First of all Giotto is not a tarot comparable - there are several "God-denying fools" illuminating Psalms which was the source of Giotto's Stultitia; Giotto was an influence on the PMB but not an exact model. Moreover, the "baton/pole" the PMB holds, to say it again, looks nothing like either Giotto’s club nor the club held by the Strength figure - yet the PMB Strength's club does look like Giotto's club, so why not also the Fool’s supposed club? Even if painted by a different painter - Dummet proposes someone else in Bembo's studio in Cremona, perhaps a brother - the copybook sources would have been the same so if a club was intended it would have looked similar. The PMB's "pole" looks nothing like Strength’s club but instead has the exact profile of the contemporary trumpet comparables I provided earlier.
You're right with the Fool in the Psalm illuminations. I personally wasn't aware about strong traditions in this iconography comparable to the Tarot iconography. It's nice to learn something new.
I think, you're also right with the assumption, that the PMB Fool expresses a poor situation, possibly the bad state of the Milanese population in the begin of Sforza's reign.
Well, I don't accept, that the baton of the PMB should have been a trumpet.
Alberti uses in his Philodoxus theater play the trumpeter in the finishing scene (No. 20). Likely the trumpet belongs to the end of the triumphal sequence, not to the beginning.
Well, there are a lot of musicians between the offered Fools, but we have also the beggar type ...
, as presented by the poet Mysner.
The Karnöffel robs somebody and steals his fine clothes. Possibly the victim looks after this action similar to the PMB-Fool, and the winner (the Karnöffel) looks similar to the rather fine dressed magician in the PMB (which isn't repeated in later Tarocchi versions). In the early time of the Trionfi decks it might well be, that the iconography showed influences of a possible forerunner deck, the Imperatori cards, which might have been famliar to the Karnöffel (later for some time called Keyserspiel).
Momus / Lucian / Mantegna Tarocchi
The beggar as "idealized best role" in the work "Momus" by Alberti, which possibly influenced the Mantegna Tarocchi beggar. Diogenes, who appeared on Tarocchi cards. Momus appeared in later art, and looked like the Mantegna Tarocchi beggar.
http://www.backtoclassics.com/images/pi ... ations.jpg
compare article ...
, the late "second Fool" in the Tarocco Siciliano.
The CVI, Este and Bologna Fools are all derivative of the PMB Fool, but altered to suit the needs of those later decks, so the meaning of the Ambrosian Republic’s mob was bound to change. CONTEXT of the deck in question is pivotal. Yet the Bolognese modifies yet retains the item in question as a musical instrument, but showing it being played – again, not enough space to show a trumpet being played, so a similar straight wind instrument was substituted.
They followed the PMB-Fool in its function as "Fool" in a card game, but these are rather different types of Fool. The Bolognese type is a musician and it repeats often enough, and CVI and Este Fools are giants .... like "Morgante".
I personally think, that the d'Este (they bought a "Morgante" in 1474) followed the theme "Orlando" (with Boiardo, and later with Ariost), that Pulci had realized earlier in his Morgante.
Orlando and Morgante meet in "Morgante" during a stone-throwing scene and become friends. "Morgante's" background is, that the poor poet Pulci got a job from the Medici.
Pulci lived in the Mugello and had a mill there, about 5 km from a holiday castle of the Medici, which was mainly used by Lucretia Tornuabuoni and her children (the other Medici were mostly too sick to make such long journeys; between the children was naturally Lorenzo de Medici). So Pulci got the commission to write the Morgante, cause it was an interest of the Medici to present "a good French side", cause they urgently needed a good business relationship to the French-king-in-spe, later Louis XI of France. This was one part of the deal with Pulci. The other was, that Lucrezia needed somebody to watch the children in the adventurious forests. Lorenzo described later Pulci in the role, who sat down at a fallen tree, letting the children do what they want, working on his poem, and finally organizing the children as his listeners to his latest ideas ... and so he arranged, that Lorenzo and all his present friends (Lorenzo's gang) later also became poet's, at least a little bit. In these early years the poem made a lot of progress, he reached canto 15 or 16 (in the latest version it had 28 canti). Then Lorenzo was old enough and the interests of the now young man changed. The development of the poem became slow.
Lorenzo loved hunting and Cafaggiolo became a hunting castle.
Other sources tell, that it became of use since 1458.
The friendship between Orlando = Lorenzo (small) and giant Morgante = Pulci (big, 17 years older) started with a stone battle. Orlando had already killed one giant, but then he met Morgante, but this was actually a peaceful guy, who didn't throw stones. So they became friends. Morgante (very big) had trouble to find the right armour for the future adventures, finally he found one, but only for the upper part. His weapon became the clapper of a bell.
Well, that's naturally only a reconstruction, how it might have been. The d'Este motif proceeded with the giant scenario.
The CVI, IMO, reflects a jab at Sixtus IV in his war on Lorenzo the Magnificent’s Florence (both pope and Fool wear a blue robe, the fool wears a triple-like crown like the papal tiara; the pope had four nephews in his service painted with him the year before the Pazzi conspiracy which I believe the four “rock throwing” youths stirred up by the Fool refer to; see Polizianos’ contemporary insulting literary jabs at Sixtus after the assassination attempt in 1478). To say it again, the context of the deck – why it was created – explains the meaning of the several changed cards of the CVI deck; to wit, the “Chariot” is no longer even female.
The nephews of Sixtus were grown up men. And "after 1478" looks too late. In my opinion the young male chariot driver with some older Medici heraldry (7 palle), explain with young Lorenzo as the focussed person. I prefer my version.