Re: The 14 + 8 theory

81
Nathaniel wrote: 06 Jun 2022, 11:02 But there is also another point which I think confirms this ranking of the Visconti Sforza Judgment and World cards beyond doubt, and it greatly surprises me that no one seems to have ever pointed it out before: The Judgment card has God on it.
Hello Nathaniel. Now it is my turn to react very slowly. The last weeks I was extremely occupied in my job, so no time for Tarot forums. You are wrong that nobody ever pointed out that God is on the Judgement card. Please read what I wrote some eight years ago on my website and how I find that God illustrated on this card supports the 14 trump theory with the higher cards added later: https://tarotwheel.net/structure/the%20 ... riant.html
If you want to understand my thoughts better, you will have to read all pages about the development of the Tarotwheel. And why not, have a look afterwards how this structure was conserved and completely changed at the same time in the Tarot of Marseille.

Re: The 14 + 8 theory

82
Iolon wrote: 09 Jun 2022, 00:47
Nathaniel wrote: 06 Jun 2022, 11:02 But there is also another point which I think confirms this ranking of the Visconti Sforza Judgment and World cards beyond doubt, and it greatly surprises me that no one seems to have ever pointed it out before: The Judgment card has God on it.
Hello Nathaniel. Now it is my turn to react very slowly. The last weeks I was extremely occupied in my job, so no time for Tarot forums. You are wrong that nobody ever pointed out that God is on the Judgement card. Please read what I wrote some eight years ago on my website and how I find that God illustrated on this card supports the 14 trump theory with the higher cards added later: https://tarotwheel.net/structure/the%20 ... riant.html
If you want to understand my thoughts better, you will have to read all pages about the development of the Tarotwheel. And why not, have a look afterwards how this structure was conserved and completely changed at the same time in the Tarot of Marseille.
This identification has been in the basic literature since the 1960s. The earliest I know to explicitly name the figure God was Gertrude Moakley, in 1966.

Gertrude Moakley, The Tarot Cards Painted by Bonifacio Bembo for the Visconti-Sforza Family (New York Public Library, 1966), p. 110:
“Here is the central figure in the triumph of Eternity. It is the Judgment Day; God appears in the clouds of Heaven, heralded by trumpeting angels.”
Image


A couple of other examples:

Ronald Decker, “Two Tarot Studies Related. Part III” (Journal of the Playing Card Society, vol. 4 no. 1 (August 1975), p. 51:
“In the Colleoni deck, Bembo painted two cards for every Day Ruler:
(…)
“giovedi – Pope and Judgment (with God the Father, or Jove)”
(this is referring to one of Decker's theories about how the 14 original trumps were conceived, in this case two for each day of the week)
Image


Michael Dummett, The Visconti-Tarot Cards (George Braziller, 1986), p. 136:
“In the Visconti di Modrone pack, two angels summon the dead, four of whom are seen rising from their graves. An inscription at the top of the card reads Surgite ad judicium (rise for judgement). Here, there is no inscription, but, instead, a figure of God the Father; only three of those being resurrected are seen.”
Image

Re: The 14 + 8 theory

83
Ross Caldwell wrote: 09 Jun 2022, 07:57 This identification has been in the basic literature since the 1960s. The earliest I know to explicitly name the figure God was Gertrude Moakley, in 1966.

Gertrude Moakley, The Tarot Cards Painted by Bonifacio Bembo for the Visconti-Sforza Family (New York Public Library, 1966), p. 110:
Thanks for all this information. I knew about some of the references you are giving, but not all of them, so thanks a lot. But this was not my main point. I wanted Nathaniel to read my article, Because like you, he does not believe in a Trionfi deck with a 14 trump cards structure. For me, the fact that in the Visconti Sforza deck Judgement is the highest card, and that the Sun and the World were painted as a pair of cards, are very strong arguments that these cards were added later. If not, the figure of God would not have appeared on the Judgement card, and the World would have been the highest Trump. I know you don't agree with this, but this anomaly of the Visconti-Sforza deck, is for me one of the strongest arguments that the 14 trump card structure of the Trionfi decks was a reality in the middle of the 15th Century. Nobility is not the best place for revolutions, so for me the evolution of the Trionfi deck, that started around 1420/1425 with the 16 trumps of the Michellino deck, evolving between 1430 en 1440 in Ferrara to 14 trumps (in Milan this happened probably some 10 years later) to finaly stabilize somewhere between 1460 and 1470, again in Ferrara, in a 22 trump cards structure, is very natural. Also here Milan followed later and as a consequence, in my opinion, the earlier not existing trump cards in the Visconti-Sforza deck were added after 1473, the year that the Este deck was created at the occasion of the marriage of Duke Ercole I.

Re: The 14 + 8 theory

84
On the question of Franco de' Russi and the PMB, Ross (personal communication) reminds me to search this forum for previous posts. The search function brings up eleven posts, before the present thread, the majority by me. Except for the one in February of this year, I had completely forgotten about them. They were mostly in 2010. I have highlighted the two most informative ones in bold.

They start on Feb. 18, 2010, with a brief mention that Hind considered him the possible artist of the "Mantegna" Tarocchi in his book on Italian engravings, along with several other miniaturists.
viewtopic.php?p=6133#p6133.

On Feb. 20, I posted a miniature in the Borso Bible that J. J. G. Alexander said was probably by Crivelli, although I thought a collaborator such as de' Russi was possible, too.
viewtopic.php?p=6144#p6144

On Feb. 21 I posted a miniature attributed to de' Russi, again in connection with the Mantegna.
viewtopic.php?p=6149#p6149. I thought it was similar to the previous one.

On March 1, 2010, I posted a large number of putti by various artists (several with cliffs), including de' Russi of the period 1465-1470, when he was said to have been in Padua. De' Russi's putti in that post are strikingly odd, even compared to his own that I previously posted.
viewtopic.php?p=6201#p6201
On March 21 on the same page I posted more putti, these by Rosselli in Florence.

In another March 21 post I noted a precipice by de' Russi, c. 1455, as well as precipices in a great many other artists of the second half of the 15th century.
viewtopic.php?p=6314#p6314

On March 31 I finally got to the PMB, noting Ulrike Bauer-Eberhardt's article comparing a putto in de' Russo with one in the PMB World. This 1997 article is cited in the Issy exhibition catalog and is probably the first to associate de' Russo with the PMB 6 cards. At the time, I had been looking at a great many putti of that place and time and while the similarity was undeniable, it also was like others I had seen. But I didn't do a close comparison with others' putti.
viewtopic.php?p=6422#p6422

On 20 April I revisited de' Russi, comparing the woman's face in an Adam and Eve illumination by de' Russi mentioned by Bauer-Eberhardt with those of the PMB cards, and found the similarity impressive.
"In fact I know of no others so similar," I find myself having said. At that time, I hadn't even seen his more similar sad-faced Madonnas. For the faces, I also referred to a similarity, albeit not as great, with the Lombard artist Bernardo Butononi, from work of around 1485, said to have earlier been a collaborator with the Bembo. I have a nice post comparing the faces in Bembo and Butonomi with those of the PMB six at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=365&start=60#p4912 (posted Nov. 9, 2009). I wonder if there is more of Butonomi's work on the web now than in 2010. Butonomi also collaborated with Bernardo Zenale, so he is another possibility. Butonomi did an altarpiece in the Palazzo Borromeo (of which I found a picture in an old book) and in Treviglio Cathedral, both not far from our cards.


On June 15, 2010, and again in Sept., mmfelesi cites a post by Huck on Aeclectic to the effect that de' Russi has been mentioned as a possible artist of the Sola-Busca. Huck posted it himself in 2014. The citation was originally at https://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.p ... fonso+1491. I would observe that given that the Brera currently attributes the Sola-Busca designs to a painter in Ancona, it would seem that de' Russi's presence in Urbino would not be an objection to his doing playing cards destined for elsewhere from there. That de' Russi has no known work later than 1482 is more of a problem when it comes to the Sola-Busca, which is thought to have been done closer to 1490.

Finally, in 2013 I noted, as part of a long list of Petrarch manuscripts in Petrarch Manuscripts in the British Isles, by Nicholas Webb, 1975, that one was thought to have been illuminated by de' Russi:
138. ca 1462-75, for a cardinal, possibly Francesco Gonzaga. Script attributed to Sanvito, illumination by Franco Russi and one other artist. Executed Venice or Padua.

At the time I was only interested in manuscripts that might have been done before 1440, so I did not note where that particular manuscript was held.
viewtopic.php?p=13602#p13602


Pursuing it further, I see that Simona Cohen in an article on Academia, https://www.academia.edu/28383210/An_Al ... ous_Patron, describes it in footnote 12, p. 198:
An important stylistic prototype is the Petrarch, Canzoniere e Trionfi, London, Victoria and Albert Museum, L. 101–1947, which contains brightly colored stained grounds on vellum, monochrome drawings and highlights in gold and silver. The script is attributed to Bartolomeo Sanvito, executed in Venice or Padua ca. 1464, and the illuminations are assigned to Franco de’ Russi and an anonymous artist, who painted the three architectural fronticepieces; see Alexander (as note 9), cat. no. 71, 152 –54. The Petrarch in Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, MS.611, alsowritten by Sanvito, contains copies of the Victoriaand Albert miniatures by a different hand. ...
And note 13:
The Trionfo dell’Amore from the Victoria and Albert Petrarch is reproduced and discussed in several publications, including Alexander(as note 9), 152–54.
The reference is to Jonathan J. G. Alexander (ed.), The Painted Page, Italian Renaissance Book Illumination 1440 – 1550, London 1994. I don't think I scanned it from the book when I had it from the library.It is also in another book by him, in Google books, but not the page with the illustration itself, p. 138 of Medieval Illuminators and their methods of work.

In the Appendix to her 2014 book, I see that Cohen gives these illuminations to 1465-1470, Padua:
viewtopic.php?p=20492#p20492

There is also a technical analysis of one of the illuminations (apparently one not by de' Russi) as well as a de' Russi sad-faced Madonna at https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.0914797107.

I should add that since posting links to more of de' Russi's work at viewtopic.php?p=24955#p24955, I have been looking at many sad-faced Madonnas from that time and region. The Accademia Carrara in Bergamo has quite a few online at their site. Unfortunately search engines are not much help; one has to go museum by museum, sifting through pages of irrelevant images. These are paintings rather than miniatures. So far, I find de' Russi's sad Madonnas much closer to those of the cards than anyone else's.

I would also note that for one crucial period, 1471-1473, there seems to be no information on where de' Russi was, specifically. And it is not clear yet whether he was in Padua or Venice in 1465-1470, not that it makes much difference, since they are so closer to each other. The years 1472 and 1473 are particularly important for my hypothesis that they were commemorative cards: Elisabetta Maria Sforza died Sept. 1, 1472, age 16, with a massive memorial service shortly after.

Re: The 14 + 8 theory

85
Ross Caldwell wrote: 09 Jun 2022, 07:57
Iolon wrote: 09 Jun 2022, 00:47
Nathaniel wrote: 06 Jun 2022, 11:02 But there is also another point which I think confirms this ranking of the Visconti Sforza Judgment and World cards beyond doubt, and it greatly surprises me that no one seems to have ever pointed it out before: The Judgment card has God on it.
Hello Nathaniel. Now it is my turn to react very slowly. The last weeks I was extremely occupied in my job, so no time for Tarot forums. You are wrong that nobody ever pointed out that God is on the Judgement card.
[...]
This identification has been in the basic literature since the 1960s. The earliest I know to explicitly name the figure God was Gertrude Moakley, in 1966.
I would have thought it was obvious from my post that I did not literally mean that no one has ever pointed out that God is on the card. It's obvious that God is on the card; it hardly needs pointing out. Clearly I meant that no one had yet pointed out the implication of this, i.e. that God's presence on the card means it must have been the highest ranking. And I was rightly corrected by Iolon, who had indeed pointed this out before. I don't agree with the rest of Iolon's reasoning, but Iolon did at least notice this.

Re: The 14 + 8 theory

87
Huck wrote: 14 Jun 2022, 17:11 Following the 5x14 theory, which has nothing to do with the 14+8 theory of Nathaniel, there was no World card in the 14 cards of the first painter of the PMB and naturally no reason to discuss, if Judgment or World was meant to be the highest trump.
When following the 5x14 theory (as I do) the question has evidently no sense which card was the highest, the question is why the World card became the highest trump in the new 22 trump sequence? This change did not happen in the PMB deck where it was impossible to make a higher trump card than the existing Judgement card illustration God himself, but this question does consider the Charles VI deck where we see the virtue Prudence on the World card.

Re: The 14 + 8 theory

88
Iolon: It seems to me that a switch from Angel high to World high in Lombardy and Ferrara is not hard to explain given Nathaniel's idea that there came to be two cards for Petrarch's Triumph of Eternity. If so, it can go either way, with the same things on the cards. It either represents the world as New Jerusalem, or our world guided by Eternity, depending on whether it is last or not. Neither idea is clear in the card per se; it takes its placement in the sequence to do that.

In the Charles VI world card, even if she is Prudence, that virtue can be seen as merely leading the faithful on the right path, not as a figure welcoming the soul into Paradise. She precisely fits the description of the guide in Boccaccio's Amorosa Visione I.36-42 (Hollander trans.): "...her blonde head / adorned by a crown more splendid / and fair than the sun / her comely / clothing seemed to me to be of violet hue. / Smiling, she had in her right hand / a royal sceptre, enclosed in her left / she held up a beautiful golden apple." And that is at the beginning of the book, when the protagonist is finding worldly triumphs more attractive than what she offers. If the Charles VI is Florentine, the Angel was probably high. Yet it may have inspired the d'Este World card, where the markings look like 21 (viewtopic.php?p=9317#p9317. There is nothing intrinsically "last" about either card, as long as all we see are allegorical figures and angels.

In the C region, it helps if someone puts the New Jerusalem on the card, of course. And later, Jesus in a vessica piscis.

People may also have interpreted the World card, when it was last, as good fortune in this world, which after all is more immediate than the next, and gives one more opportunity to do good. If the game is our choices in this world, and the score our fate in the next, the B and C World cards are good in both respects, the most powerful card and with high points.

It might help to look at the appropriati verses associated with this card in the A region versus B and C. Croce in 1602 Bologna says of the World card, which in his day was second highest, but looked much the same as it did in the Beaux Arts-Rothschild sheets (translation by Andrea and me):
. . . the world produces to us / every substance, such that from it derives / An immense goodness, which every soul vivifies

(. . . il mondo a noi produce / Ogni sostanza, tal da lei deriva / Un’immensa bontà, ch’ogn’ alma avviva.”) (https://bub.unibo.it/it/bub-digitale/gi ... d=17_X_026)
That is this world, not the next.

Here is another, also Bolognese (translation by Andrea and me):
Angel (Angelo)___Contessa Ippolita Borgonzi Segri di Parma,
because very beautiful (perché bellissima)
World (Mondo)___Contessa Paola Fontana Salvioli,
because little, and of extraordinarily deformed seriousness (perché piccola, e di straordinaria deforme gravezza)
And (the same):
Angelo___Donduzzi____This is no trick (Non est dolus)
Mondo____Riccardi____Microcosm (Microcosmus)
In B we have (the same)
The World. (Il Mondo). – La S. Violante Trotta.
She will support [as walls do a roof] everything by her wisdom.
(Il tutto reggerà per sua sapienza.)

Justice (La Justicia). - La S. Ludovica Gigliolla
Justly she holds the scales, and heaven remembers.
(Giuste tien le bilance e 'l ciel rimira.)

The Angel (L’Agnolo) – La S. Diana Trotta.
For her beauty this one is made divine.
(Questa per sua beltà fatta è divina.)
Both the Angel and the World are associated with eternity (wisdom being eternal).

Folengo (translation by Ann Mullaney):
This woman has always used her Strength
Temperately, so that she makes a Joke
Of the World and of the Fate [i.e., Fortune] of the Stars too.

(Costei Tempratamente sua Fortezza / Usato ha sempre, tal che ‘l Mondo e ‘nsieme / La Sorte de le Stelle a Scherzo mena.)
Even though it is this world, she is focused on what is above it and not the world itself.

In C, to the ladies of Pavia (trans. Andrea and me):
To the consort of Signor Gentile beccaria. / The World / My mind is a world of every strange thought, / So it will be that many will tell me I’m proud, / Having for those who love me no thought.
To countess Paola becaria. / The Angel / The kindness that in your beautiful face shines / makes you look like a cherub sent /To the blind world from the eternal Leader.

(Il Mondo. Alla consorte del Sig. Gentile beccaria. / Mond' è mia mente d'ogni stran pensiero / Onde sia molti me diran superba / Non havend' a chi m'ama alchun pensiero.
L' Angelo. Alla contessa Paola becaria. / L'aria gentil che nel bel viso luce / vi fa parer un cherubin mandato / Nel mondo cieco da l'eterno Duce.)
Here it might seem that the World has nothing to do with Eternity. But Heaven is for us in the mind, and so are all the eternals, including Wisdom. Transience is outside the mind. So a world in the mind, made up of thoughts, is akin to the eternal, at least enough for a poem.

It remained awkward. So B died out, and C put Jesus on the card, surrounded by the evangelists. And in the end we don't know why it was one way in A and the other way in B and C, or if it was always that way. Maybe it matters, maybe it doesn't. The only way I can think of that it matters has to do with explaining the Piedmont placement: if it had been Angel high in Lombardy early on, that would explain how it became Angel high in Piedmont. But what can we deduce about Lombardy from a deck made for Venice? Added next day: well, if the PMB Angel card is a copy of the Lombard version, then perhaps it was last there, too. I don't know how strong that argument is, however.

Between Nathaniel and Huck (I am not sure about Iolon), I don't see why both of them can't be defending "the" 5x14 theory. 5x14 has more going for it than the PMB; if so, the PMB may be part of Huck's 5x14, but there can be other 5x14 theories where it doesn't matter, and part of our job, if we are serious about 5x14, is to set them alongside one another to see which has the most going for it, apart from being the one we like.

Some evidence for a 5x14 structure is from the B region, which includes Venice. The PMB might well have had only 14, because Venice is in that region (and the added cards from a different deck). Whether those particular 14 - the surviving 14 of the PMB - are the same as 14 at other times and places is another issue. In particular, if the 14 represent a virtueless version, as Huck maintains (it's not Justice, it's Fame for Justice), surely there were trionfi packs before then that did have virtue cards.

In fact the Bembo workshop might well, at near the time of the PMB, also have had versions with virtue cards, now lost, and with more trumps overall, destined elsewhere. The Bembo workshop surely made hand-painted decks for other customers, if the 1450 request by Malatesta specifically for ""quelle carte de Triumphi che se fanno a Cremona" is any indication. As Dummett argued in 2006, something that has not been quoted for a while (https://www.jstor.org/stable/20067158):
From a letter of 1451 from Bianca Maria Visconti to her husband Francesco Sforza, asking him to send to Sigismondo Malatesta, lord of Rimini, a pack of Tarot cards of the kind made in Cremona, which he had asked for the previous autumn, we may infer that Cremona was especially renowned for hand-painted playing cards of this kind.39
________________
39. Gregory 1940 [Winifred Terni de Gregory, Bianca Maria Visconti, duchessa di Milano, Bergamo, 1940], p. 157, quotes this letter, asking the Duke to send to Sigismondo Malatesta a pack of "carte da trionfi de quelle fasse a Cremona", together with a straw hat, another speciality for which Cremona was famous. She quotes it again in Gregory 1958 [Winifred Terni de Gregory, Pittura artigiana lombarda del Rinascimento, Milan, 1958], p. 32, where the phrase is given slightly differently as "quelle carte da trionfi che se ne fanno a Cremona".
Moreover, some of these other decks, such as the one made for Malatesta, would not likely have had Venetian heraldics on them, even if they did have the "ducal" ones that Malatesta expected.

The authorship and purpose of the 6 cards in an obviously different style (as opposed to subtle differences suggesting different hands in the same workshop for others) remain an issue, and there is surely more to be said, including more about de' Russi.

Added next day (2nd of 2 additions): What does create a problem is if the 14 surviving trumps of the PMB are construed as somehow the original or standard 14, or close to it (e.g. instead of Fortitude as the one cardinal virtue, it was Justice). That presents a problem for anybody who supposes that more than one virtue was part of the ur-tarot. My view is that if the PMB 14 were complete, the 14 triumph game using these cards would have been a variation on an earlier one of 14 - or more likely, several, with slightly different cards at different places or times - perhaps a fad of the 1450s, and perhaps just in the B region, and that games with other cards, and/or more of them, including all 3 of the usual virtues and the World, were also played then, even in Ferrara. Or perhaps that 14 have survived is just coincidence. But I am open to other views.

Re: The 14 + 8 theory

89
mikeh wrote: 15 Jun 2022, 12:30 Between Nathaniel and Huck (I am not sure about Iolon),
Iolon is waiting for the Tarocchi Virtual Study Day on the 21st of June, hoping to get some scientific answers on a lot of unanswered questions. Some theories might be reinforced and ohers might fade away. Whatever we will find out that day, it can only help our understanding of what really happened in the Italian Quattrocento
Just one question, did the Morgan choose the summer solstice, an old Pagan celebration day, on purpose for this Tarocchi virtual study day ?