovering its former state, returns to the splendor of everlasting life. (XII.17, p. 137)
Via philosophy or religion the soul attempts to rid itself of the taints even while still on earth, but is still “weighted down” and “pressed earthwards” from planetary influences while here. To say it again, in the last plantary sphere of Saturn, Dante is using language that quite frankly speaks of a rebirth: In Canto XXI.84, Dante is purged by light in a rebirth context - “radiance that holds me in its womb” (XXI:83-84) - and then in the next Canto, XXII.152, still in Saturn, Dante is “turning with the timeless Twins” [Gemini], his birth sign (just as he was turning with the stars as they wove the body he was born in). In the very first canto of the Paradiso this removing of the earthly garment is found in the symbol of the Apollo’s flaying of the skin off of Marsyas.
Mikeh wrote
Well, Bruni is even worse for you than Dante. Dante was at least on the same side, the Ghibbeline "party of the emperor" as opposed to the Guelfs, that of the pope. Florence was Guelf, that's how they got their money. Bruni was the prime minister, or at least secretary of foreign affairs, for Filippo's arch-enemy. Anyway, the elevation of Prudence to director of the virtues is not Bruni's invention. It is already in Plato's Republic, where Wisdom is the virtue of the rulers, i.e. directors..
By Bruni’s time the Guelf/Ghibbeline divide had taken a back-seat to the conservative optimates (Strozzi, Albizzi, etc.) vs the Medici; all were “pro-Pope.” The Medici were of course also optimates but accused of being allied with “new men” (middle class upstarts).

As for Bruni and Prudence, by drawing a straight line between Bruni and Plato, you have completely ignored the intervening transformations of the virtues – a tradition that Bruni inherited and necessarily addressed. Although Hans Baron’s humanist “republican” thesis has been discarded, his study on Cicero and the early Renaissance remains fundamental – here in pdf form (and I highly recommend it to you, for in spite its title it is in many ways a history of the (re)evaluation of the cardinal virtues): https://www.escholar.manchester.ac.uk/a ... CUMENT.PDF

Cicero, the mediating means by which the medieval and Renaissance period received Plato, remarks in his De Oficiis that 'prudentia,’ the virtue fundamental to a life of contemplation and scholarship, is described as inferior to ' iustitia’, ‘fortitude' and 'moderatio', the virtues of active life (thus Plato is already turned on his head). St. Ambrose, the patriarch from Milan (and thus a good Christian contemplative), then elevates 'Sapientia-prudentia’, in open contradiction to Cicero’s Roman sentiment, and now ranks that above all the virtues of active life (note that Prudence is not for governing, but contemplation in St. Ambrose). The dominance of Aquinas then comes to the fore who elevates Justice to the supreme virtue (Summa Theologiae, I-II, Questions 66, Article 4). Then in 1345 Petrarch, discovers Cicero's Letters to Atticus In Verona and is repelled that Cicero did not live the life of contemplation so dear to Petrach but in fact lead a very active life that lead to his death. Petrarch even writes a letter to Cicero in Hades admonishing him there. From Petrarch we can now draw a straight line to Bruni, via Salutati (Chancellor of Florence from 1375 to 1406), as Salutati was Petrarch’s student and Bruni’s teacher. One of Salutati's pupils, Pier Paolo Vergerio, wrote, in the name of Cicero, a reply to Petrarch's letter of accusation addressed to Cicero in Hades. But then the pivotal publication penned by Bruni comes out; from Baron:
About 1415 Leonardo Bruni Aretino, Salutati's pupil and Vergerio's friend, and later on Salutati's successor as Florentine chancellor, built up on these foundations his biography of Cicero - the standard biography for the Renaissance. It was entitled Cicero Novus, because it was intended to replace Plutarch's Lives of Demosthenes and Cicero, which seemed to Bruni to favour the Greek orator. But the title Cicero Novus also acquired a deeper meaning. In contradiction to the ' old Cicero ' of the Middle Ages - and of Petrarch, this ' new Cicero’ of the Florentine Renaissance no longer rested on the ostensible contrast between Cicero's political career, full of calamitous passions, and his fruitful philosophic life in the haven of quiet solitude… The new conception was based on the admiration of a citizen for the ideal union of political action and literary creation in Cicero's life. (90)
See my original post for studies by Ianziti and Hankins for studies of Bruni’s elevation of Prudence, not as the ultimate act of contemplation as in At. Ambrose, but as the surest guide to a politically-engaged active life. Baron again:
In Florence, soon after 1400, men of the old school complained that the young generation were beginning to gather from Cicero's De Oficiis that ' happiness and virtue were bound up with position and reputation in political life '. They were forgetting the philosophic truth that the ' perfect life ' is contemplation and inner peace. In the fourteen-thirties Matteo Palmier, Bruni's closest follower among the citizens, restored the civic attitude of De Officiis as a whole. Just as St.' Arnbrose had done at the beginning of the Middle Ages, Palmieri wrote an adaptation of the Ciceronian work, which made allowance for the needs of his own century. This adaptation was entitled Della Vita Civile, On Civic Life. It would be interesting to observe in detail how, in this book, the Ciceronian faith in action and in a communal life was finally restored? In the crowning chapter, the deepest impression is created by combining the vision of the Somnium Scipionis with the doctrines of De Oficiis. Palmieri transfers Scipio's dream from Roman to Florentine history. In place of Scipio, Dante (who as the wanderer through heaven and hell is best qualified to report on the reward of souls after death) receives the message from the Hereafter on the battlecfield of Campaldino, on the day of one of the greatest Florentine victories.(92-93)
Dante then is an ambiguous figure for Florence under Bruni. His use of the Italian instead of Latin had been scorned by his fellow humansist such as Niccoli (and Bruni himself scorns Dante’s medieval Latin), but Dante’s contribtion to the “polis” by fighting at Campaldino and then making good use of his time in exile by writing the Comemdia, shows him at the apogee of both the active and comntemplative life; his anger in exile in wanting to see Florence punished also makes him, ironically, an example of imprudence. Bruni thus praises Dante as an embodiment of the New Cicero, but at the same time points out his defects as imprudence, thus being made to serve as both a positve and negative exemplar. Significantly, in addition to his Ciciero Novus, “Bruni's biography of Dante was circulated more widely and used more frequently by other writers than any other literary work of the Early Renaissance” (97).
mikeh wrote:
It seems to me that when Giusti writes "naibi a trionfi", he knows, and expects anyone reading to know, what "naibi" and the accompanying "trionfi" are. So the simplest explanation is that they were already a standard item. The only thing he notes that is unusual is that he had Sigismondo's arms added to them.
The only demonstrably known term is “cards” - naibi. The simplest explanation as to why “with trumps” gets added is becauses there were “cards with trumps” being produced in Florence following the triumph at Anghiari (in addition to ‘Church Triumphant’, the military victory or ‘trionfi’ may even possibly explain the name of what gets added to cards – trionfi). If Giusti was not the inventor of "naibi a trionfi" then there is no other way for him to have referred to what he had purchased “naibi a trionfi”; there is no reason whatsoever for him to comment on it being a novelty, just that it was being made in Florence: it had a name, however new, and he used it. So a provincial notary, Giusti, who dabbled in procuring men-at-arms for condottiere such as Malatesta, ordered one himself while in Florence, for Malatesta (the gift was good for business). Malatesta was recently brought back into the Florentine-Papal alliance, after a brief dalliance with Visconti, and thus Giusti is also indirectly doing the Medici a favour by helping celebrate that renewed relationship.

Phaeded

Re: Literary source for the trumps: Dante’s Paradiso

#32
You're right, Phaeded, I hadn't noticed the sun on the shield. On the card, as you showed it at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=906&p=13210&hilit= ... PMB#p13211, the halo is not yellow; it blends in with the shield. Now it's yellow. I am perplexed. Still, I suppose a halo is a halo, and the lion is St. Mark's. But I still don't see how Sforza during the early 1450s was in the position of Colleoni. Sforza was no more a protector of Venice then than he was after Colleoni's appointment. It seems to me that after severing his employment with Venice, he is only a protector of Venice in the context of the Treaty of Lodi.

I also still cannot see how for Dante the sphere of Saturn is one of death. He doesn't talk about paroxysms in the soul from losing the last vestiges of matter. Whether that constitutes a death for Macrobius isn't clear to me either. your quote from Macrobius is speaking of the death of the soul when entering the body, and even then in a loose way, because he also says, in that quote, that the soul does not die, but is merely overwhelmed. That there is a rebirth in the 8th sphere doesn't imply that there was a death in the 7th sphere. Even Macrobius speaks of death as occurring with the death of the body, on the same page 137, at XIII.2:
Hereupon he [Scipio] began to wish for death that he might really live...
He means here the same as Plato in the Phaedo, i.e. when Socrates drinks the hemlock. The most that is implied by Macrobius is that the soul's recovery from material influences is a long process that doesn't end with the death of the body. Where the process ends is not clear. I would guess that for Macrobius it is only when the soul leaves the material realm through the portal of Capricorn, because even in the 8th sphere most souls are too heavy to escape reincarnation. In Dante's case Gemini is the portal, although if the soul takes a long time (9 months?) to descend, that isn't philosophically correct. But indeed he wants to emphasize rebirth. If so, complete freedom from the material doesn't occur until passing completely through the circle of the 8th sphere. But even there, Dante doesn't talk in terms of death. As for Macrobius, when he speaks of "two deaths" later (pp. 138-9), he is speaking of one death while still in the body, the extinction of the passions, and the second death as occurring when the body leaves the soul, which he says is when the body can no longer sustain the soul's presence and becomes inanimate. That's the death that is shown on the CY Death card, too, not death in some sphere beyond the earth.

The reason I brought up Plato's Republic is that it was a topic of great interest in Milan of the late 1430s, early 1440s. Also, it defines the rulers in terms of a more or less hereditary group of nobles, as opposed to a republic, which is Bruni's context. Plato's philosopher-king, too, combines the contemplative with the active life. I still fail to see what this concept has to do with the card with the trumpet-lady on it.

As far as "naibi a tronfi", you need to be responding to what Girolamo and Ross say, not me. They're the ones who argued that the Giusti probably isn't the first. I was only agreeing with them.

Re: Literary source for the trumps: Dante’s Paradiso

#33
mikeh wrote:You're right, Phaeded, I hadn't noticed the sun on the shield. On the card, as you showed it at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=906&p=13210&hilit= ... PMB#p13211, the halo is not yellow; it blends in with the shield. Now it's yellow. I am perplexed. Still, I suppose a halo is a halo, and the lion is St. Mark's. But I still don't see how Sforza during the early 1450s was in the position of Colleoni. Sforza was no more a protector of Venice then than he was after Colleoni's appointment. It seems to me that after severing his employment with Venice, he is only a protector of Venice in the context of the Treaty of Lodi.
Mike,
This is really the simplest part of my theory for me: tarot produced in Cremona under Sforza is famous enough by 1452 for an on-again/off-again ally, Malatesta, to request a deck for himself; thus 1452 is the terminus ad quem for the PMB. Its really a narrow window for the appearance of the PMB then, from March 1450 when Sforza took Milan and Malatesta’s dated request, November 1452, “for a pack of the famous hand-painted trump cards from the highly praised artisans of Cremona.” http://trionfi.com/etx-sigismondo-pandolfo-malatesta

The reason there is a completely unique Fortitude in all of tarot showing a conquering Roman general, a “victor of war”, is because there were ongoing hostilities that really never ceased with Venice since 1449. A “cold war” of sorts, from the taking of Milan until renewed open hostilities in 1452, existing between the bitter Venetians, robbed of Milan, or at least its eastern contado centered around Crema, and Sforza. The importance of Colleoni for Sforza gets understated way too often here. Sforza had lost him already once in late 1449 when Venice turned on Sforza and employed Malatesta and Colleoni to break Sforza’s encirclement of Milan (they or course failed). Sforza must have feared losing him again and did in 1454/55. Five years after that final defection Sforza’s chancery is still complaining about it - see the Sforzan diplomatic correspondence from 1460 to the King of France on why they could not help Rene of Anjou recover Naples back in 1454: “…in consequence there ensued very grave disadvantages to us, because Bartolommeo Colleoni, the greatest captain we had, left us.” (Ed. Kendall Paul Murray and Ilardi Vincent, Dispatches With Related Documents of Milanese Ambassadors in France and Burgundy, 1450-1483 VOLUME 1 -1450-1460, 1970: 310). Sforza, to reiterate, would only hold Venice’s shield before 1452 ironically, as a lesson to Colleoni that Venice cannot be trusted.

As for Death (or any of the trumps) - there is a pictorial tradition that precedes tarot that the artist(s) obviously borrowed from. That, along with how they were interpreting some humanist's notes for an art program - well, who knows what gets lost or garbled in translation? I do tend to think there was a desire to incorporate Death as a trump due to Petrarch's influence (since other themes, e.g., Love, fit both Petrarch and Dante - and of course there is the affinity of Petrarch also naming his work trionfi ); they found enough allusions to death and rebirth per my replies above in Cantos XXI/XII in Saturn/Temperance (and Semele most definitely dies and her son Dionysus is born twice in Zeus's thigh), to make death the exemplary theme for Saturn. The Seven Ages of Man and the Planets plays a stronger role than we have discussed, IMO, as Saturn as that of old age definitely leads to death. There is a photo of the since destroyed Saturn fresco (by Allied bombers in WWII) in the Eremitani/Padua planetary cycle fresco of Saturn with an aged man and woman reproduced in Catherine Harding, “Time, History and the Cosmos: the Dado in the Apse of the Church of the Eremitani, Padua”, plate 40 (, in Eds. Louise Bourdua, Anne Dunlop, Art and the Augustinian order in early Renaissance Italy, 2007: 132); a relevant quote:
"In the male figures, we find such innovations as the decrepit man in the image of Saturn, which is an unusual and compelling characterization of old age. The figures of the ages do not come from illustrated astronomical/astrological texts; indeed, they were apparently freely created by Guarentino…..A possible textual source for the cycle is a set of diagrams or tables based on the mathematical traditions of sevens; the works of Macrobius, Martianus Capella…."(135)
Again, I propose a humanist well acquainted with the innovative art in Padua.

Phaeded

Re: Literary source for the trumps: Dante’s Paradiso

#34
Phaeded wrote
Sforza, to reiterate, would only hold Venice’s shield before 1452 ironically, as a lesson to Colleoni that Venice cannot be trusted.
Surely Colleoni already knows that. This is even more recondite reasoning than what I supposed, which was that the Treaty of Lodi made Sforza protector of Venice. And it requires assuming that in these cards, the designers were thinking especially, in those plague years hiding out in Cremona, of how best to antagonize Venice by means of subtle messages in a tarot deck's trumps and courts.

On Saturn, your reasoning remains equally tenuous, making the Saturn cantos, against most of what Dante says, into a poem about death. If the motif of the cards were "seven ages of man" rather than Dante, then yes, an old man would be appropriate. But it would be the Hermit, not Death.

The association between Saturn and old men did not require a sojourn in Padua. It was a standard medieval association. If you recall (viewtopic.php?f=23&t=392&p=14090&hilit=Saturn#p14026), an illumination of Saturn as such was part of a manuscript on the planets that was bound with and in the same style as the "Song of the Virtues and Liberal Arts", done for the Viscontis in the 14th century and kept in Milan (the family of an Archbishop had it before it went to France, according to Pellegrin in her book on the Visconti Library). This is not to say that art in Padua wasn't an inspiration for it as well as for other PMB images, just that familiarity with those types didn't require any trips to Padua by Cosimo or anyone else in Florence. They were well enough known in Milan even in the 14th century..

I am still curious as to where you got that colored halo from, on the shield, given that is the same gray as the shield on the card.

Re: Literary source for the trumps: Dante’s Paradiso

#35
Mikeh wrote,
Phaeded wrote
Sforza, to reiterate, would only hold Venice’s shield before 1452 ironically, as a lesson to Colleoni that Venice cannot be trusted.
Surely Colleoni already knows that. This is even more recondite reasoning than what I supposed, which was that the Treaty of Lodi made Sforza protector of Venice. And it requires assuming that in these cards, the designers were thinking especially, in those plague years hiding out in Cremona, of how best to antagonize Venice by means of subtle messages in a tarot deck's trumps and courts.
Mike,
No one has argued that the PMB, clearly a gift, was for any Venetian, so your “antagonizing” comment is besides the point.

Reminding Colleoni that Venice was duplicitous in her dealings with condottiere was not beside the point, pre-1455. And this duplicity was hardly unique to Sforza’s experience given that a previous Venetian Captian General against Milan, Carmagnola, was beheaded in 1432 between the columns of St. Marks’s square (and beneath the lion on one of the columns: http://www.ljhammond.com/essays/images/ducal.jpg). "Summoned to Venice to discuss future operations on March 29, 1432, he came without suspicion" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francesco_ ... Carmagnola. The reality of duplicity in the face of the touted "Justice of Venice".

And you keep miscategorising Sforza as “protector of Venice” when all he had done is sign a mutual defense treaty. The protector of Venice was whomever her condottiere Captian was; Colleoni after 1455.

At all events, this particular point hardly weighs on the use of Dante, but just the date of the PMB deck – which again, is established as sometime before Malatesta’s letter of 1452.
On Saturn, your reasoning remains equally tenuous, making the Saturn cantos, against most of what Dante says, into a poem about death. If the motif of the cards were "seven ages of man" rather than Dante, then yes, an old man would be appropriate. But it would be the Hermit, not Death.
As I demonstrated above, Dante clearly alludes to his spiritual rebirth in the Saturn cantos, which necessarily follows from his eventual physical death, and it is not a stretch to associate old age with death. The hermit in the PMB is wholly positive – a well-dressed, rich, older man (not a hermit), which reflects on Saturn’s association with the Golden Age. Dante consistently follows this aspect of Saturn - for instance in his Monarchia he quotes Virigil’s Ecologue 4.6 (his parenthetical comments): “Now is the Virgin returning also, and the realms of Saturn come again’ (Justice was called ‘the Virgin’ and also ‘Astrea’; ‘the realms of Saturn’ referred to the best of times, which was also named ‘the golden age’”; Mon. 1.11.1-2, tr. Richard Kay, 1998: 51). Balancing the “good” Saturn, the hermit in the PMB, is the “bad” Saturn who is conflated with Chronos - Time as the devourer of all things, symbolized in the PMB as Death. See Saturn in the “Mantegna tarot” for this bad Saturn who is holding the uroboros and explored at length in S. Cohen, «The Early Renaissance Personification of Time and Changing Concepts of Temporality», Renaissance Studies 14, 2000, p. 301- 328. Clearly Death has been depicted in a rather standard “stock” fashion that does not capture the nuances of Saturn’s aspect as a devouring entity (the Hermit, on the other hand, is rather a benign version of Time, the return of the Golden Age – a favorite humanist theme).
I am still curious as to where you got that colored halo from, on the shield, given that is the same gray as the shield on the card.
You can ask here about the supposed color hue enhancement to the web owner of the image I used: http://www.fromoldbooks.org/ViscontiSfo ... s-14-king/

But what does it matter what the hue is – it’s a halo. More importantly, it’s Venice’s Lion of St. Mark – so if not Sforza being ironic sometime in 1451/52, why exactly is Venice’s civic symbol on the highest court card of the PMB?

Phaeded

Re: Literary source for the trumps: Dante’s Paradiso

#36
Yes, you're right about the King of Swords. I wasn't trying to accuse you of anything; I just couldn't find it in Google Images, and I'd mislaid my copy of Dummett's Visconti-Sforza Tarot Cards, so I wanted a reference, since I hadn't noticed the yellow. I'm now convinced, if not by that semi-commercial site in the business of selling prints, then by the book, which has reappeared.

I also wasn't trying to imply that you thought the the PMB was a gift to Venice. It's just that if the King of Swords is intended to send Colleoni a message, the same message would get to Venice. Perhaps Sforza sent a color photo of the King of Swords by secret courier. Perhaps you should say how the information gets to Colleoni and not Venice.

I do not maintain that the card shows Sforza as protector of Venice. It's just that the halo shows that it is undeniably the Lion of St. Mark, and that possibility, sending a message to Venice in 1455, is as logical as yours, 1450-1452, which is fairly obscure and would upset Venice if they knew what somebody was trying to imply it; Venice might have thought that Sforza had betrayed them them instead of the other way around.

The lion on the PMB Fortitude card is different. No halo, at least that I can see.

I am curious. How do you think the PMB was used as propaganda? Are you supposing that those pinholes at the top are for an exhibition then; and if so, where: Cremona, Pavia, or Milan? I am not suggesting that they were not done for such an exhibition. I have no opinion. I just want to know more about your theory. You may have already said and I've forgotten.

While I think of it, there is a Lion of St. Mark attributed to Bonifacio Bembo in the Cavalcabò Chapel in Cremona, dated by Bandera and Tanzi to 1440-1445. I posted it a month ago, at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=937&start=70#p16200. My memory is like a sieve. I will be so bold as to conjecture that perhaps it doesn't signify Venice there, but rather is associated with the fortitude St. Mark showed with a lion. I suppose it is possible that it was done in 1446 to celebrate Venice's assistance in the defeat of Piccinino (who was paid by Bembo's good customer Filippo, Wikipedia says). But I have a hard time supposing that he or the Augustinians would want to paint an allegiance they might later regret onto the church's walls. Surely St. Mark's fortitude can be celebrated independently of people's opinions about Venice.
Image

It is a rather good likeness of a lion, compared to the one on the PMB card. Well, I mean except for the wings.

It still seems to me rather convoluted, your idea of two Times, a "good" Time = an Old Man somehow not in Dante's cantos on temperance and the contemplative life, and a "bad Time" = Death, which is in those cantos, not mentioned specifically but somehow implied because it talks about rebirth.

Re: Literary source for the trumps: Dante’s Paradiso

#37
Finding the Lion of St. Mark in any church in Italy is not unusual - but you would find it as part of the series of the four Evangels (or I suppose if the church were dedicated to St. Mark you could find the lion isolated).
mikeh wrote: I do not maintain that the card shows Sforza as protector of Venice. It's just that the halo shows that it is undeniably the Lion of St. Mark, and that possibility, sending a message to Venice in 1455, is as logical as yours, 1450-1452, which is fairly obscure and would upset Venice if they knew what somebody was trying to imply it; Venice might have thought that Sforza had betrayed them them instead of the other way around.
Sforza cared if he upset Venice and that would be "obscure"??? "31 October 1452: Francesco Sforza, furious at the Venetians, declares war in a long letter and hurls a challenge at them: the 'sfida', in the archaic form of a bloody glove transfixed on a lance" (King, 1994: 284). The PMB Fortitude trump is quite in keeping with Sforza's relations with Venice ever since they turned on him. At some point you may want to read Ianziti (or even King).

Again, Malatesta is asking the Sforza for tarot being made in Cremona in 1452 - what is the compelling rationale that explains that that tarot production is not the PMB? The decks made then were famous enough to have been heard of in Rimini. I just find it far-fetched to find two wholly different tarot decks, one produced in 1451/2 and then again a different one in 1454/55 (besides the customization of adding stemmi, such as we find on some of the court cards of the PMB and specifically mentioned by Giusti in the ordering of his "Anghiari" deck - that is how the decks were used as propaganda: expensive hand-painted gifts to flatter the recipients while at the same time advertising Sforza as the heir to Visconti, in lieu of the the imperial diploma).
Mikeh wrote:
It still seems to me rather convoluted, your idea of two Times, a "good" Time = an Old Man somehow not in Dante's cantos on temperance and the contemplative life, and a "bad Time" = Death, which is in those cantos, not mentioned specifically but somehow implied because it talks about rebirth.
Saturn as Time in the PMB trump with hourglass is hardly a stretch (especially with that hat that I had linked to a Florentine depiction of the planets). But I don't see the difficulty for the Death theme here either - if not protected by Beatrice then Dante gets obliterated into ashes like Semele, as would anyone under "normal circumstances"; why does that happen in Saturn's sphere? Hollander on the next canto (XXII), which would be wholly appropriate to the CY Death card with the Pope and fellow clerics trampled under (and Dante's own death is directly mentioned in line 15: "before you die"):
Commentary Par XXII 13-15
This sort of righteous indignation is itself a sort of joy, since it involves, as Beatrice says, the celebration of just punishment, visible in the vengeance of God, that Dante will be able to observe on earth before he dies. This 'minor prophecy' (for another see [Purg XXIII 97-102]) about the punishment of the corrupt clergy resembles the similar promise ([Par XVII 98-99]), made by Cacciaguida, that Dante will witness the just punishment of his Florentine enemies. How are we to take these 'personal prophecies'? It is perhaps best to understand that both Cacciaguida's and this one spoken by Beatrice are promissory notes Dante has written to himself. He surely has in mind the completion of his hope for the political redemption of Florence; once this were accomplished, he was certain that his political enemies and the corrupt clergy who seem to support them (and perhaps often did) would come to a bad end indeed. But like all successful prophecies, this one had to provide at least some sure results in order to be taken as veracious. The death of any of Dante's major adversaries, occurring while he was still alive, would indeed seem to make elements of these 'prophecies' correct. On the religious side of the roster, major deaths that succored Dante's hopes included those of the popes Boniface VIII (1303) and Clement V (1314); in the secular ledger, that of Corso Donati (1308 [see [Purg XXIV 82-90]]). It may be argued convincingly that, in fact, Dante did not triumph over his enemies; nonetheless, he could, from the vantage point of 1317 or so, count on us to recognize that some of his greatest foes had died, thus preserving, for the moment, the possible happy outcome of this essentially botched prediction. It comes more as the result of wishful thinking (and the accompanying conviction that his political views were simply correct) than of revelation.
Extrapolating the theme of Death from the above was not difficult.

Phaeded

Re: Literary source for the trumps: Dante’s Paradiso

#38
Phaeded wrote: Sforza cared if he upset Venice and that would be "obscure"??? "31 October 1452: Francesco Sforza, furious at the Venetians, declares war in a long letter and hurls a challenge at them: the 'sfida', in the archaic form of a bloody glove transfixed on a lance" (King, 1994: 284). The PMB Fortitude trump is quite in keeping with Sforza's relations with Venice ever since they turned on him. At some point you may want to read Ianziti (or even King).
http://www.condottieridiventura.it/inde ... sco-sforza
... has for April 1452 and Francesco Sforza ....
A fine mese, il giorno di San Giorgio [= 23rd of April], segna l'inizio di una nuova guerra con i veneziani. A Milano giungono tutti i famigli d'armi e molti soldati per le usuali cerimonie. Successivamente il duca, uscito fuori dalle mura cittadine alla Cassina Verde, fuori Porta Romana, fa mettere gli stendardi su due alte querce; da lì i soldati si trasferiscono agli alloggiamenti preparati nel lodigiano e nel cremonese. A Venezia, nel medesimo tempo, il Consiglio dei Dieci decide una volta di più di ricorrere a mezzi estremi quale l'avvelenamento dello Sforza. Sono consultati al riguardo Innocenzo Cotta e Jacopo Piccinino; viene inviato un cancelliere in Levante alla ricerca del veleno più adatto. Per perseguire tale scopo sono promessi 10000 ducati ad un famiglio del duca di Milano. Il veleno, una sorta di pomata con cui ungere la sella e la staffa della cavalcatura dello Sforza, non ha effetto. Il condottiero, probabilmente, viene a conoscenza di questo tentativo come di altri precedenti: fra le sue carte, infatti, è stato trovato un amuleto efficace contro avvelenamenti e tradimenti, contenente dodici segni esoterici delle tavole del profeta Malachia.
Battles between Milan and Venice ...
http://www.condottieridiventura.it/~con ... /2725-1450
... are noted for June (1), July (4), August (1), September (1), October (2), November (3), December (1).
Further 10 for 1453 and 2 in 1454.
Colleoni is mentioned in some of the battles (I counted 7, the last time in 1454). Malatesta is mentioned in none.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Literary source for the trumps: Dante’s Paradiso

#39
Phaeded wrote,
Again, Malatesta is asking the Sforza for tarot being made in Cremona in 1452 - what is the compelling rationale that explains that that tarot production is not the PMB?
Ah yes. Interesting. And not only does Malatesta want tarot, but "con le arme ducale et al insigne nostre" (http://trionfi.com/etx-sigismondo-pando ... testa#1452). Now we just need to know how likely it was that Malatesta could be expected to show or give the deck to Colleoni and that Colleoni would notice the lion.

As far as the St Mark Lion, I didn't see any other evangelists in the fresco I posted. I don't know if there was room in the chapel for four such frescoes or not. I don't know what your basis is for saying that that lion only appeared in conjunction with the other three animals. Have you looked in a representative sample of frescos in San Marcos churches in northern Italy, or books especially dedicated to St. Mark or a St. Mark church, or lawyers' associations' stemmi (he was the patron saint of lawyers, too)?

As far as the Saint Mark lion, I don't see why it might not be on the King of Swords, in a deck for his own use, to provide an occasion for Sforza to teach his own children about the ways of Venice. Some of them might be condottieri themselves some day.

Re: Literary source for the trumps: Dante’s Paradiso

#40
It looks plausible, that the PMB was made in 1452 or short before, but other dates look possible. The late Dummett had no problem to start an idea, according which the full PMB was made in the early 1460s by 2 Bembo brothers.

A Venetian lion at a card could hardly prove anything (already Kaplan II observed it, p. 51). Sforza had a lion in his own heraldry, but indeed, it looks like the Venetian lion. Maybe the "king of swords" was chosen as Sforza's favourite enemy? There are still enough figures left, which present Visconti heraldry.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/73 ... 387b2e.jpg

Kaplan I, page 100, shows the Bartsch Tarocchi King of swords, which might be made much later (1512 ? ... according one of my theories). Kaplan notes, that some things are substantially changed. Lombardy I at Kaplan p. 18 seems to be made very much later.
In both cards it looks, as if there is a lion (though Kaplan copies aren't so good). Is it plausible, that these were copies from Colleoni's deck, and not decks made by an earlier source? That's not impossible, as the Bartsch belongs to the same type as the Rosenthal and Victoria-Albert Museum, and these include the Isabella d'Este motto of 1505 "nec spe nec metu" connected to Colleoni heraldic ... if Colleoni had a "private card" (king of swords) inside the deck otherwise gotten from Sforza's Cremona production, we wouldn't have a chance to note it.
We know of such "private cards" from the Malatesta documents and from the Alessandro Sforza cards, it might be not very unusual to "improve" Trionfi decks for personal interests.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

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