Appearance on 2 Sforza Tarocchi cards
The cards appeared ..
a. Kaplan Encyclopedia I. p. 99, Rosenthal Visconti-Sforza cards
b. Kaplan Encyclopedia I, p. 104, Victoria and Albert Museum Visconti Sforza Tarocchi cards
The cards are very similar, but have small differences. The Rosenthal card has a not identified inscription, which the Victoria Albert version hasn't.
http://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.php? ... stcount=54
at thread http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.ph ... 552&page=6
Further pictures in the same article ...http://www.bidiso.es/slp/necspenecmetu.pdf
In this Spanish article (about "nec spe, nec metu") the author lists impresa used by Isabella d'Este.
He also points to the use of the motto by others ... after Isabella d'Este.
The fame of the motto (and of Isabella Este) developed with her diplomatic role during the war of the League of Cambray starting 1508, in the beginning mainly against the republic of Venice, and in the end against France. It has a lot to do with the international negotiations in Mantova, and a time, in which her husband had been prisoner in Venice and Isabella managed the court in Mantova alone.
From this role developed the condition, that Isabella had a leading hand in the organization of the festivities for Massimiliano Sforza in December 1512 ... an so for this card deck also.
She did chose to present herself at the ace of cups (cups = love). The words spe (from Spes = Hope) and metu (= Fear) remember the composition of 4 Stoic passions, which were used by Matteo Maria Boiardo as suit signs in his Tarocchi poem with Love-Hope-Jealousy-Fear. so the position at the Love-Ace (= cups-Ace) has some internal logic.
FEAR then was given with the word TIMORE and not with METU; likely this poem was arranged in January 1487 for Lucrezia d'Este's wedding. Lucrezia had been the elder half-sister of Isabella d'Este.
The poem stands in a row with other literature produced in Ferrara since 1487, in which women are presented as superior to men. As another early work of this genre is given the work of Bartolomeo Goggio 1490 in Ferrara for Eleanore d'Aragon (Isabella's mother) ...
http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2 ... 3574333917
As far I get it, the motto was commented "around 1505" by poet Mario Equicola ...
... who didn't invent the motto, but reacted on the already given use of Isabella d'Este.
Isabella d'Este might have taken it a little bit earlier than 1505. Perhaps it was developed in the preparation on the expected death of Isabella's father Ercole d'Este, which naturally would cause a lot of changes inside the Este family. He died really in January 1505. The following start of the rule of Alfonso d'Este developed in short time to serious attacks, rebellion, murder and lifelong prison ... inside the family. The sleeping tensions likely were already obvious in 1504. The choice of the stoic motto might have reflected these tensions ... and even if it had been stated only in regard of a possible too close relationship between Lucrezia Borgia and Isabella's husband.
But the more relevant conflicts were the conflicts of the brothers and the outside attempts to stimulate these conflicts (by Pope Julius, already in 1504).
Francesco Gonzaga became Venetian prisoner in July 1509. In July 1510 he was released, so long before the deciding actions in 1512, after Venice had turned to an alliance with pope Julius in early 1510.
Francesco got then a leading military commission from the Chiesa against France and Ferrara, as a result of the diplomatic activities of his wife.
The deciding point for playing card research and the dating of the deck is the detail, if the motto "nec spe, nec metu" was used by somebody else before 1505. All what I got to the point, is, that the motto wasn't known. It isn't excluded, that it existed before. But it got a lot of attention from different sides, and these researches seem to have gotten nothing better than a start with Isabella d'Este.
The concrete political conditions of the time are surely interesting, inclusive the personal feelings of Isabella d'Este, but not necessary for the dating.
The second interesting point is, if there was another political situation, in which somebody might have developed an interest to make a new Visconti-Sforza deck after 1500 and before 1512 ... I don't see a reason.
Stemma of the location Feltre
Vittorino da Feltre ...
... had been a famous teacher in Mantova, especially he was the teacher of Gonzaga children.
Possibly Isabella's motto was adapted by the city location.
In 1509 the city Feltre was completely destroyed by Maximilian in the war against Venice, so the city was involved in the special situation of 1512.
Impresa in Mantova
http://www.stewardmantova.it/index.php/ ... ei-gonzaga
Château de Breteuil (35 km to Paris)
http://michel.lalos.free.fr/cadrans_sol ... teuil.html
The location has a relation to Charles Perrault.
Caravaggio is said to have followed this motto. I don't know any episode to this statement, his biographical data shows risky situations.
He was jailed on several occasions, vandalized his own apartment, and ultimately had a death sentence pronounced against him by the Pope after killing a young man, possibly unintentionally, on May 29, 1606.
An early published notice on him, dating from 1604 and describing his lifestyle three years previously, recounts that "after a fortnight's work he will swagger about for a month or two with a sword at his side and a servant following him, from one ball-court to the next, ever ready to engage in a fight or an argument, so that it is most awkward to get along with him." In 1606 he killed a young man in a brawl and fled from Rome with a price on his head. He was involved in a brawl in Malta in 1608, and another in Naples in 1609, possibly a deliberate attempt on his life by unidentified enemies. This encounter left him severely injured. A year later, at the age of 38, he died under mysterious circumstances in Porto Ercole in Tuscany, reportedly from a fever while on his way to Rome to receive a pardon.
Famous while he lived, Caravaggio was forgotten almost immediately after his death, and it was only in the 20th century that his importance to the development of Western art was rediscovered.
He had interesting topics in 1594, when he had left his earlier master:
Fortune teller I (1594)
Fortune-teller II (1595)
The Cabinet of Eros: Renaissance Mythological Painting and the Studiolo of Isabella D'Este
Stephen John Campbell
Yale University Press, 2004 - 402 Seiten
https://books.google.de/books?id=z_GBq3 ... ng&f=false
The figure "Decima Musa" is brought together with Sappho and Isabella and the motto "nec spe nec metu".
Lorenzo Costa (1504-06): "Coronation of a Lady" or "Amor crowns Isabella d'Este]"