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Huck 
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Minchiate Francesi - made by Francois I + II de Poilly


Minchiate Francesi - first half

There's some interest to clear the conditions of this unusual deck.

A playing card seller for old cards offers this information:
Quote:
Le sommet de la vente pourrait bien être atteint avec le «Minchiate» de François
de Poillly, 2ème version, un jeu complet de 98 cartes, estimé 8 000 / 12 000
€. Le Minchiate est une forme florentine du tarot, où l’on a ajouté des atouts ;
très à la mode en Italie aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècle, il séduisit François I de Poilly
qui en réalisa une version française à son retour à Paris, vers 1660. Son fils
François II a voulu « remettre de l’ordre » dans ces atouts « incohérents », d’où
cette nouvelle édition, connue en 2 exemplaires uniquement.
http://www.millon-associes.com/doc/C...uer-051111.pdf

According this there existed 2 versions, one made by Francois I de Poilly (1623 - 1693) c. 1660 (after he had returned from Italy) ...

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7ois_Poilly .... French
http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/bio.../biograph.html ... English

... a second (possibly modified) version by his son Francois II de Poilly (according some sources c. 1730).

http://books.google.de/books?id=P317...poilly&f=false

A 3rd deck of a Francois de Poilly (III) exists from 1763 and it occasionally appears in the web ... this is a teaching deck with geographic pictures.
http://www.britishmuseum.org/researc...&currentPage=7

For the moment there exist only a few cards of the Minchiate Francesi in the web ... as far I know it. The series starts with the card 1 "Chaos", something, which was later repeated in the Etteilla deck of 1788.


given as version of Francois II de Poilly


with small differences to the card as given the version of 1789 by "Wicked Pack of Cards"

Other Minchiate Francesi cards I found ...

... at the page of Tarot passages ...
http://www.tarotpassages.com/francesi.htm

Two others in a pdf.file of Giordano Berti:
http://www.tarot-as-tarocchi.com/1.pdf

In the description of Tarot.org.il we find some pictures ...
http://www.tarot.org.il/Minchiate%20Francesi/
... and also some information about the content. From this limited information one can start some ideas, what this deck is about.
This I will do .. I've some experience to analyze such systems.

Quote:
1.The chaos.
------------
2. The sun, Helios in the sun chariot pulled by four horses.
3. The moon, a woman with bow and arrow seated on a cloud with the moon at her back - possibly Artemis.
4. The stars, a feminine figure holding a scepter with a stars at it's top, seated on clouds against the background of the stars.
5. The world, an infant seated on concentric circles and holding a sandglass in his hand.
CHAOS and Sun, Moon, Star, World
(My comment) The latter 4 are somehow known as a group ... known in Italian Minchiate as cards 36-39 (also somehow in the Tarocchi as 17-18-19-21), and there these cards are between the "highest trumps". However, the row is disturbed, Minchiate has "36. Star, 37. Moon, 38. Sun, 39. World". And, however, the Minchiate Francesi has these cards at the begin of the series (2-5), not at the end as the usual Minchiate or Tarocchi. So one has to judge, that the designer has some other ideas about the row of the trumps than the Italian card makers.
So it's valuable to look, what the designer has put at the end ...

Quote:
12 Months ... TIME ?
31. January, illustration of acquarius.
32. February, illustration of pisces.
33. March, illustration of aries.
34. April, illustration of taurus.
35. May, illustration of gemini.
36. June, illustration of cancer.
37. July, illustration of leo.
38. August, illustration of virgo.
39. September, illustration of libra.
40. October, illustration of scorpio.
41. November, illustration of sagittarius.
42. December, illustration of capricorn.
At the end of the row (31-42) the designer has the 12 months in connection to the zodiac. The zodiac ALSO is part of the usual Minchiate and it is located usually at the positions 24-35. But it is a little strange,that the months shall now be the "highest trumps" in this series ... or? And the months in the Minchiate Francesi are fibne sorted from January till December, and the zodiac in the usual Minchiate is in CHAOS ...
CHAOS ... there we have it, the major REASON. Somebody had taken care of the old "chaotic" system, and now - very well - everything is in Minchiate Francesi order.

At the next step we see the 4 elements at cards 5-9 ....

Quote:
4 Elements

6. The element of air, a woman seated on clouds above a rural landscape.
7. The element of earth, a crowned woman seated on the earth beside fruits in a rural landscape.
8. The element of water, a woman in a sea-shell chariot pulled by two fish by the beach.
9. The element of fire, Perseus seated at a table holding a helmet, with a shield with Medusa's head or face on it.
... and these appear also in Minchiate at position 20-23, so that we have just a very simple "moving the blocks" from old Minchiate to Minchiate Francesi ...

39-36 ----> 2-5
35-24 ----> 31-42
23-20 ----> 6-9

... and a little bit "restore-the-order-operation". Well ... what's restored? The calendar, the time ... that seems to be the main topic.

We have 42 special cards in this game, instead of the usual 41 for a Minchiate. In the usual Minchiate there's a group of 20 (No. 1-15 + last 5) and another group of 20 (No. 16-35) and a Fool. Well, we might understand this as a model of Libra, with two scales with 20 elements and a tongue (the Fool) in the middle.

In this Minchiate Francesi we've now also identified a group of 20 (as shown above; No. 20-39), so very similar to one of 20-elements-groups used by the other Minchiate (No. 16-35), but not identical (3 theological virtues + Prudentia) are replaced by Sun-Moon-Star-Earth). But it are now 42 cards, so we have there either a 20-elements-group plus a 22-elements-group, or we should suspect, that there's another Libra model, with 2 scales of 20 elements and with two Fools as the tongue.

Now we have as information, that the Minchiate Francesi was made c. 1660 or c. 1730 (well, it's no sure, that both models were identical ... it's just, that I'm missing betting information).

For the Tarocco Siciliano we have, that it had TWO FOOLS and we have the information, that it was introduced to Sicily in 1662 - recently Franco Pratesi pointed to an article in a Sicilian magazine, in which it was declared ...

Quote:
1630: Girolamo Sanna dies in Palermo and among the goods found at his factory there are "200 figuri di tarocchi tagliati et pinti" (200 figures [probably, but not certainly, the triumphal cards of the pack] of tarots cut and painted).
http://trionfi.com/kalos-tarocco-siciliano

... so the value of the "introduction to Sicily" is diminished, but it might well be, that a "new version" of Tarocco appeared in 1662, which had as one of its special features "two fools" (well - it might well be, that this was invented later or earlier, but ...).

Trionfi and Tarocchi cards had their fashions. We have often observed, that specific characteristics appeared in different decks around the same time. If one deck form developed "2 fools", and the same "2 fools" appeared in another deck, it's somehow logical, that the production is near to each other in time.

These are the two Fools in Tarocco Siciliano, modern version:





These seem to be the two Fools of the Minchiate Francesi:


Card 1: CHAOS


Card 29: MOMUS

For CHAOS in Greek mythology we have ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_%28cosmogony%29
Quote:
For Hesiod and the early Greek Olympian myth (8th century BC), Chaos was the "vast and dark" void from which Nyx emerged.
For Nyx (= night) we have, that she had various children ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyx_%28mythology%29
Quote:
In Hesiod's Theogony, Nyx is born of Chaos; her offspring are many, and telling. With Erebus the deity of shadow and darkness, Nyx gives birth to Aether (atmosphere) and Hemera (day). Later, on her own, Nyx gives birth to Momus (blame), Moros (doom), Thanatos (death), Hypnos (sleep), the Oneiroi (dreams), the Hesperides, the Keres and Moirai (Fates), Nemesis (retribution), Apate (deception), Philotes (friendship), Geras (age), and Eris (strife).
... and between them Momus.

For Momus we have, that he became a favored topic by Lucian, a satiric writer of 2nd century, who started to become popular in 15th century (in Trionfi card time) and that famous Leon Battista Alberti, who got the love to Lucian from Guarino (famous Ferrarese teacher), wrote a wonderful amusing work "Momus" between 1443-1450, short after he had been a regular visitor in Leonello's Ferrara (just in the short period, when Trionfi cards were mentioned for the time (1442).
Inside the Alberti text appears Momus' praise of the role of the beggar ... and then the first known Fool in PMB-Tarocchi had more the outfit of a beggar than a funny Fool ...



... and also in the Mantegna Tarocchi ...



... and also in Tarocchi Siciliano as already shown:



For another type of Fool, the man with drums and pipe ...


Hofämterspiel 1455

... presented by Dürer himself ...

Dürer 1503, Jabacher Altar

... we have for the Rovereto-Fool, that he suddenly got wings ...


Rovereto Fool, maybe c. 1600

... which in a "not easy recognizable state" still existed in 19th century Tarocco Siciliano:


early 19th century woodcut block, modified for better recognition

For the Tarocco Siciliano it seems clear, that there's a difference between a good fool and a poor fool. This good Fool with wings seems to have developed from the Fama in Minchiate, also with wings ...



... and music instrument (trumpets).

For the Tarocchi development in Sicily we have, that Florentine Minchiate cards played a larger role ... but the deck was called Gallerini there, likely cause the word "Minchiate" had in Southern Italy a sexual association. The same word Gallerini (as a card deck) appeared then in Genova, so "nearly in France" (but actually in Spanish hands since 1528, as also Sicily was in Spanish hands since end of 13th century) . The preference for Gallerini in Sicily went so far, that Sicilian Tarocco was addressed as "little Gallerini".

Well, the background of all this should be, that JUST in 1660 the young French king Louis XIV married Maria Theresa of Spain.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Theresa_of_Spain
picture:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...e_Terese31.jpg

************
(will proceed)



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Old 29-01-2012     Top   #1
Huck 
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Contradictions by Romain Merlin (1861)



----------



http://books.google.de/books?id=XQ0I...page&q&f=false

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

A picture, given at this page ...
http://neartexchange.com/neart/artist/1349
... contains the same address as given by Romain Merlin (Poilly, Rue Saint-Jacques à Saint-Benoist)

Quote:
Engraving after Annibal Caracci; Thies: See Hecquet, 17; Brandes, 1p.57; 1st state, with the inscription on a stone in the landscape[l.l.] "AnnibalCarratius pinxit. F. Poilly Scuypsit cum Pr.Re. A Paris, Rue St. Jacques a l'image St. Benoist"




The address is already given to Francois Poilly the Elder. But Francois II de Poilly ALSO used this address in his later life (a greater earlier part he lived and worked in Lyon).



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Old 29-01-2012     Top   #2
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Further Info from Depaulis (1984)

There was an exhibition 1984 and a catalog was produced "Tarot, jeu et magie". A major author seems to have been Thierry Depaulis, but also others are mentioned. The relevant passages are from p. 86/87

Snippet view at books.google.com
http://books.google.de/books?hl=de&i...#search_anchor




There are two major decks mentioned (a version with 41/97 trumps/cards and a version with 42/98 trumps/cards) and a third, which possibly is shortened. All three versions have differences in the sorting of the trumps.
The article gives the two major versions to "early 18th century" (likely from this developed the otherwise now far spread interpretation "made c. 1730").

Above is given the text for the deck version, which was reported by Romain Merlin in 1861 (see the second post above).
I've given in red the passage, in which the author notes, that the engraver should have been the Francois de Poilly le jeune (1665-1741), who had a printing shop in rue St. Jacques à St. Benoist. He is said to have worked in Rome in his youth ... I don't know, from which source this latter info is given (is it on some paper connected to the deck and so part of the document? Or just from research for the person?).

From other sources it's relative clear, that Francois de Poilly the elder (1623-1693) had indeed been in Rome from 1649-1656 and had worked there successfully. Also it's known, that he already used the given address (see post 2 in this thread).
From Francois the younger I found a relative extended biography and the journey to Rome and his work there isn't mentioned. In this biography Francois the younger was born 3rd of November 1666 and married 1691 and then he was more or less in Lyon. The shop in Paris seems to have been in possession of his sister "Anne". The sister died once (or became inactive) and Francois returned back to Paris ... somehow between 1720-30. Likely from this condition developed the dating "c. 1730".
The biography is given ...
http://books.google.de/books?id=P317...poilly&f=false

Well, and we have then the already mentioned playing card dealer (post 1), who states ...

Quote:
A playing card seller for old cards offers this information:
Quote:
Le sommet de la vente pourrait bien être atteint avec le «Minchiate» de François
de Poillly, 2ème version, un jeu complet de 98 cartes, estimé 8 000 / 12 000
€. Le Minchiate est une forme florentine du tarot, où l’on a ajouté des atouts ;
très à la mode en Italie aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècle, il séduisit François I de Poilly
qui en réalisa une version française à son retour à Paris, vers 1660. Son fils
François II a voulu « remettre de l’ordre » dans ces atouts « incohérents », d’où
cette nouvelle édition, connue en 2 exemplaires uniquement.
http://www.millon-associes.com/doc/C...uer-051111.pdf

According this there existed 2 versions, one made by Francois I de Poilly (1623 - 1693) c. 1660 (after he had returned from Italy) ...
Putting this all together, it's my impression, that the playing card dealer offers the better interpretation."Something" already happened in c. 1660.

----------
It follows the other deck description:



The article notes, that the "second version" has changed the numbers of the first. And it has added a new card .... the Chaos card.
Further it notes, that a Museum in England (Bowes Museum in Durham ... I found it in the web, using the online search catalog it didn't offer the Poilly cards) has a deck in a book
with Spanish Bourbon heraldic (if my poor French interprets this information correctly). As the Spanish Bourbon dynasty came to life in 1700, this playing card book should have made "after 1700".
These cards are given in a book of Roger Tilley (History of Playing Cards, 1972, p. 67-71).

Then the article refers to a 3rd different arrangement of the cards in the Collection Hennin ... I searched for them and I had luck, I could find some of them. Wonderful ... I found 37 cards, that is 21 trumps (1-21; including a Fool = Momus = Nr. 16) and 16 court cards, presenting the 4 continents America, Asia, Africa and Europe ...


King of Asia

Take a look ... it is rather nice.
http://visualiseur.bnf.fr/CadresFene...&M=chemindefer


I made a list of the trumps with the names of the cards, as given ... and made a short description. as I don't have the other decks for comparison, I don't know, if all motifs appear also in the other deck. But some do.

01 Mercure (flying)
02 L'amour (blind flying Eros with arrow and flowers)
03 L'Esperence (woman at small island with big anchor; Hope)
04 La Force (woman carrying a column)
05 La Fortune Woman standing on wheel in the sea; wings at her feet)
06 La Justice (woman with Libra and sword ... in the background a city view)
07 La Charité (woman with two children)
08 La Prudence (woman with mirror, snake)
09 Les Ages, la Vieillesse
10 Age Viril (hero with sword and shield and dragon; "Golden Vlies" in a tree)
11 Ages Adolescences (3 young women and a young sitting men reading from a book)
12 Ages l'Enfance (three naked children playing "hiding")
13 Element l'eau (woman on shell drawn by two dolphins)
14 Element Feu (man with hammer, gorgon-shield and helmet in work; smith)
15 Element Terre (woman in landscap with fruits and with baton and crown)
16 Momus (Fool) ****
17 Les Etoiles (Woman sitting at cloud with night heaven and star-scepter)
18 La Lune (Diane sitting on crescent above a cloud, with arrow)
19 Le Soleil (Helios at chariot with 4 horses)
20 La Renommé (Angel with trmpet; Fame)
21 Le Monde (putti sitting on globe, playing with sand-glass; Time?)

---------------

.... well, that's not all
(will proceed)

**********

Added:

**** I wrote above "16 Momus Fool", following Depaulis suggestions and the order offered by the presenting webpage.
However, I noted, that the expected card at position 16 should be "Air", which is missing in the series 15 Terra - 14 Feu - 13 Water. From this one likely has to conclude, that "Air" is indeed just missing and Momus is simply the "not numbered Fool".



In contrast in version 2 we have Momus numbered: "29"



The state of Momus in the first version I don't know (no picture)



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Old 31-01-2012     Top   #3
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I think you posted it, but cannot be certain...Uri Raz...


minchiate franci polly

http://www.tarot.org.il/Minchiate%20Francesi/

He linked to the Wikapedia article of Momus being a kind of satirical character. I think I have a newer version of the Minchiate Franci that Uri Raz mentions, and if so, then it might have interesting notes.

Sorry if this is a repeat. I'll use as a placeholder if there is anything else I can post about this beautiful deck.



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Old 31-01-2012     Top   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerulean View Post
minchiate franci polly

http://www.tarot.org.il/Minchiate%20Francesi/

He linked to the Wikapedia article of Momus being a kind of satirical character. I think I have a newer version of the Minchiate Franci that Uri Raz mentions, and if so, then it might have interesting notes.

Sorry if this is a repeat. I'll use as a placeholder if there is anything else I can post about this beautiful deck.
I know of a modern Solleone version called Minchiate Francesi ... it seems to be too far in distance
Some cards of this version are shown here:
http://www.tarot-as-tarocchi.com/solleone.html

But if you have something similar to the version of Uri Raz, I would be interested.

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

Momus is a Greek god, son of Nyx, with some mostly unfriendly brothers and sisters.

Then it's also a fantastic book "Momus", written by Leon Battista Alberti, with a sort of humor, of which one could think, that it wouldn't be of 15th century. It had been only for insider circles.
In the Trionfo of Renee d'Anjou 1462, in which also Montefeltro and his wife appeared, appeared also Momus, if I remember correctly.
Momus had more a French career than a German. He stood for an early French carnival, which somehow disappeared with the time. If you look for images of Momus (google), you find mostly French pictures. And Flemish.


This is "Momus criticizes the gods" ... Momus is the beggar in the middle and that's actually the Mantegna Tarocchi beggar. Flemish painter, mid of 16th century.



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Old 31-01-2012     Top   #5
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Unhappy Hello Huck, I am sorry, my Il Solleone resources predates the 1986 deck


My catalogs and historical books from Il Solleone pre-dates the 1986 release that Uri Raz writes about. I checked and found I mistook some of the French playing card deck reproductions and a colored version of the Minchiate Florentine from Il Solleone as the rarer Minchiate Francesi.

However now I do have a reason to find this rare edition. Sorry I have nothing more at this time. I'll check Andrea Vitali's Bolognese Tarocchino book to see if there are any Minchiate Francesi samples, but I remember only Florentine offshoots.

This thread has many intriguing possibilities and I hope we hear from others who have the rare Il Solloene Minchiate Francesi edition or have some other things to share. Thank you for your thorough combing of the internet of 2012--perhaps we will see more information soon!

Cerulean



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Old 31-01-2012     Top   #6
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Mincbiate variants and Kaplan later


The auction catalog of Christies should come up with a historical Minchiate that also reflects the four corners of the world mapping fancies of the 1600s, am noting this first.

Only this would be all I have to share, except checking S.Taylor or Kaplan for Minchiate variants

The Four Continents pattern and fanciful Transformation illusrrations in French suited decks were printed throughout the 1800s and 1900s.

So I do see fabulous gaming decks that pull the Neoclassical and romantic imagery, but I also realized you reminded me of the Grimaud Petit Oracle des Dames--which has days of creation, including Nuit--and I have information closer to Etteila cartomancy. So there first, but the variants of Minchiate, especially this rare one, was a gorgeous find!



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Old 01-02-2012     Top   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerulean View Post
My catalogs and historical books from Il Solleone pre-dates the 1986 release that Uri Raz writes about. I checked and found I mistook some of the French playing card deck reproductions and a colored version of the Minchiate Florentine from Il Solleone as the rarer Minchiate Francesi.

However now I do have a reason to find this rare edition. Sorry I have nothing more at this time. I'll check Andrea Vitali's Bolognese Tarocchino book to see if there are any Minchiate Francesi samples, but I remember only Florentine offshoots.

This thread has many intriguing possibilities and I hope we hear from others who have the rare Il Solloene Minchiate Francesi edition or have some other things to share. Thank you for your thorough combing of the internet of 2012--perhaps we will see more information soon!

Cerulean
As I wrote, Depaulis (or the author) noted, that Roger Tilley wrote a "History of Playing Cards" and had 4 pages of pictures with the Spanish-Bourbon edition once housed in the Bowes Museum.

I find a book with this title in Google Snippet view ...

http://books.google.de/books?hl=de&id=2dITAQAAIAAJ
192 pages

My Snippet searches didn't deliver anything, which reminds me on this deck :-(.

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



The knight of Carreau is said to carry a note of the producer .. I don't see it.

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

I found this image (the yellow part is my work):



I copied the description:

Quote:
Type : image fixe, monographie
Auteur(s) : Lescouvé, François (16..?-1666 ). Graveur
Titre(s) : LE / COMMERCE / DE / LA FRANCE / Auec les quatre parties du / Monde, et l'establissement : de toutes sorte [¦sic¦] de Manu- / factures es- / tablies sous / le Regne / de nostre / Puissant / Monarque / Louis / XIIII. [Image fixe] : [estampe] / F. Lescouué. Sculp.
Publication : A Paris, chez / NICOLAS POILLY, / Rüe S.¦t¦ Iacques, / la Belle Image.
Éditeur : Poilly, Nicolas de (1627-1696)
Description matérielle : 1 est. (almanach) : burin (partie principale) . , en noir, calendrier typogr. en noir et rouge, impr. sur la f.

Note(s) : Titre sur une feuille de papier tenue par l'une des figures féminines de la partie inf. . - Mention du graveur en bas de la partie inf., à g. . - Mention de l'éditeur gravée dans un médaillon en bas, au centre de la partie inf.
Réf. bibl. : Duplessis, II, p. 66, t. XLVII, n°4318. - Champier, p. 92. - Lothe (N. de Poilly), 163
L'almanach est composé de 2 feuilles tirées de 2 éléments d'impression et collées.
Sujet(s) : Louis XIV (roi de France ; 1638-1715)
Marie-Thérèse (reine de France ; 1638-1683)
Henriette-Anne d'Angleterre (1644-1670)
Orléans, Philippe (1640-1701 ; duc d')
Condé, Louis de Bourbon (1621-1686 ; prince de)
Condé, Henri Jules de Bourbon (1643-1709 ; prince de)
Dentelle
Broderie
Commerce
Insignes royaux
Manufactures -- Allégories
Manufactures -- Instruments
France -- Allégories
Afrique -- Allégories
Asie -- Allégories
Amérique -- Allégories
Europe -- Allégories
The part, which interests us, is the yellow part, noted in the description with "Auec les quatre parties du / Monde" ... well, this is theme of the Poilly decks (4 continents Asia, America, Africa, Europe), as far the group of the small Arcana is concerned.
The engraver is not one of the Poilly brothers, but "Lescouvé, François", who dies in the year 1666. To this year is also given the production, which in this case likely not means, that it was really done this year (but at least it should mean "1666 or earlier").
As editor is given Nicolas Poilly.

Nicolas had stayed in Paris, the brother Francois was in Italy long years. Although it's said, that Francois had been the greater artist than Nicolas, I found much commissions for Nicolas in the relevant time and less for Francois. The commissions are often portraits of very high ranked persons.
In 1665 Francois (4 years older than Nicholas) got some acceptance at the king's court, this might have changed something.

Well, I'll leave this aside for the moment, cause I detected another CHAOS and this looks of some importance, so that the phenomenon of some Indians, Negroes, Osman etc. at the court of Louis XIV gives the impression of a minor detail.

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

There once was an artist ...

Abraham van Diepenbeck (perhaps 1599-1675)
http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Abraham_Van_Diepenbeck
http://words.fromoldbooks.org/Chalme...raham-van.html
http://gluedideas.com/content-collec...iepenbeck.html

... who made designs for engraving artists, and one of these was ...

Cornelis Bloemaert II (perhaps 1603 – September 28, 1692)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corneli...aert?oldid=cur
http://books.google.de/books?id=mmAb...oemart&f=false

.. and the time, when he delivered some specific 58 (or 59 or 60) designs ranges from 1633-1663 (you see ... all is chaos), but it is clear, that specific engravings carry the year number 1655 and appeared in a book published 1655 in Paris.

Bloemhart himself lived in Rome since 1633 (so it is said, what this really means, might be a little different, cause of Chaos nothing is sure). There he was the master of Francois Poilly the elder, whom we already know as the probable producer of the Poilly decks. Who is said to have been in Rome 1649-1656.

The book now from 1655 is a translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses by Michel de Marolles and the 58 (or 59 or 60) engravings naturally presents scenes from the Metamorphoses.

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_de_Marolles
Michel de Marolles is NOT an unknown man in the scene of Tarot, but ... his father played Tarot, he got the commission to write the first French Tarot rules 1637, he published these rules 1655, he wrote a ballet with living Tarot cards in 1457, and last, not least, he became the greatest engraving collector, and his collection became the base for all these royal engravings, which stayed from this engraving glamor of French productions of this time, so likely we would NOT know for instance the Vievil or Noblet Tarot without Marolles. and he had close contact to the French Gonzaga's and these are under close suspicion to have done Tarocchi propagation in France.

So, a great man and also great in his Tarot engagement, and it's really not strange, that Nicolas Poilly, brother of Francois, made also an engraving of Marolles.

Ovid's Metamorphoses now stood at the begin of Tarot, cause the figure of Daphne appeared in the Michelino deck and had been likely the major figure in it. An the Michelino deck is the "oldest Tarot" or better "oldest Trionfi deck, as far we know it (before 1425). In the Diepenbeck-Bloemart-Marolles version Daphne looked in this way:



Now what's the point with Francois Poilly in the story? If Bloemhart was really in Rome and managed to work for Marolles in Paris, then Poilly as "pupil" likely had a job in his workshop.
As the master of a shop likely had a lot to do with management and selling and all these more important details of business life, we actually might assume, that a lot of the work was done by the master pupil, whose name stayed in the background. So a lot of the black lines in these engravings might have been done by Poilly. 58 pictures of the realized quality is a lot of stuff and not been done in a few days, so actually an artist might get a lot of personal relations to the object, that he realizes. And the first object in this metamorphoses project is this one ... who is astonished ...



... CHAOS ... in a much better quality than it was later realized as a playing card deck by Poilly. Well, there's the problem, that there is not so much place at a playing card, that's a practical problem.

CHAOS ... the first of the "figures" for Ovid, the first for the Marolles project, the first for Poilly (twice), the first for Etteilla. It can't be accident.

And inside this realization, that there is a context between both productions (Marolles edition and Poilly deck editions) there appears a number accident. 58 pictures in the Marolles version (I counted them), 58 picture cards (42 "trumps" + 16 court cards) in the 42-special-cards version of the Poilly decks.

This coincidence leads to the idea, that possibly there once had been a real Minchiate deck, which used the 58 Ovid stories to have a deck with 98 cards, 40 number cards as usual and 58 Ovid stories. Well, this is fiction, but reality is, that indeed there might have been decks, which stayed totally unknown to us, also for 17th century and likely even later.
And that, what we know isn't too far from this fiction.

Stefano della Bella made famous education playing cards for the young king Louis XIV, then 6 years old, in 1644. Between them is a jeu des fables (though 52 cards) ... many of these stories are from Ovid. Here is Daphne:



Here is Jason the Argonaut by della Bella:



Jason the Argonaut by Ovid and Marolles:



And Jason the Argonaut in the Poilly versions, though with a different title.


And at this picture it's VERY clear, that this was taken from della Bella


And this is Arion, the musician, by della Bella ...



... and in the Marolles edition ...



... and a woman on dolphins by Poilly presenting the element water



Here you find della Bella pictures, 1644
http://www.britishmuseum.org/researc...&currentPage=1

Here is Marolles: The temple of the Muses
http://books.google.de/books?id=e1AT...gbs_navlinks_s .... 1676
http://www.archive.org/details/dutempledesmuses00maro ... 1655
This page is easier to handle for the pictures:
http://etext.virginia.edu/latin/ovid...eDesMuses.html

Here are the better Poilly pictures (version 3):
http://visualiseur.bnf.fr/CadresFene...&M=chemindefer

Here is some orientation about the Ovid text:
http://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=20292
Here is complete text version. It starts with Caos, what else.
http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidMetamorphoses1.html
Second come the 4 Ages of man, but likely in a different meaning as 4 Ages in the Poilly version.

***********

... :-) ... Sorry, this is all rather much and might be a little confusing, but it isn't easy to get such complicated and much relationships tamed, especially as these engraver biographies are full of contradictions, and, as already expressed, somehow "chaotic".



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I've written meanwhile variously about the important role of the Poilly decks at other places. The two most relevant posts are likely here:

Petit Oracle des dames, c. 1807
POST #25
http://tarotforum.net/showthread.php...ly#post3075765

New at Trionfi.com
POST #203
http://tarotforum.net/showthread.php...ly#post3048022

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

I searched for earlier "Chaos"-Iconography. I found only this:


http://www.emblems.arts.gla.ac.uk/fr...php?id=FANa040

Barthélemy Aneau's Picta poesis,
Lyons,
Macé Bonhomme, 1552
http://www.emblems.arts.gla.ac.uk/fr...ks.php?id=FANa

The original woodblock goes back to an Ovid edition produced short before 1552.



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Old 10-03-2012     Top   #10
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