Phaeded wrote: ↑
21 Sep 2017, 00:21
mikeh wrote: ↑
19 Sep 2017, 04:27
First, I have trouble locating Venus. You wrote:
Venus: of the two women it’s not difficult to guess why one of them was granted the favor of riding upon Cupid’s chariot – his mother, Venus.
Did you mean the figure with his hands tied behind his back? I have no idea who he is (it seems male), but Venus is unlikely. I would have thought Venus was the very richly attired lady next to her lover Mars. If not Venus, who is that lady? And who is the person with his hands tied behind his back?
I admit the seated figure appears to have male hair, but that headdress is never something a male Florentine would have worn (almost like a halo-shape with a trailing veil attached - a matrimonial piece?). As for the "tied hands", consider instead that in Baldini's "Children of Venus" engraving Venus has her hand on her hip:
So "bound hands" is possibly a botched version of that hand-on-hip, and a reversal of mother and son's positions, where Eros is back atop to his his normal position on a float and the mom Venus sits on the float. If the seated figure on the float is indeed a bound male (with inexplicable headpiece), then it would simply be an everyman prisoner of Love, as depicted in the contemporary Triumph of Love birth tray by Apollonio di Giovanni (but again, this one has a standard Florentine male hat):
https://media.vam.ac.uk/media/thira/col ... AM2405.jpg
Nonetheless I'm now tending toward the seated figure as a generic captive (perhaps the gender was left ambiguous to underscore "everyman" as the allegorical significance) with Venus simply denoted by her son, cut off from this detail, but on his usual pedestal atop the float.
mikeh wrote: ↑
19 Sep 2017, 04:27
Then I have trouble distinguishing Jupiter from Saturn. You wrote
Jupiter: the figure wearing an elaborate Byzantine robe and headdress (known since the days of the East-West Union Council in Florence in 1439) is obviously chief among the group and thus Jupiter.
The most elaborately dressed figure looking straight ahead with a long train of cloth trailing after him is who I identify as Jupiter, who should be the most extravagantly dressed in the minds of a Florentine. And the only other figure also looking straight ahead would be his herald walking ahead of him, Mercury (donning his "children's" garb of a generic guildsman or merchant), whose face is cut off to the left. The figure immediately behind and to the left of Jupiter is Mars, wearing a chain mail skirt, breastplate and winged helmet (like one finds repeated on "Roma" on Roman coins). Saturn is the upper left figure with the virtually identical headgear as that of the PMB "Time"/Hermit trump, and similarly has a long shaggy "Byzantine" beard.
The figure cupping his hand to his mouth to yell up at Eros is inspired by the textual source of Petrarch: "Apollo, who once scorned the youthful bow, That dealt him such a wound in Thessaly."
Luna stands near the seated Venus, with bicorn hat, a fashion meant to mimic the "horns of the moon" of planetary Luna:
Here is the Baldini Triumph of Love detail again, but labeled with my identifications.
Baldini Triumph of Love, details of 7 planets as beholden to Love.jpg
Note that Eros' pedestal and the vertical spoke of the wheel neatly divide the engraving into two halves, the planetary gods on the left, perhaps with a representative of bound humanity (whom were of course subject to all of the planetary influences), while the human populace proper follows in their wake in the right half of the engraving (not shown). Baldini's concurrent interest in the "Children of the Planets" is undeniable and it is not unfathomable that he attempted to merge that fairly novel theme (likely imported from Germany after being first conceived of by Christine de Pizan) with the well-worn Triumph of Love, which already implicitly involves Venus and her son, with Petrarch himself naming some of the planetary gods in his Triumph of Love text (e.g., Jupiter, albeit not in a planetary context).
I'd like to attempt a new identification of the ambiguous bound figure beneath Eros - tentatively identified by myself previously as either Venus or a captive, leaning toward captive - as an allegorical Christian pilgrim (thrown into the planetary influenced elements) based on the comparable of a 1490 (or 16th c.? see below) German engraving as well as other Baldini material with the same "head-dress" worn by the subject in question. First the German engraving - the children of planets theme, as noted above, already points to an Italian/German interaction and both engravings seem to be a "plenary" attempt to show the combined planetary personifications versus individual triumphs.
For this German engraving I'll rely on the work already done by Andrea Vitali, as translated by Mikeh here (even with Huck's input!), about half way down this linked article in regard to our engraving ,referred to as "figure 11" there. http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=131&lng=ENG
...a 16th century German astrological engraving in which the planetary deities are depicted intent on observing from above an arena the child on earth (figure 11 - Paris, National Library, Allemand 106, fol 198v in a section dating from 1490, according to notes in French on one of the initial blank pages of the book).
The figure who is between the Sun and Venus, with a cross behind him and reading a book (probably the Gospels) is St. Michael, according to the writing below the image, which Lothar Teikemeier has partially translated for us. One of the lines reads, once the spelling is modernized, "Wan die 7 Planeten alle zusamen kument in ein Huß, so (?) laufen (?) zu Kinder zu Sankt Michel, Der helfft uns mit allen Engelen unser armen Selen", i.e. "When the 7 Planets all come together in one House, then the Children run (?) to Saint Michael, who with all his angels helps us poor souls". Elsewhere in the writing the words "coniunctio planeten", "futur", and "contrarii", or something similar, appear. The reference is probably to the Apocalypse, as a time when all the planets come together, and in which St. Michael and his angels fight the Devil and his legions.
The picture of the child, apart from the reference to "our poor souls", could then be seen as an invocation to children to entrust themselves to Saint Michael and all the angels for the protection of their souls. But in the context of the deciphered sentence of the text, it would also serve to remind everyone, of whatever age, that our souls, to be saved, must be purified of all pretension, leaving them like those of small children. We might think here of Christ's saying at Matthew 18:2-4: «And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, / And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. / Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.» (King James Version)
The child is thus "soul" or what I've called a Christian "pilgrim", embarking on life's journey, needing the assistance of heavenly powers over the lower celestial influences of the planets. Petrarch has even the king of the gods, Jupiter, driven before Love's chariot but the inclusion of a special captive - the only one bound - on the triumphal cart itself draws our attention to that as the main focus of this allegory (especially since Cupid is himself bound in the next Petrarchan triumph of chastity), which must be a similar Christian soul tormented in a world of erotic strife, dominated by the planetary deities (even if they are themselves are driven by the same erotic impulses). Two of what I've labeled as planetary gods - Saturn and Moon - look directly at the bound "pilgrim", perhaps in discourse; why those two? I'd argue that is the hierarchical extremities of the planets, the moon being the lowest and Saturn being the highest; furthermore, the original planetary "children" schema was the seven ages of man, thus the life cycle of man and his inevitable death, needing salvation. And indeed, in the German engraving the soul/pilgrim arrives from the right whose side begins with Luna, and marches to the left, which ends with Saturn.
Regarding the Baldini image then, Venus is technically not represented yet represented via the machinations of her son Cupid (clipped out of the image shown here, but higher up on the pedestal), just as she is never present on the tarot's Love trump. At all events Baldini shows cupid with Venus's chariot in his "children of the planets" for Venus, so an equivalence seems allowable here.
But what is is the flat "hat" worn by the proposed pilgrim? Turning to the Florentine Picture-Chronicle there all manner of hats and there must be a comparable there, but I've not found one. However, in another Baldini engraving there is a similar "hat" but it is in fact a halo worn by Jesus. The engraving in question is The Judgment Hall of Pilate
, 1465–85, with Christ on the left and tormented by his captors (spoken to perhaps in a way that Saturn/Luna taunt our bound pilgrim).
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... aldini.jpg
What invites an even more detailed connection between Baldini's Love/planetary engraving and this Baldini Pilate's Hall engraving are the odd details in the triumphal arches' lunettes: Pilate's judgement of Jesus on the left (apparently providing the subsequent action inferred from the scene below, where enthroned Pilate is on the far right, separated from the tormented Jesus on the far left), and then, more bizarrely, a triumphal scene with a bound captive
(which would be Jesus in this context), apparently the triumphal arch called for a triumphal cart (and perhaps to contrast the false, vainglorious victories on earth, with salvation being the true triumph):
The halo in the "triumph of love with bound pilgrim surrounded by the planets" engraving (as we might provisionally re-label that engraving) is not marked by the redeemed cruciform marks on Christ's halo, but that would be wholly appropriate for a pilgrim in mid-transit on life's journey, still proving oneself among the erring blows of fortune cast by the celestial influences. The halo seems to merely mark the subject as a chaste Christian pilgrim, in the process of earning his own salvific mark of the cross.
Finally, the setting for the German engraving even seems to have been prefigured by Baldini in his Dante awakening and discoursing with ancient sages and warriors in Limbo
(1484-87, quite close to the 1490 date associated with the German Ms.): Aristotle seated on a throne and surrounded by his disciples; on the right, emerging from a fire, the spirits of Homer (holding a sword), Horace, Ovid and Lucan. Limbo is of course a place that concerns the fate of the soul, and here is surrounded by pagans on the circumference of a similar arena/labyrinth. These pagans of course subscribed to the idea of astrological influences (including Dante's guide, Virgil), and of course Dante is a Christian pilgrim ascending through the planetary spheres in the Divina Commedia
. So perhaps all three of these Baldini engravings were an influence on the German designer.