Astrological Influences in Renaissance Art

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I bought a book in Florence, about the artist Benozzo Gozzoli by Marco Bussagli(2000). Although written in Italian, the coloured plates were fine, and better than other books I had on the Corteo dei Maji (Procession of the Maji) in the Medici Chapel in Florence. I had used it, but never attempted to translate it until a few weeks ago.
In the back was a fresco not attributed to Benozzo Gozzoli and I wondered why.
San Lorenzo Zodiac.jpg San Lorenzo Zodiac.jpg Viewed 3902 times 8.36 KiB
It is in the old Sacristy in San Lorenzo and is a specific night sky depiction usually said to be...
. This fresco shows the night sky over Florence as it looked on 4 July 1442, marking René d’Anjou’s propitious arrival in the city. The artist probably relied on Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli’s astronomical advice.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9_of_Anjou
In fact Rene d'Anjou was in Florence- In 1442 he as forced to leave Naples and spent a short time in Florence and Northern Italy, by the end of the year had returned to Provence.
Apparently in 1999 the first computer generated copy of the Sun's transit through the night sky in the fresco was offered. The date was thought not to be 4th July 1442, but 6 July 1439 which was session 6 of the Council of Florence who declared "let the heavens and Earth Rejoice" (a thread I had opened here a little while ago.)
The Pope declared in part....
Eugenius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, for an everlasting record. With the agreement of our most dear son John Palaeologus, illustrious emperor of the Romans, of the deputies of our venerable brothers the patriarchs and of other representatives of the eastern church, to the following.
Let the heavens be glad and let the earth rejoice. For, the wall that divided the western and the eastern church has been removed, peace and harmony have returned, since the corner-stone, Christ, who made both one, has joined both sides with a very strong bond of love and peace, uniting and holding them together in a covenant of everlasting unity. After a long haze of grief and a dark and unlovely gloom of long-enduring strife, the radiance of hoped-for union has illuminated all.
Let mother church also rejoice. For she now beholds her sons hitherto in disagreement returned to unity and peace, and she who hitherto wept at their separation now gives thanks to God with inexpressible joy at their truly marvellous harmony. Let all the faithful throughout the world, and those who go by the name of Christian, be glad with mother catholic church. For behold, western and eastern fathers after a very long period of disagreement and discord, submitting themselves to the perils of sea and land and having endured labours of all kinds, came together in this holy ecumenical council, joyful and eager in their desire for this most holy union and to restore intact the ancient love. In no way have they been frustrated in their intent. After a long and very toilsome investigation, at last by the clemency of the holy Spirit they have achieved this greatly desired and most holy union. Who, then, can adequately thank God for his gracious gifts?' Who would not stand amazed at the riches of such great divine mercy? Would not even an iron breast be softened by this immensity of heavenly condescension?
Now I start to read the italian book...I discover it s about the astrological influences in the Procession of the Maji, and relationship to other artworks of the time.
It is wondered why the Chapel fresco was so important made more than 20 years after the events of 1439 which so clearly shows the influence in Florence of the Council and Eastern Princes who came...and why everyone in the fresco is getting ready for Hunting or Hunting whilst the Procession winds it's way uphill.
To be con't..
~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

Re: Astrological Influences in Renaissance Art

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Procession of maji.jpg Procession of maji.jpg Viewed 3896 times 45.33 KiB
Here is my translation (only fair) in regards to the Hunting.
However, the reference to hunting can not can not be exhausted in a simple notation of costume- is also supported by a literary text dimension, given that in the fresco by Benozzo it takes on a monumental emphasis .. It 's true that hunting was considered the activities of their sovereign (not for nothing Frederico 11 wrote the De Arte Venandi cum Avibus: Manual for Hunting with Falcon) but that is why it fell in activities protected by the planet Jupiter (and Jupiter and the Father of the Gods), a tradition largely came from documents, miniatures and woodcuts of the late medieval and fifteenth Century.
A little later in the book....
In this way the whole procession has jovial atmosphere, in both senses, to be linked to the planet Jupiter and be festive and auspicious.
Not only that, but the astrological tradition attributes to the planet Jupiter signifying that of justice prevailing (otherwise you will not understand the Hunter in the hand of Justice in monochrome in the chapel of Srovegni in Padua), the feeling of Christian religiosity and the ability to encourage the exchange of gifts between the mighty.
Then there is a discussion how that Cosimo was born under Gemini but chose another sign Taurus as the beginning of his power in Florence with the Planet Jupiter or Giove.
The 'gifts of kings "are those of you Maji, but also those favored by fortune for which Jupiter gives spiritual and material gifts. Otherwise you do not understand is why in the epigraph of words" preces Superum " and of" spiritu supernal prayers "that are of angels - not only because we found written"preces angelorum" or "preces Celestium". The linguistic ambiguity, however, still leaves room for jovial appearances that were supposed to protect the Medici not only because of what they said(angels)-but we must not forget that, for the astrological tradition of the time, testified, as well as in illustrated documents such as De Spheaera in the Biblioteca Estense of Modena, a manuscript copied by Florentine notary Peter Bartolomeo da Pescia, in 1463, when the work of the chapel commenced, for Jupiter is the protector of the bankers.
Then Bussagli goes back to Giotto and others..
Representation of music beneath Giotto's figure of Justice and the disruption of music making under Injustice in the Scrovegni Chapel have enigmatic meaning. Justice sits in a niche surrounded by classical and gothic decorations. Beneath her, three women sing and dance to the playing of a tambourine. On the opposite wall sits Injustice, an old corrupt judge on a crumbling seat, bordered by cracked medieval ramparts. Below him the once placid world is disrupted, the women beaten, and the music stopped. The program for Giotto's musical justice consists of a complex web of influences, including Peter of Abano's astrological writing about Venus and Mars and Cicero's De Officiis and De Republica. The connection between justice and music established in the frescoes is paramount to the understanding of subsequent representations of music in the Trecento, including Ambrogio Lorenzetti's Effects of Good Government in the City in the Sala della Pace in Siena and the ballads in the Decameron of Boccaccio.
I have not finished the book but will continue..
~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

Re: Astrological Influences in Renaissance Art

3
OOPS! Due to the images that Phaeded posted in this thread
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=922
I went back and read the passage about Cosimo choosing Taurus...No he chose Capricorn whose ruling planet was Saturn, to indicate his rebirth- so born under Gemini, but reborn in Florence under Capricorn.
Since he was born on June 11 1519, Cosimo I de’ Medici came under the influence of the zodiac sign of Gemini.
So how can we explain the presence in his ducal palace of so many Capricorns? The reason can be found in Cosimo’s double birth: his first biological birth took place under the sign of Gemini, while his second political birth, which happened on January 9 1537, fell under the sign of Capricorn.
It truly did seem as though he had been born twice because there was no reason to suppose that Cosimo, who was the son of the famous mercenary military captain Giovanni dalle Bande Nere and Maria Salviati and a descendent of the junior branch of the Medici family, might one day hold the reins of power over Florence. It was a murder – that of Alessandro de’ Medici, the first Duke of Florence – which took place on January 6 1537 that changed the life of the seventeen-year-old Cosimo, who, three days after this tragic event, was elected Duke of Florence.
He was voted in by the Senate of the Forty-Eight, a number which – as Giorgio Vasari recalls in his Ragionamenti – coincided with the forty-eight constellations in the sky, all of which concurred with the election of the Duke, who from that moment became Cosimo I and led a totally new life under the sign of Capricorn
Next why the sign of Turtle with a sail? This was Cosimo's particular Impress.
~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

Re: Astrological Influences in Renaissance Art

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Well I looked into 'The Turtle and the Sail' and found it was related to Cosimo Medici and the City of Siena.The 'festina Lente' motto meaning 'make Haste Slowly' was something to do with an astrological advice given to Cosimo Medici and the she-wolf of Siena. Be quiet and obedient Siena- which made me think of a Christian depiction of 'Be quiet and obedient'. The best way to depict this idea would be a consecrated Nun from the area.
Maybe a Franciscan Nun who had taken the extra vow of silence?
So I have ordered this book, and until I read it I have little to say further on this thread.
http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php? ... 0674066632

~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts
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