Re: Dating the Visconti-Sforza deck

11
Iolon wrote: 21 May 2022, 08:32 The red and silver arms on some of the Visonti-Sforza cards are the wapon of the commune of Florence. I stated in another discussion that the Visconti-Sforza cards were possibly made in 1454 at the occasion of the peace of Lodi, and that the wapon of Florence was added to the cards in honor to Cosimo de Medici, who had a very positive influence of these peace talks. However, this is not the point in this discussion, the discussion is about dating the pip cards of the Visconti-Sforza deck. I added a page to my website that better explains my point of view:
https://tarotwheel.net/history/tarot%20 ... -deck.html
Your argumentation to this point sounds good. But I personally never studied the details in this question.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Dating the Visconti-Sforza deck

12
That new resolution is fairly shocking (much different looking than in Dummett's booklet) - am I the only one seeing a person sitting(?) on a two-stepped platform? A saint?

Image
Image
Compare the Lion of St. Mark on the shield of King of Swords (halo'd with paws on book):

Image
A Grossone (coin) of Doge Foscari who signed the Peace of Lodi with Sforza - note the bust of St. Mark that would fit the half-image above, like a bust reliquary on a base?:

Image
[not shown]Obverse: Doge standing left. Lettering: FRANCISCVS • FOSCARI • DVX
Reverse: St. Marcus bust. Lettering: ✠ • SANCTVS • MARCVS • VENETI •

Foscari's stemma is not a good match, but close - perhaps he allowed the religious order (the Augustinian friar Simone da Camerino was the go between) that helped arrange the peace to use a variation of his arms? The Peace of Lodi was commemorated in the order's monastery on San Cristofor della Pace (since destroyed and that island combined with another island) that Foscari gave them in the 1430s. Foscari's arms:
Image
Its almost like the Fosacri arms were botched by a Milanese artist - the horizontal line (drawn twice by mistake?) that the saint's bust sits on may have been meant to go all the way across the shield (perhaps an unusual device for Milan?), and instead of the proper image of St. Mark's animal - the lion - the bust of Saint Mark was used instead and on the wrong side (coins travel easily - but there is no reason for Foscari's stemma to be visible anywhere in Milan/Cremona and thus unfamiliar to an artist studio). Or was this done on purpose as an insult (in which case this would be before the peace)?

So here's the kicker - what would be more natural than to place an image from a real coin on the ace of coins? I've cropped the bust of St. Mark on the grossone to mimic the remains on the Ace of Coins "saint" and placed side by side for comparison's sake - the halo on the card seems flattened as in the case of the lion's on the King of Swords (and is that not a parallelogram on the ace - i.e., a book?):

Grossone imposed on PMB coin.jpg Grossone imposed on PMB coin.jpg Viewed 1962 times 20 KiB
Grossone imposed on PMB coin book outlined.jpg Grossone imposed on PMB coin book outlined.jpg Viewed 1958 times 25.79 KiB

Just a quick 2 cents.

Phaeded

Re: Dating the Visconti-Sforza deck

13
Interesting finding, about the inks, Nathaniel.

It seems to me that the technical details on the Visconti-Sforza are interesting and complex, including the so-called "first artist" cards.. Bergamo, following the 2016 Brera exhibition catalog, attributes the early cards to two artists, Bonifacio and Ambrogio. The Brera's (Bandera and Tanzi) thinking was that Bonifacio did his part before leaving for Parma and Pavia in 1456, leaving Ambrogio to finish up. I did a short thread on this issues, viewtopic.php?p=16203#p16203, with a long if vague quote from Bandera on this. On the contrary, the Issy exhibition catalog proposes that Bonifacio did the deck in his spare time at Pavia!

Another issue is how much the cards have been touched up and "restored" since they were made. There is the theory that the artist of the second group touched up, for example, the Popess's robe. My thread has a quote from Bandera about this, too.

Another deck with issues about the paint, including the gold, is the Charles VI, between the Jack and the other cards: the gold background on the Jack is lighter. Is it from the same deck? And again there is the issue of how many hands were involved.
Image

Re: Dating the Visconti-Sforza deck

14
The result of the study that was the subject of the Tarocchi Virtual Study Day is strongly supporting my opinion that the pip cards of the Visconti Sforza deck were made at the same time as the added trump cards. On the original trump and court cards, the gold leaf that has been used is in fact a mixture of gold and silver, that explains why it darkened over time. On the pip cards in contrary, the gold leaf consisted of pure gold. This completely rules out that they were made at the same time, no sensible man would ever use pure gold on the pip cards and an inferior type of gold leaf on the trump and court cards. On the added trump cards, pure gold was also used for the gold leaf. My conclusion is clear, the older trump and court cards were made together around 1450/1455. The added trump cards and the pip cards were made simultaneously some 25 to 30 years later.
I updated my website to take into account this new information: https://tarotwheel.net/history/tarot%20 ... -deck.html

Re: Dating the Visconti-Sforza deck

15
Iolon wrote: 23 Jun 2022, 16:18 My conclusion is clear, the older trump and court cards were made together around 1450/1455. The added trump cards and the pip cards were made simultaneously some 25 to 30 years later.
Speaking of the 6 added cards for PMB-2 involves the idea, that there might have been a phase for a deck-type with 20 special cards before the Trionfi card version with 22 special cards.
I once worked about it, it should have been in October 2011 (archive.org has the date for this page) .
https://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=161451

In short details ...
Konrad Bollstatter (Oetingen in Southern Germany) made a lot book collection (c 1450-1473). Between this collection was one object, which operated with a 20-20-20-20 mechanism. Generally it seems, that Germany had much more lot books than Italy.
Lorenzo Spirito (in Perugia) in 1482 published a lot book in Perugia with a similar mechanism 20-20-20-20. This became a great success.
According a not confirmed note ... viewtopic.php?p=5751#p5751 ... an earlier version of Lorenzo's lot book existed in Vicenzia made by a German printer Achates from Basel.
The word Minchiatar appeared in a Burchiello poem around 1440.
A card game Minchiate is mentioned by Luigi Pulci in a letter to Lorenzo de Medici in 1466. Further notes exist for 1470/71 and for 1477. We don't know, if this early version already had the structure 40 trumps - 40 number cards - 16 court cards - 1 Fool. In the later version two number suits (10 +10= 20 cards) run from 1-10 and two number suits (10 +10= 20 cards) run from 10-1 and the 40 trumps group is formed of 2 subgroups (numbers 1-15 + 5 not numbered trumps 36-40 [20 cards] and numbers [16-35]). So for this part of the Minchiate deck one can say, that it also worked with a 20-20-20-20-system.

To this specific number-favour of "20" comes the expansion of the PMB from 14 to 20.

**********************

My analysis has the result, that we have no secure evidence for a deck with 22 trumps before the Trionfi poem of Mattreo Maria Boiardo and this I date for specific reasons to January 1487.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Dating the Visconti-Sforza deck

16
Huck wrote: 27 Jun 2022, 21:41 My analysis has the result, that we have no secure evidence for a deck with 22 trumps before the Trionfi poem of Mattreo Maria Boiardo and this I date for specific reasons to January 1487.
The best evidence we have is the Charles VI deck, that is the only handpainted deck with the Tower card. Normally this deck is dated well before the Boiardo poem.

Re: Dating the Visconti-Sforza deck

17
Iolon wrote: 28 Jun 2022, 00:04
Huck wrote: 27 Jun 2022, 21:41 My analysis has the result, that we have no secure evidence for a deck with 22 trumps before the Trionfi poem of Mattreo Maria Boiardo and this I date for specific reasons to January 1487.
The best evidence we have is the Charles VI deck, that is the only handpainted deck with the Tower card. Normally this deck is dated well before the Boiardo poem.
The Charles VI fragment consists of 16 trumps and 1 court card. It is possible to claim, that these 16 cards were sold as a complete trump set together with one court card to give an example, how the rest might liook like. The deck was found in France, not in Italy, so a French visitor might have had the interest to have such trump set.
In 2007 the idea appeared, that the Charles VI was made in Florence and not in Ferrara, as otherwise claimed. At this time researcher interest to prove something about Tarot was mainly focussed on Miland Ferrara, and not much was known about Florence. Only Franco Pratesi had the courage to announce, that Florence with its many artists was the better place to find something about the Trionfi card development.
I had then made some studies about Florence, Luigi Pulci and the Minchiate development before and I found, that the Charles VI deck was a good object in the Medici context.

These pictures were composed ....

Cary-Yale Tarocchi

Image


with a larger and readable version at ..
http://a-tarot.eu/pdf/cy-jpg.jpg


Charles VI Tarot

Image


with a larger and readable version at ..
http://a-tarot.eu/pdf/ch-jpg.jpg



More to this ...
viewtopic.php?p=11262#p11262

There is a way to compare Cary-Yale Tarocchi and the Charles VI.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Dating the Visconti-Sforza deck

18
Huck wrote: 28 Jun 2022, 11:56 The Charles VI fragment consists of 16 trumps and 1 court card. It is possible to claim, that these 16 cards were sold as a complete trump set together with one court card to give an example, how the rest might liook like. The deck was found in France, not in Italy, so a French visitor might have had the interest to have such trump set.
In 2007 the idea appeared, that the Charles VI was made in Florence and not in Ferrara, as otherwise claimed. At this time researcher interest to prove something about Tarot was mainly focussed on Miland Ferrara, and not much was known about Florence. Only Franco Pratesi had the courage to announce, that Florence with its many artists was the better place to find something about the Trionfi card development.
Hi Huck, You have some great theories, but this one simply makes non sense to me. Yes, for me this Charles VI trump set was probably made to give an example of the structure of a the 22 trumps. The timing is right, we are just in the period that the 14 structure is going to be replaced by a 22 trump structure. So this set has only been made only for this purpose, to exhibid and explain the 22 trump structure. And yes, I agree, the page card was only made to show how the court cards should look like. Now you have to distinguish between the artist who made the cards and the brain(s) behing the card illustrations and who ordered them. Personnaly I think that the driving force between the 22 trump structure, and thus the one who ordered these cards, was Ercole I of Este. In 1460 he returned as a young man, after a very good education at the Napolitean court, back to the Ferarese court. He knew the Trionfi decks very well, when he was still a child his father had bought complete 70 card trionfi decks for him. In fact, he was probably one of the best educated persons of that time. He wasn't a Duke yet, so he had plenty of time to think and to discuss other things. So he got the idea of the 22 trump structure, be it the Tarot Wheel structure I developed on my website (https://tarotwheel.net/structure/the%20 ... wheel.html), or be it based on whatever other system. Because this is sure, the 22 trump structure is a complete wold view, different from and not even related to, but just like the Qaballah is also a complete world view. He discussed a lot about this structure. He was rich, so he ordered the cards in Florence, where the best artists were living and working. He ordered a set of 22 trumps plus probably only one court card to explain this structure. For this reason we don't see any heraldic elements on this deck, it was only made to demonstrate the 22 trump structure. Later, in 1473, when he married, he ordered a deck with 22 trump cards and 16 court cards, this time with plenty heraldic elements. Like Francesco Sforza, who had ordered a couple of years before the PMB deck without pip cards (14 trump cards plus 16 court cards), he ordered a deckx also without pip cards. The cards were not made for game playing, only to show his wealth and to confirm the 22 trump structure he was promoting. The pip cards were of no use to him, as they also were of no use to Francesco Sforza.

Re: Dating the Visconti-Sforza deck

19
Iolon wrote: 29 Jun 2022, 07:25
Huck wrote: 28 Jun 2022, 11:56 The Charles VI fragment consists of 16 trumps and 1 court card. It is possible to claim, that these 16 cards were sold as a complete trump set together with one court card to give an example, how the rest might liook like. The deck was found in France, not in Italy, so a French visitor might have had the interest to have such trump set.
In 2007 the idea appeared, that the Charles VI was made in Florence and not in Ferrara, as otherwise claimed. At this time researcher interest to prove something about Tarot was mainly focussed on Miland Ferrara, and not much was known about Florence. Only Franco Pratesi had the courage to announce, that Florence with its many artists was the better place to find something about the Trionfi card development.
Hi Huck, You have some great theories, but this one simply makes non sense to me. Yes, for me this Charles VI trump set was probably made to give an example of the structure of a the 22 trumps. ....
About your website, ....
https://tarotwheel.net/structure/the%20 ... wheel.html
which mentions the Sermones de Ludo Cum Aliis ...
about which once we collected this personal information from Ron Decker ...
http://trionfi.com/0/p/17/
A personal letter to Ron Decker, between 1991 and 2001 the curator United States Playing Card Company, which owns the manuscript, reached the following information:
"The manuscript pages have many different watermarks. All of them date from around 1500 and come from places near Ferrara. The order of the Tarot trumps, as given in the manuscript, is the Ferrarese order. The author was definitely a monk. One of the sermons is about the stigmata of St. Francis, so I think it likely that the monk was a Franciscan. I do not know on what basis others have declared the author to have been a Dominican." (Ronald Decker)
Further we have this info in "Collection Franciscans" ...
viewtopic.php?p=10614#p10614
3. Giacomo (James) della Marche (1391 – November 28, 1476)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_of_the_Marches
Tierry Depaulis: "Early Italian Lists of Trumps" in The Playing Card, 36, 1 (July-Sept 2007), pp. 39-50.
Depaulis discusses a text of Giacomo and the "Sermones de Ludo cum aliis" on pp. 39-41, and presents the card texts of both on pp. 48-50 (no translation). Giacomo's text is partly identical to the "Sermones de Ludo cum aliis". Depaulis dates this earlier version (which does not include a reference to Trionfi cards) to "1460".
Observant Franciscan
A major argument, why researchers decided to prefer to see the Charles VI deck as a Florentine production and not a Ferrarese, was the octagonal halo on the four virtues at the cards Temperantia, Fortitudo, Iustitia and Prudentia alias "World". The discussion happened in 2007 in Tarotforum.net in the Researcher forum and Huck didn't gave the Initiative to it, the merit goes to others for instance Ross and Michael J. Hurst.

I think, it started somewhere, I think here ...
https://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.p ... 572&page=2
... and was proceeded in the Christina Fiorini thread.
https://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=90846
... and possibly expanded to other themes. It's a long story. In 2007 this forum didn't exist, it started in 2008.
Hi Huck, You have some great theories, but this one simply makes non sense to me.
... :-) ... no problem, I carry such reactions with patience. Ross and Michael J. Hurst also didn't understand it, you're in good company.
The 5x14-theory also needed 14 years, before there was somebody else, who understood it.

Added later:

A Strambotti poem should be mentioned in the context of the Sermones de Ludo Cum Aliis.

quoted from an earlier article
https://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=234001
Strambotti de triumphi

Miracomãdo aquel angelo pio,
al mõdo al sole alla luna & lostello
alla saetta & aquel diauol rio
la morte el traditore el vechiarello
la rota el caro & guistitia di dio
forteza & temperanza & amor bello
al Papa Imperatore & Imperatrice
al bagatello al matto più felice.

Some analyses lead to this list

21-20 angelo ----- Minchiate: 40 Angel
20-19 mõdo ------ Minchiate: 39 Mondo-World
19-18 sole ------- Minchiate: 38 Sun
18-17 luna ------- Minchiate: 37 Moon
17-16 lostello --- Minchiate: 36 Star
16-15 saetta ---- Minchiate: 15 Tower
15-14 diauol ----- Minchiate: 14 Devil
14-13 morte ----- Minchiate: 13 Death
13-12 traditore -- Minchiate: 12 Hanging Man
12-11 vechiarello Minchiate: 11 Hermit, old man
11-10 rota ------- Minchiate: 10 Wheel
10-9 caro -------- Minchiate: 9 Chariot
9-8 guistitia ------ Minchiate: 8 Justice
8-7 forteza ------- Minchiate: 7 Strength
7-6 temperanza -- Minchiate: 6 Temperance
6-5 amor ---------- Minchiate: 5 Love
5-4 Papa ---------- Minchiate: 4 Eastern Emperor (special figure, NOT POPE)
4-3 Imperatore -- Minchiate: 3 Western Emperor (special figure, NOT EMPEROR)
3-2 Imperiatrice - Minchiate: 2 Grand duke (special figure, NOT EMPRESS)
----- PAPESSA MISSING IN BOTH, STRAMBOTTO and MINCHIATE
1-1 bagatello ---- Minchiate: 1 Magician
0-0 matto -------- Minchiate: 0 Fool

Here we make the observation, that the Strambotti poem likely referred to a trump list known in Florence or Tuscany, cause the similarities to Minchiate are relative strong.
Here we see, that there were once only 21 special cards (possibly always in Florence, as long as Florence produced Tarot decks. Since c. 1630 Florence produced only Germini or Michiate decks, as far I know it.) Possibly the Strambotti poem belongs to Florence. However, Depaulis gives as printing locations mainly Rome and once Verona.
Depaulis in 2007 noted 4 different sources for this Strambotti poem with slight variations in the text. The probably oldest version is given above and he dated it to "around 1500", so it is not sure, if the Strambotti poem or the Sermones de Ludo Cum Aliis is older.

For the dating "around 1500" one should consider, that Florence had a very difficult time with Savonarola and playing cards in 1497/1498 (Savanorola burnt playing cards 1497 and was himself burnt in 1498, and also there were difficulties with remaining Savanoralists in Florence a longer time. And the playing card lover Ercole (as you have described him) was in late years a friend of Savonarola and had also a lot of other religious ambitions.

I remember, that Ross occasionally attempted an earlier dating "c 1480" for the Strambotti poem, but I don't know, what developed meanwhile with this approach.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Dating the Visconti-Sforza deck

20
To Iolon about:
The result of the study that was the subject of the Tarocchi Virtual Study Day is strongly supporting my opinion that the pip cards of the Visconti Sforza deck were made at the same time as the added trump cards. On the original trump and court cards, the gold leaf that has been used is in fact a mixture of gold and silver, that explains why it darkened over time. On the pip cards in contrary, the gold leaf consisted of pure gold. This completely rules out that they were made at the same time, no sensible man would ever use pure gold on the pip cards and an inferior type of gold leaf on the trump and court cards. On the added trump cards, pure gold was also used for the gold leaf. My conclusion is clear, the older trump and court cards were made together around 1450/1455. The added trump cards and the pip cards were made simultaneously some 25 to 30 years later.
I updated my website to take into account this new information: https://tarotwheel.net/history/tarot%20 ... -deck.html
It seems to me that you should update as well your page at
https://tarotwheel.net/structure/the%20 ... night.html
because you have there:
For this reason, I also suppose that the Visconti Sforza cards (70 cards, 5 suits of 14 cards) were specially made for this occasion, in the same year, in 1454.
It is only the 40 cards (14 trumps, 16 courts) that were made in 1454, on your current view.

On your view, were the pips added to what was previously just a trumps and courts deck - not for playing but just a commemorative gift - to which later were added the rest of what was then a full deck, albeit perhaps one without a Devil and Tower?

About your argument, it seems to me that Nathaniel had a good reply, that the gold/silver combination was done on cards where there was a lot of it to be applied, and the gold alone where there was less of it. In other words, as he said, a cost-saving measure for a gift to someone who wasn't all that important.

I want to suggest a further consideration.

Delmoro in her essay in the Issy catalog (p. 76), like Bandera in the 2013 Brera catalog (p. 52), points out that in 1456-1458 Bonifacio Bembo was in Pavia. Unlike Bandera, she suggests that time and place for his production of the Visconti-Sforza. This seems to me, as it apparently seemed to Bandera, rather dubious. The tools, paints, paper, etc. would have been in the Cremona workshop. Delmoro's only argument for such a late dating is that the "mature style" is similar to work done in the Cavalcabo Chapel by him and Ambrogio Bembo in the years 1447-1452. That is hardly an argument for 1456-1458.

Since Bonifacio was in Pavia from 1456, probably not in a position to work on the cards, it seems to me that he might have worked on only the trumps and courts, while the pip cards were done later by someone in the same workshop of lesser skill immediately after Bonifacio left. Bandera proposes a joint production in her essay (again p. 52), with Ambrogio finishing the job, especially the suits. If so, might that not be a reason for the switch to gold leaf: it was easier for, or preferred by, the person doing the work, Ambrogio or someone of even less stature? The cheaper material would have looked like gold at the time of presentation, and that is what mattered.