In a recent article on the Catania (aka Alessandro Sforza) "Temperance" card ('The Stag Rider from the so-called "Tarot of Alessandro Sforza" at the Museo Civico di Castllo Ursino of Catania", The Playing Card
42:3, Apr-Jun 2014, pp. 231-236) Emilia Maggia connects a "Venus and Cupid" illumination by Apollonio da Giovanni--not himself especially, but just the style--to the card, as part of her argument that the person portrayed is perhaps male rather than female.
Given the recent discussion of the CVI, I thought I'd resurrect the 'stag-rider' temperance trump from the related 'AS' deck, given that I'm proposing the 'AS' was given to Costanzo in 1475 at the time of his wedding, thus the relevance of the festival book, fully scanned here: http://digi.vatlib.it/view/MSS_Urb.lat.899
Given that premise, here is the festival book's depiction of 'Licaste' (Lycaste), a nymph follower of Artemis/Diana, as known in Claudian, De consulatu Stilichonis
, 3. 252; 276; 292.
Clearly we have a female with chastity's attributes - the branch held by Chastity off to the left and then Diana's symbols of a crescent moon on the deer, and a bow and arrow with the nymph. The deer is not just Diana's domain of the woods but a reference to Actaeon, the man who views Diana in her bath and is transformed into a stag and torn to bits by his own hounds, as seen on numerous deschi da parto
(shown along with the 'AS' temperance below).
What then are we to make of the invention of the male pouring a liquid on to his own genitals on the back of a stag? Per the deschi da parto
shown above, the encounter with Diana is with her and her nymphs - which would include 'Licaste' - in their bath; the goblet must be a reference to that. In accord with Maggia's observation that the stag-rider is male, instead of the leering gaze at Diana we have a self-referential pouring of the 'bath' onto oneself, as if extinguishing the flames of Cupid (in the trionfo
tradition Cupid is always shown on a sphere of flames). The temperance must be to Costanzo, tempering himself until his bride gives herself to him (and thus an implicit reference to her own chastity). The festival float of 'Licaste' is immediately followed by 'Romulus' which must be a reference to Costanzo (also in full armor in the last float of Fama
), mythologically tied to Rome's founder due to his Holy Roman imperial fief of Pesaro:
Following 'Licaste' and 'Romulus' is 'Arethusa' - another chaste nymph attendant of Artemis, turned into a fresh water stream on Sicily. Significance? Italy, even Florence, was dependent on importing wheat from Aragonese-controlled Sicily, and that is what we see on the island before Arethusa - a wheat covered island on which she rests a cornucopia. Camilla's patrimony - her dowry seen in its must inclusive aspect - includes that wheat. Arethusda herself has a Sforza-type fountain on her head (not dissimilar from the bath Diana and nymphs are shown in the deschi da parto
above), tilted like the goblet on the Temprance stag, and flowing downwards: free-flowing Abundance, obviously what will result from the union of the two chaste/virtuous individuals of Camilla and Costanco.
Taking all three floats together, we thus have the Camilla Marzano d'Aragona/'Licaste' marrying Costanzo/Romulus with the literal fruits of their marriage being Arethusa/abundance (the wheat and flowing waters associated with Arethusa's float).
Finally, the second to last float before the Fama
of Costanzo, is Cupid; it's alright to introduce him at this late juncture after the chastity/virtue of Camilla and Costanzo has already been shown, and they will be lawfully married after all. The resulting union will augment Costanzo's fame.
PS some additional images - Temperance could be shown with a vessel of water:
Detail of 'AS' Temprance showing erect phallus, and equally almost illegible, the outline of the inverted hexagonal goblet's lip toward the upper frame of the image (blends in with the tooled scrollwork background):