Re: From Marziano to the Cary-Yale and the Ludus Triumphorum

#21
That cassone is really interesting. Can you post close-ups of the other three virtues? It certainly provides a case for the elevation of Prudence at least to the highest of the cardinals, as in Aquinas, if not altogether separate from them, as in Minchiate. Aquinas presented the virtues in the order Faith, Hope, Charity, Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance. It looks like Prudence, in the lower right corner, is the last of four. Are the top two Faith (with the communion cup) and Hope? Perhaps the other three are on a different panel of the same cassone.

I must admit that I do not understand the principle behind your 7x2 reconstruction of the CY. I thought it was supposed to be exemplars and antitypes. I can see the Last Judgment as an exemplar of Justice, but that's all. How is Death an exemplar or antitype of Temperance, and so on for the other pairs, which I take to be Empress-Faith, Emperor-Hope, Charity-Love, Prudence-Chariot, and Fortitude-Wheel of Fortune? Or is Dante somehow involved? Please explain again, or give a link to your earlier discussion.

I assume that the planetary correspondences apply only to the added cards of the PMB, etc. and not the CY.

I liked your explanation of the topical considerations regarding the Hanged Man.

I still find your idea that the CY is a close approximation of a deck created in commemoration of a Visconti defeat hard to swallow.

Re: From Marziano to the Cary-Yale and the Ludus Triumphorum

#22
mikeh wrote:
20 Jun 2019, 14:21
That cassone is really interesting. Can you post close-ups of the other three virtues?
I'll post more on the cassone in another thread but the interesting factoid to me is that the wedding was between an Aldrobrandini (to be exiled in 1434) and a Benci (whose patriarch was elevated to the Medici's overall banking manager) - so if the cassone does in fact reflect Bruni's civic virtues vision it did so in a cross-partisan manner (and still can't find any info on that wedding, c. 1429-30), which I think accurately reflects Bruni's role and universal appeal, pre-Medici rise to power (after which he definitely takes a Medici slant). As for the theologicals, I only took a close-up photo of Charity (see below), but they are all fairly standard: clockwise from upper left - Fides with chalice and cross, Caritas (see below), Prudentia, , Sperantia with clasped praying hands (so Charity is above Prudence on the right face of the cassone).
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Or is Dante somehow involved? Please explain again, or give a link to your earlier discussion.
Yes, Dante (as utilized by Bruni and Filelfo). Link:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1062
I assume that the planetary correspondences apply only to the added cards of the PMB, etc. and not the CY.

Yep. None of the 7 proposed planetary trumps identified are in the surviving CY/Brambilla trumps. Added in the PMB, per my theory.

I still find your idea that the CY is a close approximation of a deck created in commemoration of a Visconti defeat hard to swallow.
There is nothing essentially Florentine about seven virtues with corresponding exempli (the anti-type is a PMB replacement trump), except for replaceable heraldry in the Chariot and "World" trumps (and court cards of course), which I assume to have featured some kind of civic stemma (e.g., the heraldic lily, just as the Visconti radiate dove features on the CY chariot jousting shield). Also I don't see the transmission to Milan to be a direct one, but rather via Ferrara where it would have already been stripped of the specifically Florentine triumphal references. Some additional notes via a timeline in that regard, besides just the Bianca visit to Ferrara:

* May(?) 1440. Agnolo Acciaioli is the Florentine ambassador and member of the Dieci sent to Ferrara to enlist their support for the "Holy League" of Florence-Papacy/Venice allied against Visconti (Neri Capponi and Giuliano Davanzati are the Florentine ambassadors sent to Venice, who in turn seals a condotte with Sforza on behalf of the League; see Ermolao Rubieri, Francesco Primo Sforza: narrazione storica, Volume 1, 1879: 302-303; and, Niccolo Capponi, The Day the Renaissance Was Saved: The Battle of Anghiari, 2015: 176).

* May 1440. Although Acciaioli had paid 15,000 florins for a condotte on behalf of Florence with the Marquis and set out with his brother Borso and 1,000 lances, when they reached Modena, Borso left Acciaioli and toldf him the d'Este had received a better offer from Visconti, with whom he joined forces (ibid)

* 14 June 1440. The Sforzan-Venetian army over-runs the Visconti army at Soncino and Borso d'Este is captured; this being part of the Brescia/Verona campaign (Capponi, 182-83).

* 29 June 1440. Battle of Anghiari (Venice sent a contingent under Sforza's uncle, Attendolo, while Sforza remained in the east).

* 16 September, 1440. Giusti has a tarot deck made expressly in Florence with Malatesta's arms. The context is Giusti had been directly contracting with the Florentine Dieici for smaller mercenary units he was representing (and who fought in the Anghiari campaign) and then with Malatesta; the following year he then acts as a direct go between for Cosimo and Malatesta for a purpose he does not divulge in his journal. The presumption that Giusti was just some provincial notary acting alone outside of a coordinated Florentine foreign policy (with a keen eye on her relationships to condottieri) seems dubious in this light.

* Oct. 1440-Feb 1441. Venice preoccupied with retaining Ravenna against Visconti sympathizers (I'd argue Ravenna is the largest town depicted on the CY "world's" Adriatic coast, but hardly something I need to insist on for my overall theory).

* 1 Jan. 1441. Bianca sails down the Po River to Ferrara where the d'Este have "14 figures painted on cotton paper and sent to Lady Bianca of Milan, to make festive the celebration of the Circumcision."

* 24-28 Oct. 1441. Bianca-Sforza wedding in Cremona. Along with notable Venetians, Agnolo Acciaioli, Neri Capponi and Luca degli Albizzi are present on behalf of Florence, in spite of Sforza's marriage to a Visconti (the marriage was seen as part and parcel of the peace, see next point, by the members of the League; Visconti would be sorely disappointed in thinking this marriage meant Sforza was now at his beck and call).

* 20 Nov. 1441 Treaty of Cavriana (Sforza's camp - the mercenary general essentially dictated the terms of the peace).

How to summarize the above? We have a concrete reference to tarot (Giusti's Florentine deck with Malatesta's arms) and the surviving evidence of a Milanese deck with Sforza's arms, which would lead one to believe the hand-painted luxury decks were especially associated with gift-giving to the all-important generals with whom the city-states' existential being relied on (presumably the woodblock printed decks for mass-consumption only bore civic symbols, not mercenary stemmi). Then there is the problem of the 14 painted figures of Ferrara intervening between the Anghiari deck and the CY...with Ferrara being yet another mercenary princely fiefdom (like Malatesta's Rimini), but who betrayed the Florentine alliance. So let's assume the 14 "figures" were trumps and then rephrase the problem you posed: Why would the d'Este approximate a deck created in commemoration of an allied Visconti defeat in which their own scion, Borso, was captured?

Florentine-Ferrarese relations at this time need to delved into more detail here...
* Leonardo Bruni, Florence's chancellor, had written the Funeral Oration for Nanni Strozzi in 1428 - but even though Nanni was from a distinguished Florentine family, he spent his career in the service of Ferrara. Florence simply lacked contemporary martial heroes, thus the literary effort.
* The year before Anghiari the Marquis of Ferrara's horse won Florence's St. John's palio race (see Giusti's journal for that year)
* Aforementioned May 1440 Flortentine diplomatic mission of Acciaioli to Ferrara leading up to Anghiari

I could also throw in all of the Florentine humanist and artists contacts with Leonello's court, not to mention the transfer of the Church Council from Ferarra to Florence in 1438, but the point here is that Florence-Ferrara relations were exceedingly frequent if not intense in this period; ergo, a novelty like trionfi would be known in Ferrara almost immediately. The d'Este simply appropriated the novelty and repurposed it as a gift for Bianca, likely marking it with d'Este and Visconti arms to promote that alliance (especially needed since they had soured the Venetians and and Florentines against them).

The context of Visconti sending his daughter to Ferrara - after the losses in Verona/Brescia/Soncino and Anghiari during the campaign season of 1440 - was to drive a wedge between Sforza and the "Holy League" of Florence-Papacy-Venice, with the threat of marrying her off to a d'Este prince (to entice Sforza back into his pay). Given the trionfi series being circulated to the likes of Malatesta - a rival condottieri family - it would make sense for an artistic capital like Ferrara to respond in kind (and I would assume Sforza also received an ur-tarot "Anghiai" deck, presented by Acciaioli or any of the other Florentine ambassadors mentioned here). Again, It does not take too much of an imagination to picture a CY-like deck embellished with d'Este stemmi for the amusement of Bianca, being courted in Ferrara, perhaps with Visconti stemmi intertwined (like we find on the Ercole D'Este deck, but with Aragon stemmi, and of course like the Visconti/Sforza in the CY).

If the chariot and "world" trump variations primarily represented changes of stemmi, the only major trump alteration between the Florentine ur-tarot/Ferrarese 14 "figures" and the later CY would have to be the Love trump: Florence could never promote a princely wedding as we find on the CY (which one assumes to be Sforza and Bianca). Ferrara, merely courting Bianca but with no contracted dowry/marriage, likewise would not have represented a fait accompli wedding on the Love card (that would have been an affront to the Visconti). But we have a strong indication of what that Love card might have been....

I think most of us are in agreement that the CVI, oddly formerly thought of as Ferrarese, is actually Florentine (the palle on the chariot, for instance). And in keeping with a nominal republic, there is no princely couple on the Love card in that deck but three pairs of dancing couples beneath erotes; one can make the reasonable claim that this may represent the original subject of the ur-tarot's Love trump. Moving back to Ferrara, when Galeazzo took the same trip down the Po River, like his mother Bianca before him, he encountered triumph-like floats paraded before him for his amusement (instead of painted images); discussed in this thread: Galeazzo Maria Sforza's "quatro triomphi" in Ferrara, 1457 viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1320
And the description of one of the floats is: a triumph of Love, with Cupid in a flaming chariot and couples in stately dance below. Certainly close enough to the CVI trump to claim the same theme, albeit a singular cupid in a chariot in 1457. We also have in that year a reference to a 70 card triumph deck, seemingly made expressly for the visiting Galeazzo, which implies the persistence of a 14 trump tarot deck, one the d'Este would have known about from virtually the beginning in 1440.

So if the PMB was an innovation in c. 1451 in expanding the trumps to 22, it would not necessarily mean universal adoption elsewhere outside of Lombardy. Its not as if the same conditions in 1440 prevailed, where there was no existing tarot game in Ferrara - since then they'd been making their own decks for a while (e.g., the other ducal records of gifts for the young d'Este princes), so they'd stick with what they knew for a period (the eventual dominance of the 22 trump model would have been bolstered by the Cosimo-Sforza friendship, the former adopting the latter's innovation in Florence, despite tarot's creation there; thus the later CVI).

So we have two inferences to 14 in the 1441 and 1457 Ferrara documents, and I would furthermore propose that Bianca brought back the 1441 "14 painted figures" with her to Milan which were used as models for a new deck featuring Visconti and Sforza stemmi in the form of the CY "wedding-dowry"/condotte deck for Sforza, with the important innovation of showing a princely couple instead of a generic Petrarchan cupid theme.

In contrast to the 14 and 70 references in a city, Ferrara, that we know was making tarot decks in this earliest period, where is there a single reference to 16 trumps or a 72 card deck in regard to tarot proper anywhere at this time?

Phaeded

Re: From Marziano to the Cary-Yale and the Ludus Triumphorum

#23
Phaeded wrote,
There is nothing essentially Florentine about seven virtues with corresponding exempli (the anti-type is a PMB replacement trump), except for replaceable heraldry in the Chariot and "World" trumps (and court cards of course), which I assume to have featured some kind of civic stemma (e.g., the heraldic lily, just as the Visconti radiate dove features on the CY chariot jousting shield). Also I don't see the transmission to Milan to be a direct one, but rather via Ferrara where it would have already been stripped of the specifically Florentine triumphal references.
When I expressed doubt that Visconti would have adopted a game designed to commemorate a Visconti defeat, I did not mean the particular design, in terms of the 7 virtues. I meant the game itself, the ludus triumphorum, invented in such a context. If it came by way of Ferrara, surely they would have said something of its history; and if not, or if Bianca didn't mention it, Visconti would have most likely known from his diplomats (i.e. spies) in various cities. They all would have known of Filippo's fascination with games.

At the same time I do question whether the three theological virtues were part of the game before the CY, because only they have the antitypes on the card, and typically they were either on all seven or none. I am not satisfied with your "for some reason". What reason?

Phaeded wrote,
In contrast to the 14 and 70 references in a city, Ferrara, that we know was making tarot decks in this earliest period, where is there a single reference to 16 trumps or a 72 card deck in regard to tarot proper anywhere at this time?
That "14 figures" refers to 14 trumps" is an inference. That 70 cards equals 14x5 suits is an inference. It could have been 12x4 + 22. 16 trumps in a deck where the ordinary suits have 16 is also an inference. That we don't have a document for "16 figures" might just be because of the 1447 palace burnings. (Even then, someone would say it referred to the court cards.) At least in Lombardy we have 11 of the cards: there is nothing comparable for Florence, unless the Catania counts (made with recycled paper from 1429), with its Vecchio (a card you exclude from your ur-tarot). Anyway, there could have been both 14 trump decks and 16 trump decks, in different cities or even in the same city, for slightly different games. Surely by 1457 there were 22 trump decks someplace in the various centers.

Thanks for the link. I'll take another look.

Added: so where can I read about or see that cassone (in person if necessary)? Where did you get the picture? Do you know anything about the other sides?

Re: From Marziano to the Cary-Yale and the Ludus Triumphorum

#24
mikeh wrote:
23 Jun 2019, 00:32
When I expressed doubt that Visconti would have adopted a game designed to commemorate a Visconti defeat, I did not mean the particular design, in terms of the 7 virtues. I meant the game itself, the ludus triumphorum, invented in such a context. If it came by way of Ferrara, surely they would have said something of its history; and if not, or if Bianca didn't mention it, Visconti would have most likely known from his diplomats (i.e. spies) in various cities. They all would have known of Filippo's fascination with games.
The game itself was composed of individual cards expressing themes common to medieval Italy - I don't see the conflict in any comune or ruler adapting this material for their own; just stamp those virtues with your own coat of arms and claim them for yourselves. Filelfo used Dante to beat on the Medici faction (when in the studium there) and promoted the Albizzi/Strozzi faction; just years later we find Bruni's 1436 Life of Dante and Petrarch, and similar works on Dante by Manetti and Palmieri (both Bruni acolytes and also published in the 1430s right before Anghiari), so that Dante was definitely reclaimed for Medici Florence. More to the point: In the panegyrical war of words between Florence and Milan both city's humanists took recourse to the same Roman history and how each city embodied the best connection to that history. In fact Bruni likely was trying to get in the last word after Anghiari when he published his work on the Gothic War (1441) that showed Milan (and every other Italian city) had been severed from a continuous history with Rome by this barbarian invasion; thus all Visconti pretensions of being descended from Aeneas (the genealogy painted by Michelino) was even more ludicrous. By this point Bruni had already taken a different historical-rhetorical tack with Florence's own history by claiming a genetic 'Tuscan'/Etruscan root, that preceded Rome and survived Rome (which also played into Florence's need to extend its dominion over all of Tuscany as the most important of the enduring "Etruscan" cities). For an excellent discussions of all of this, see Gary Ianziti's chapter 8, "Parallel Lives: Dante and Petrarch", and chapter 13, "Writing from Procopius" (about Bruni's Gothic War, which used Propocoius as an unacknowledged primary source), in Gary Ianziti Writing History in Renaissance Italy: Leonardo Bruni and the Uses of the Past, published by I Tatti in 2012.

Mike wrote:
At the same time I do question whether the three theological virtues were part of the game before the CY, because only they have the antitypes on the card, and typically they were either on all seven or none. I am not satisfied with your "for some reason". What reason?
"Typcially" simply does not describe the CY which is less than 16 months from Anghiari. I'm afraid I don't need a reason for why the CY had antitypes beneath the theologicals but not beneath the lone surviving cardinal virtue, because "it is what it is" - and there is no reason to believe the ur-tarot, so close in time, didn't do the same (although why would it matter?). If I had to hazard a guess, I would point out the Christian take on the seven virtues were originally conceived by the likes of Prudentius as fighting off sin/vice and then given new life under Aquinas in a Domincian context. Florentine chancellors Salutati and then especially Bruni saw the cardinal virtues as a non-religious means of developing the citizenry (at least those that were literate and could stand for office). James Hankins has written extensively on this and can't wait for his latest related publication coming out at the end of the year, Virtue Politics: Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php? ... 674237551. Previously Hankins has written such articles as "Teaching Civil Prudence in Leonardo Bruni's History of the Florentine People." Link below: https://www.academia.edu/22668010/Teach ... ine_People
All of this plays into why the Theologicals get dropped in the PMB - Sforza was not going to make any pretense to those strictly religious virtues (but for the ur-tarot, the pope was living in Florence where the Church Union was just held in 1439, thus included).
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CY Fortitude, without antitype


Mike wrote:
That "14 figures" refers to 14 trumps" is an inference. That 70 cards equals 14x5 suits is an inference. It could have been 12x4 + 22. 16 trumps in a deck where the ordinary suits have 16 is also an inference. That we don't have a document for "16 figures" might just be because of the 1447 palace burnings.
And yet the Marziano was not burnt (nor were the Visconti Hours, etc.; all of this was sold off in auctions. Tax records were burnt). But the real sticking point is that of the three items - Marziano's 16 gods/heroes, Bianca's 14 "figures", and the 1457 70 card deck reference - only the last is specifically tied to trionfi/'Ludus Triumphorum'. Moreover, the 1457 70 card deck and "14 figures" references occur in the same place, Ferrara; it is therefore not illogical to connect the two, particularly since the CY, like the Ferrara figures, was specifically connected to the same Bianca. The circumstantial evidence is all knitted together, by time, place and persons. The number 16 begins and ends with Visconti in c.1418, except for its rediscovery in 1449, when, ironically enough, it doesn't inspire anything regarding the number 16.

Mike wrote:
Added: so where can I read about or see that cassone (in person if necessary)? Where did you get the picture? Do you know anything about the other sides?
My pix from April - the cassone in question is in the Bargello (there is nothing on the sides or I would have photographed that as I did of the virtues on the ends of thecassoniin the Courtauld museum in London); it is located below Donatello's original St. George for the Orsanmichele armorer's and sword makers guild patron saint niche (Orsanmichele now has a copy). You wrote about the cassone yourself in this thread (although I have a slightly different interpretation based on additional data than that proposed by the source you quoted)
Re: Pratesi on birthtrays, cassoni, Petr. mss. & parades (no#46) viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1092&start=40

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Phaeded

Re: From Marziano to the Cary-Yale and the Ludus Triumphorum

#25
Since June 21 I have rethought my argument yet again, and again, I don't know how many times, away from THF since I have already presented two versions, neither of which I now like. However since the end of August I have not changed much, so it is worth presenting again. It is at https://marzianotoludus.blogspot.com/. I would appreciate any comments or suggestions, either here or there.

What is new is that I have abandoned thinking of a 16 trump sequence as basic in favor of a 14 trump one , and definitely originating in the A region. But they are not all the same subjects as Phaeded's. Phaeded's account of the origin of the trump sequence ignores their order, This seems to me a deficiency, because the order, except for the virtues, is much the same everywhere, given an occasional shifting of adjacent cards. Any account of sources should also explain this order. Also, it does not explain why those particular subjects were chosen, out of the myriad available in Dante's work. For that same reasons Ross's account is insufficient; again it does not explain the order, both what is constant in it among the three regions and what is variable., nor why those subjects in particular.

I realize that a retort might be that the order and choice of subjects does not need explaining: "it is what it is". Well, it seems to me that explanatory power counts for something., even where direct evidence is lacking.

My explanation for the order and choices is that at the point where a definite sequence is more or less recognizable (by its order and subjects) both rcan be found already in the sources, which have been picked precisely because, as in ordinary playing cards, they have within them a hierarchical structure. Three such structures are suggested by the resulting cards of the Ludus Triumphorum: (1) four of eight "imperadori", probably of the four ancient empires, each of which conquered the preceding; (2) the four cardinal virtues, which were seen hierarchically by both Plato and Aquinas, although they differed in where Prudence went (even if that virtue changed to something else); and (3) the six Petrarchan triumphs (even if they are somewhat revisioned, so that Time is in a different place). These add up to 14, and can be put, one source after the other, in a 4x3 Marziano-style grid, 3 cards to a row and 2 cards above the matrix each row defined by a virtue, connected to a Petrarchan horizontally. The other 8 cards, when they are added, will also contain within themselves their position in the hierarchy, as the tarot expands.

Going to other centers, there is then a move to connect virtues to Petrarchans vertically, initiated in Milan and requiring the replacement of one of the Imperadori with the Wheel of Fortune if there is to be a virtue in each row, the Lombard order, and the same number of trumps as in the other suits, 14. This is then continued in a slightly different way in Ferrara, which removes another Imperador and adds the Bagatella below the matrix, which a 4x3 matrix requires if there is to be a virtue in each row and the Ferrara order, This can easily expand to a 4x4 matrix by restoring the omitted 2 imperadori. Meanwhile the theologicals, which also contain a hierarchy among them, are added, whether originally in Milan or Florence, for 16 (without the Bagatella but with 3 Imperadori in Florence, or 2 imperadori and the Wheel in Milan's Cary-Yale).

In the final Ludus Triumphorum, Star, Moon, and Sun (in order of brightness) then replace Hope, Faith, and Charity (in order of the priority given to them by Aquinas), the Hanged Man (the 12th disciple) replaces Prudence, Devil and Tower are added before Star (in order of brightness), the Wheel and 4th Imperador are continued (except the latter in Florence) and the Bagatella and Fool are incorporated in the places indicated by their titles (the Fool as outside the hierarchy, as he is in society, and the Bagatella (now masculinized to Bagatello, Bagatino, and Bagato) as the lowest, as his earliest name, meaning "trifle", suggests). This result accounts not only for the 22 subjects but also their order, and both, what is constant in the three orders - cards added in a time when standardization among regions was deemed important - and also what is variable - at an earlier time of self-assertion of regions - through the shifting, in Milan and Ferrara, of horizontal to vertical connections in a 4x3 Marziano-style grid with a virtue in each row.

Re: From Marziano to the Cary-Yale and the Ludus Triumphorum

#26
mikeh wrote:
21 Oct 2019, 01:26
Three such structures are suggested by the resulting cards of the Ludus Triumphorum: (1) four of eight "imperadori", probably of the four ancient empires, each of which conquered the preceding; (2) the four cardinal virtues, which were seen hierarchically by both Plato and Aquinas, although they differed in where Prudence went (even if that virtue changed to something else); and (3) the six Petrarchan triumphs (even if they are somewhat revisioned, so that Time is in a different place). These add up to 14....
I suppose the virtues (why not all 7 in Christian Europe?) and Petrarch (who certainly has Christianity on the mind with Chastity and Eternity/"Angel") might have been lumped together via a creative act of a bricoleur, but I don't see how four former empires would be logically connected to the canonical virtues and Petrarch themes. Its an especially difficult idea to swallow when its clear the Holy Roman Empire, via the Emperor and Empress with Imperial eagle - and not the four ancient empires - were represented from the beginning in tarot. Logically with Milan, which was an imperial fief; less logically for Florence, but whom nonetheless courted imperial visits whenever the Emperor was in Italy. The Church and Holy Roman Empire (the allegorical "sun" and "moon" in the theo--political arguments of the time in regard to the Church's political legitimacy) were central to Europe's self-image, ergo pope and emperor. Absolutely no need for a reference to the "imperadori."
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