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Costa's Triumphs in Bentivoglio's Chapel

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Huck  Huck is offline
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Hi Michael,

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjhurst
Hi, Huck,
The iconographic tradition of Petrarch's Trionfi started in in the 14th century, and was very widespread throughout the 15th century, including not only Continental but also many English examples. The poem was popular in manuscript form from around the time of his death in 1374. Here are some comments from Petrarch scholar D.D. Carnicelli.
Your quotations are nice, but they don't really help, we would need pictures.

We've discussed it earlier and we've written even a letter to the owner of the Petrarca site. He came up with a reference to a commission of Pietro de Medici to Matteo de' Pastis as the earliest examplar with pictures.
.. and this earliest edition with pictures is lost .. or perhaps the commission was never realised.

So ... from which earlier editions did Mr. Carnicelli learn his wisdom?


Quote:
So, any and every work of art that Costa did in that period would also include a reference to this wedding? Regardless of the nature of the commission or the subject matter depicted? Interesting theory....
It seems, that the Bentivoglio interest in art developed with this marriage (this movement should have started already with 1478, when the marriage was contracted and prepared).
It's a general observation, that birth and marriage of the heir of a reigning family usually took a lot of the financial energy of the parents (and a lot more than the birth and marriages of his brothers and sisters. So likely this festivity was the greatest, that the Bentivoglio ever organised.
Likely the chapel commission short after it was strongly influenced by the event short before.

The result of the great success was, that Annibale (and likely also Lucrezia and a greater number of Bolognese people) was invited to all the following great festivities. The social value of the family was shifted considerably.
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mjhurst  mjhurst is offline
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Hi, Ross,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross G Caldwell
Which 14th century illustrations of the Trionfi are you referring to?

Don't you think Carnicelli could be referring to the De Viris Illustribus depicitions of Fame as the "crystallization" of the methods of the depictions?
It's a good question, and I don't know what manuscripts or other illustrations he is referring to. Re the depiction of the Triumph of Fame from a different work, if works other than the Trionfi were what Carnicelli was referring to by "the methods of the... artists who illustrated the Trionfi", then he could have been casting a much wider net. As I've tried to emphasize, the subjects and the forms that became the Petrarchian iconographic tradition did not begin with his Trionfi, so this might be what Carnicelli was referring to.

On the other hand, given that Carnicelli's conclusion re an early date is consistent with common sense whereas the idea that the iconography was novel in the 1440s seems unreasonable, and given that this business seems to have no particular impact on any question related to Tarot, which does not rely on the Petrarchian iconographic tradition in any substantial way, and given that it appears to be a very specialized investigation requiring a better library than I have access to, I'll let others research it.

Best regards,
Michael

P.S. Among the subjects one would want to pursue, of course, are 14th-century depictions of triumphs in general, with and without pageantry, especially 1) allegorical triumphs of Love (or Venus) and Death and 2) historical triumphs, which seem a priori to be the best candidates.

P.P.S. The pictorial tradition of literary triumphs we're interested in really begins with Dante's Triumph of the Church/Beatrice. It involved Giotto, and later there was a series of wall paintings in the Sala dei Giganti (Sala degl'Imperatori Romani) in the Carrara palace at Padua, which was based on Petrarch's De viris illustribus. The allegorical triumph depicted was Vainglory, Gloria Mundi, akin to Fame, based on the description in Boccaccio's Amorosa Visione, itself a concatenated series of allegorical triumphs, and based on the striking art of Giotto. This Gloria triumph was also depicted in several copies of Viris Illustribus. These things are the iconographic precursors of both Petrarch's poems and the subsequent pictorial tradition. Here is one of those illustrations, from 1379.

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Ross G Caldwell  Ross G Caldwell is offline
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Hi Michael,

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjhurst
On the other hand, given that Carnicelli's conclusion re an early date is consistent with common sense whereas the idea that the iconography was novel in the 1440s seems unreasonable, and given that this business seems to have no particular impact on any question related to Tarot, which does not rely on the Petrarchian iconographic tradition in any substantial way, and given that it appears to be a very specialized investigation requiring a better library than I have access to, I'll let others research it.
I wouldn't give up so easily (and I know you don't). It wasn't a trick question, I don't know what Carnicelli knew/knows.

But I *do* know that as late as 2004, Colette Nativel in her article "L'Iconographie des Triomphes" (in the peer-reviewed journal "Europe: revue litteraire mensuelle" (nos. 902-903 (Juin-Juillet 2004) pp. 173-185)) says on the first page that the first known instance of manuscript illumination of the Trionfi is the letter of Matteo de' Pasti to Lorenzo de Medici in 1441. I imagine she couldn't make this claim in a prestigious journal, perhaps one of her debut articles, without having researched the question to the bone.

When I presented this finding to Lothar in 2004, he wrote the owner of the site of petrarch.petersadlon.com (a different name then, I think), asking about what he knew. He had this response -

Quote:
"I've looked into your questions, and *my* answer is that I am not certain, except that the traditions seem to go back into the 15th century (I haven't seen any 14th century codices with illuminations). The site "I trionfi" from the University of Pisa seems to be off-line, but a newer version appears in the works:

(http://cibit.humnet.unipi.it/main_ra.htm)
Enciclopedia petrarchesca: i Triumphi. Prototipo di enciclopedia ipertestuale petrarchesca. Responsabile scientifico: Marco Santagata (Università di Pisa). Testi critici: Laura Paolino. Realizzazione informatica dell’ipertesto: Francesco Carnera (Università di Roma Tor Vergata).
CIBIT's new site, incidentally, will be: http://www.bibliotecaitaliana.it/, and it has a wonderful interface for both the RVF and the Disperse/Corrispondenza.

I think the below should be helpful in establishing the codices and their iconographic traditions:

Donati, L., "Un capitolo iconografico sui trionfi del Petrarca," Gutemberg Jahrbuch, 19-24, 1944-1949, 118ff.



Venturi, Adolfo, "Les Triomphes de Petrarque dans l'art representatif," Revue de lart ancien et moderne, 1906, 81-209.

Battaglia Lucia, I "triumphi" di Francesco Petrarca, Immaginario trionfale: Petrarca e la tradizione figurativa, vol. I, pp. 255-, Gargnano sul Garda 1998

"Il Petrarca latino e le origini dell’umanesimo" (Atti del Convegno
internazionale, Firenze 19–22 maggio 1991), Quaderni petrarcheschi IX–X (1992–1993),
pp. 793, 58 tavole. Casa Editrice Le Lettere, Firenze 1992–1993. Direttore Michele Feo.
"The iconography of Petrarch in the age of Humanism" (pp. 11–75) di
J. B. TRAPP presenta l’immagine iconografica del P. soprattutto nelle illustrazioni dei
manoscritti e nelle incisioni. Più illustrate risultano le opere volgari, l’autore presenta
le coincidenze fra l’iconografia petrarchesca e quella cristiana. Grande spazio è dedicato
alle raffigurazioni dei Triumphi. Il testo è accompagnato da 54 tavole.

See also the just released (July 2004):
Petrarca, Simone Martini e le carte
di Rolando Fusi e Rosalynd Pio, premessa di Francesco Adorno
Editore Bonechi-Edizioni Il Turismo, 2004
160 p., ill.
EURO 18.00
http://www.teknemedia.net/blog/blog.html?id=52
In 1938, Dorothy Shorr also says "Although the earliest pictorial representations of the series does not appear until about the middle of the fifteenth century..." - she is obviously alluding to Matteo's 1441 letter.

1441 is the earliest known evidence of a depiction of the whole series, that's all.

The point of interest is the date, combined with the earliest imagery, and the new interest in Florence. The particularly "Petrarchan" trumps of the earliest preserved sets do very much reflect the imagery of the Trionfi just then (as we have discovered) being illustrated - Love, Time, Death, Fame, Eternity (in the A tarot order).

Naturally, it's not the Petrarchan order, and it's not Petrarch's story that's being illustrated in the tarot trumps. But the imagery is being shared among the genre of "trionfi"-things at just this time, so it strongly suggests a relationship. That's why the date of 1441 - and we have just begun to think about Florence here - is so important.

Petrarch's order is obviously not inviolable, as you have shown in the flow Costa's paintings. For his occasion, Petrarch's order and imagery was changed, expanded, adapted one way (even to Death triumphing over Fame), while in the tarot, the same family of ideas was adapted and expanded for another purpose, with another story.

But I don't think it is possible to ignore the coincidence of dates and provenance of either the fad or the earliest imagery of "trionfi". That is, in the close-knit courtly world of 1440s Italy, when somebody heard "the Trionfi", they probably had a bit of Petrarch in their mind.

Best regards,

Ross
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In my book of cuttings for my trip to Italy soon I have this...
The Bentivoglio Chapel in Bologna
Over the altar is The Virgin and Child, above which is a fresco of two lunette one of which is a vision of the Apocalypse. On the side right wall is the oil painting of the Bentivoglio family and the Virgin enthroned. The family is facing the left wall oil painting of the triumphs of Death with buffalo and Fame with elephants.

Deleted some of this post because I wrote a load of old cobblers!
The paintings are Frescoes- all of them lol; Though in some travel blurb they call Fame- Beauty.
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I have read and re read this thread, weaved my way through your erudite discussion and come to the conclusion that you are trying to postulate that Fame always transcends Death; this through the frescoes in the Bentivoglio Chapel, as an example. Well if I was standing there looking at it, with the family fresco also looking at it- I would say that we are asked to remember that Death took King and Peasant in the Plague and to think that reputation (fame) would Triumph is folly. All worldly things are perishable- Fama is also Truth? So each one's Fame and Fortune is when you have been raised at the second coming of Christ and The New Jerusalem is apparent.
You who regard me with so fixed a stare, Behold how loathsome I am in your sight, You may now be a handsome youth, and bright, But think, before Death gets you in her snare. ... You'd best recall that I was just like you; The world's our friend for such a fleeting space, Soon you'll be at this very point and place.
The Triumph of Death fresco at Pisa in the Campo Santa 1340? The lesson of Tarot- Be Virtuous and Buona Fortuna to you all! (which is why we treat this world like crap- because the New Jerusalem is elsewhere)Pity Fame is not the real Triumph.
Great thread!
~Rosanne
http://www.ricardocosta.com/pub/lorenzetti.htm Look for Sapientia Wisdom and Truth.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosanne
I have read and re read this thread, weaved my way through your erudite discussion and come to the conclusion that you are trying to postulate that Fame always transcends Death; this through the frescoes in the Bentivoglio Chapel, as an example. Well if I was standing there looking at it, with the family fresco also looking at it- I would say that we are asked to remember that Death took King and Peasant in the Plague and to think that reputation (fame) would Triumph is folly. All worldly things are perishable- Fama is also Truth? So each one's Fame and Fortune is when you have been raised at the second coming of Christ and The New Jerusalem is apparent.
You who regard me with so fixed a stare, Behold how loathsome I am in your sight, You may now be a handsome youth, and bright, But think, before Death gets you in her snare. ... You'd best recall that I was just like you; The world's our friend for such a fleeting space, Soon you'll be at this very point and place.
The Triumph of Death fresco at Pisa in the Campo Santa 1340? The lesson of Tarot- Be Virtuous and Buona Fortuna to you all! (which is why we treat this world like crap- because the New Jerusalem is elsewhere)Pity Fame is not the real Triumph.
Great thread!
~Rosanne
http://www.ricardocosta.com/pub/lorenzetti.htm Look for Sapientia Wisdom and Truth.
The series is made by Petrarca, although Michael somehow indicated, that it is older (? I would like to know). Naturally the 6-stages-scheme is very old, apearing for instance in I-Ching and in the Tibetan buddhism.

I think, that Petrarca realised (as a poet), that the memory of the past was gone, but that some names, stories and words of the poets survived. So he recognized "fame", that survived the death of the individual persons (I don't know, if one should call this normal feature of life "Fame transcrends death", its just common experience, and Petrarca, who is general called father of renaissance was very fond of this idea). Well, Petrarca was clever enough to realize, that even fame has only a limited time, but generally it seems, that Petrarca saw "fame" more or less positive.

Chaucer, also writing about fame, in time near to Petrarca, is much more critical against the value of this allegory.

But Chaucer's opinion didn't count in Italy, which got a Trionfi-fever and a fame-hypnosis after Petrarca, accompanying the real technological progress, which happened first and most intensively in Italy and then later in the rest of Europe.

Actually we've similar developments to observe in our time. Computer technology developed first in US America, also internet. This fever now breaks into other countries round the globe. And this is a normal feature with all media: they generate a new sort of "fame" ....
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This is the best pic I can get of the daughters in Costa's Triumph of Death. I also updated the ermine banner pic in the earlier post to a clearer version, and added a link to Leonardo's famous Lady with Weasel painting.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjhurst
This is the best pic I can get of the daughters in Costa's Triumph of Death. I also updated the ermine banner pic in the earlier post to a clearer version, and added a link to Leonardo's famous Lady with Weasel painting.
Nice. Although there's no direct indication beside the weasel-banner, likely the "4 virtues", which had accompanied the charity triumph, perhaps in the form of Bentivoglio daughters.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjhurst
In the Tarot trump cycle, the middle section begins with triumphs in love and war, the very kind of circumstance we have seen displayed by Fama in her own triumphs. The sword and Cupid (or the Golden Apple of Venus) she holds aloft could just as well be represented by the Triumphal Chariot and Love cards. The passage of Time and turn of Fortune's Wheel lead to betrayal and ultimately Death. In both the Costa Trionfi and Tarot's Trionfi we see the same Fall of Princes cycle.
An interesting detail from Ruben's Triumph of the Church shows the Christian value of Fame and Fortune. At the bottom of the picture, beneath the triumphant chariot and its procession, we see the laurel wreath and palm branch of Fame and the rudder of Fortune draped over the globe, itself encircled by the ouroboros of eternity. The glories of the mortal world are darkened and pushed to the side, specifically the viewer's side, by the real glory of the Holy Eucharist carried in triumph by the Church. The symbols of Fame and Fortune are flanked by the feet of the sacred procession and the agonies of the crushed enemies. These things may be front and center for the masses, but the audience is called upon to look higher, literally as well as metaphorically.


Best regards,
Michael
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