Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: 06 Sep 2018, 10:03
Phaeded wrote: 06 Sep 2018, 00:07
I continue to hesitate on any Florentine deck's dating, outside of the period during the papal-backed Pazzi conspiracy, that would include a Death trump featuring the slain pope and curial members, while the pope was in Florence
(by which criteria, 1440 would be ruled out as well as later papal visits to Florence such as in 1459).
I don't get stuck on those kinds of assumptions. Death came to popes as well, they planned out their monuments. Most triumphs of death showed all of society, from popes and emperors to the lowest commoners, as the point of their message about death equalizing all. I can't imagine any pope took such generic imagery personally.....So, besides the fact the game was not intended for the clerical class, let alone the highest levels, the idea that depicting a dead pope might cause offence to a resident pope in the city doesn't even occur to me.
A minor counterpoint , but Pratesi has already connected a provincial member of the clerical class to card-playing at an early date (http://trionfi.com/evx-arezzo-playing-cards
). More importantly, the humanist members of the curia, including those who would even go on to become pope (such as Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, who penned the bawdy Historia de duobus amantibus
in 1444), were not necessarily adverse to a novel and fashionable (i.e., expensive hand-painted decks) means of passing the time, especially as they easily mixed with the humanists in Florence when in residence there. Ignorance of tarot, intended for clerics or not (but note the tondo – ace of coins? - of the cardinal on the Rosenthal “Colleoni deck”), and the well-traveled papal court of the middle half of the 15th century seems unlikely in the extreme.
The people who invented it didn't have any qualms about putting a pope in a card game - two in the original form, in my view, along with two emperors - and in the Charles VI at least, showed him anachronistically with a single tiara crown. The Death card shows the same tiara. The "Eastern Pope", the Patriarch of Constantiople Joseph II, had actually died suddenly in the city, during the Council. But in general, it was the very presence of a pope, in so degrading a thing as a card game, that gave moralists offence.
It seems to me that your preference for a possible 1439 Florentine date, as tied to the Church Council, is precisely because of this Patriarch (or rather firsthand knowledge of an "Eastern Pope", by the presence of this Patriarch) and that the Tarocchino Bolognese
deck's "Papi" reflects the Florentine ur-order/trumps, ergo the proof (which puts the burden of proof of a "Popess" on Milan, something I'm actually in agreement with).
However, please consider this historical rationale for pushing the Bolognese "Papi" tradition back to the time when Cardinal Bessarion was the papal legate there:
(James Hankins, Plato in the Italian Renaissance, 1, 1990: 247)
Hence one civic ruler or “Emperor” (with an Empress of course - Giovanni II Bentivoglio, tyrant of Bologna from 1463 until 1506, married his cousin and previous ruler Sante's widow, Ginerva Sforza in 1464, thus she was a "two time empress", reigning from 1454 through 1507); but what of two popes, which you link to the Roman and Orthodox Churches? The somewhat spurious Union (repudiated by its Greek signatories) was of course an immediate failure back in Constantinople, so unless the ur-Tarot was based on the Union, the Council is unlikely to have been the reason for tarot's creation. But was there a later reason in Bologna to entertain the idea of two popes due to its own local history, with no recourse to the Council of Florence?
The above quote from Hankins by itself is not satisfactory, but the full career of Bessarion must be taken into account. For the converted Cardinal Bessarion was not only Nicholas V’s papal legate sent to govern Bologna from 1450-1455, but was subsequently elevated to being the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople
in 1463, a title he kept until his death in 1472 (and in a sense he was the Byzantine “pope” since Constantinople had fallen to the Turks). Surely Bologna would have looked on Bessarion’s subsequent success with civic pride given his fairly long five year office in their city. Given the 1464 wedding date of Giovanni II Bentivoglio/Ginerva Sforza, preceded by Bessarion's elevation the year before to the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople, we have a year that leaps out at us - 1464 - for cause of special celebration and the creation of something like Tarocchino Bolognese
(and note the papal action in the year of the wedding in 1464, when Giovanni II Bentivoglio obtained from Pope Paul II - with special pleading through Bessarion?- the privilege to be considered perpetual head of the city's Senate; again, figurative "Emperor".).
It should also be noted that there was an Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, in
"Constantinople"/Istanbul, but that position couldn’t help but regarded with suspicion as the position was appointed by Mehmed II in 1454 as a means of controlling the city and environs after he conquered it in 1453 (the calls for crusades to retake the city were unending in the West and a puppet Orthodox leader, Gennadios II Scholarios in this case, was simply an annoyance, thus the more important role in the West of an “Orthodox Pope” in the office of Latin Patriarch of Constantinople, that was pro-crusade). Thus there is no need to explain the Bolognese "Papi" by way of the Council of Florence (and a supposed ur-tarot connection to it).
I'd like to address your take on the San Giovanni procession's influence on trionfi in your other 1457/Sforza/trionfo post (still working on my long-winded reply).