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Charles VI. from 1463 with 16 trumps

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Huck  Huck is offline
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Charles VI. from 1463 with 16 trumps


Hi Rosanne,

I've moved this part, as it needs a new head-line, as it advances a lot further than the Toscanelli/Regiomontanus aspect.

For those, who are interested: the dialog started here (Toscanelli / Regiomontanus thread)

http://tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=91295

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosanne
Maybe there was only 16 trumps meant to be in these cards like the D'Este.
With all the astronmers, maybe depicted you have some sort of magic square like the melancholy of the times, Ficino's personal melancholy and the Jupiter Magic Square depicted by the 16 cards and Neo Platoism of the Academy?
8 Male(even numbers) 8 female (odd numbers) and the celebrating of a Triumph to lift the Melancholy and give a particular Ficino message at the same time for Lorenzo?
4....14....15....1 Emperor Tower Strength World
9......7.....6....12 Justice Temperance Love HangedMan
5.....11....10....8
16.....2......3....13
or some such order to fit with the theme....
Man is the greatest wonder in nature. All other things under God are always in themselves of one certain kind of being; this essence is at once all of them. It possesses in itself images of the divine things upon which it depends. It also possesses the reasons and models of the inferior things which it in a sense brings forth. Since it is the mean of all things, it possesses the powers of all; hence it transforms itself into all things. And because it is itself the true bond of the universe, in passing into some things it does not forsake the others, but enters into individual things, and at the same time preserves all things. Therefore it can with justice be called the center of nature, the middle point of all that is, the chain of the world, the face of all and the knot and bond of the universe.

THEOLOGIA PLATONICA, 1469-74

Something for Lorenzo to meditate upon when he takes up the reins of power..........but whatever- it is interesting. ~Rosanne
Well, if you have cards without numbers and interesting motifs, there should have been the natural impulse for the explorer of these cards, to lay them down and play with them, to find an order - or to try another order, if you're not pleased with an order, which the author have given so.

16 has the favour that you can present them in a 4x4-matrix.

The Michelino deck had 16 trumps: 16 gods
The Cary-Yale had 16 trumps (if one accepts our reconstruction)

Before there were the chess Iconography (since early 14th century, which had 2x16 trumps (or pictures)
Also before there were 16 gods pictures in the checs amoureux.
Both according the 16 chess figures on the usual board

The geomantic system had 16 figures.

The Italian court card system had 16 figures

Diane O'Donovan favoured the theory, that all was made with 16 or even 17 symbols on the base of a compass and star picture system, very old

****

Well, and the Charles VI has 16 trumps and one additional card. There is the possibility, that these 16 trumps are complete. At least one should consider this possibility.

The "missing" cards of the Charles VI are (inside the Marseille system):

1 The Magician
2 The Popess
3 The Empress
10 Fortune
15 Devil
17 Star

Why should just these miss in Florence?

Let's assume, that the deck is from 1463 ... and from Florence.

1463 was the year of adolescence of Lorenzo de Medici, now 14 years old ... perhaps here we've the reason, why card-playing in Florence got a new (repeated) allowance.

In 1450 it's somehow likely, that the idea "Eastern Emperor, Western Emperor", which we still find later in the modern Minchiate (also Florence), was inside the deck. An Eastern Emperor still existed in 1450 in reality (till 1453 and the fall of Constantinople).

When Florence in their "Trionfi deck" wished to realise this, they had trouble to take a possibly already existing popess-empress-emperor-pope, as we know it from the 14 Bembo trumps.

Perhaps this other start explains, why we just don't have the first 3 cards not in this deck.

Magician, Popessa, Empress ...

The 16 cards of the Cary-Yale in the (hypothetical) reconstruction of autorbis had:

http://trionfi.com/0/c/2209/



The wole must be seen as a part of a chessboard:





... a popess and an empress, but not a magician.

So we have for the situation of 1450, when (hypothetically) the first Florentian deck was made, no Magician before (at least we don't know him). The 14 Bembo cards with Magician are (at least hypothetical) given later, in 1452.

So the missing Magician is explained .. it didn't exist till then (hypothetical).

But Popess and Empress did exist in Milan 1441.

Now, we've for 1441 a very specific situation: a council still acting at Basel and a council still acting in Florence Rome and two popes: Felix and Eugen. Felix with children and family.

Milan was pro-Felix and Florence was pro-Eugen.

Milan was satisfied with a Popessa, but Florence wouldn't have been.

So the missing Popessa is explained

In the order of the Cary-Yale the whole lived from the Chess idea, in which one could transform bishop-King-Queen-bishop into the Popessa- Empress-Emperor-Pope-idea. As the Popessa didn't work for Florence, the concept was broken.
And in 1450 ... the concrete Emperor, Fredrick III., hadn't an Empress, but, luck of heaven, soon he would get one and in December the talking might have been already around, that the Emperor would possibly marry in Italy and that was good news.
But for 1450 it was not possible to put an Empress into the deck.

So the missing Empress is explained.

Now we've the feature, that once orders have been formed in card decks, that they might endure long.

In the Minchiate of 16th/17th century we as first cards:

1 Juggler (finally taken)
2 The Grand Duke (which existed not in 1450, but only since 1537 or around this tmie)
3 Western Emperor
4 Eastern Emperor (which recently in 1450 had visited the city)

No Empress, no Popessa.

So these first 3 cards are not really missing.


********

10, Wheel of Fortune is missing
a rather sensible point

The Wheel of Fortune was (at least in Germany) more or less used for Sortilege books, divination, perhaps it was also a picture for luck in the game.

That might have been no problem in Germany or in Milan, but the people of Florence (at least in 1450) were a little more religious. Perhaps they would have seen there "divination and "that is forbidden" .. or something like this.

In the Cary-Yale reconstruction we've also no "wheel-of-fortune", cause it simply didn't fit in the chess-game. But we have as one of two trumps a wheel-of-fortune in the Brera-Brambilla-deck, but nobody knows what concept was realised in this deck. Autorbis thinks, that it possibly had only 4 or 8 trumps and belongs to the Imperatori phase.

It came back with the 14 Bembo cards.

*****

Devil, missing

no devil everywhere, we think, that this motif likely appeared 1477.

*****

Star, missing

It seems, that Gozzoli wasn't ready in 1463 with his Medici Capella (about this point exist different opinions by the experts). The festivity with involvement of the 3 Magi took place likely 1465 (if we could believe Macchiavelli), and we've already said, that in the Charles VI deck the Moon was filled with astronomical heroes (Toscanelli + Regiomontanus) and the sun with a symbol of the local industry - so there is no reference, that the 3-cards symbol stat-moon-sun already existed. A Moon-Sun combination without star is possible.

So, actually you're right, no card is REALLY missing, when we assume this deck as from "about 1463" ... but we've reason to assume, that the deck of 1450 at least in one point (Eastern Emperor, Western Emperor) should have been different.

It could have had 16 cards.

With that would we have, that the Florentine development since 1450 likely was oriented on the deck form, which was used for the Cary-Yale (the 14 Bembo cards didn't exist; the Ferrarese form - 1442 - we don't know; the 14 "ideas" of 1441 we also don't know).
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Huck  Huck is offline
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Ha ..

... and now we've the nice occupation to find the riddle of this 16 cards.

0 Fool ... we've a Fool possibly already 1441 (in the present of Bianca Maria)
and with security in the 14 Bembo cards. We've the suspicion, that the iconography of the Florentine Fool (very different to the Bembo-Fool) was influenced by the Morgante of Pulci.

4 Emperor ... we've an Emperor in the Brera-Brambilla, we've an Emperor in the Karnöffel trumps, we've an Emperor likely in the Imperatori, in the Cary-Yale, in the Bembo. The Emperor is the most stable thing in the game. From Florence and the Apollonio Virgil-edition we've an (Emperor or King) Priamos with a similar crown.

5 Pope ... we've a Pope in the Karnöffel-trumps, likely in the Imperatori-game, not in the Cary-Yale-fragment, but in the Cary-Yale reconstruction and in the Bembo cards. And a Jupier with a similar hat or tiara as the pope in the Apollonio Virgil edition.

6 Love ... an unusual love with 3 pairs and two cupidos, totally 8 persons. We've a love card in the Cary-Yale (marriage deck) and in the 14 Bembo cards.

7 Chariot ... we've a male charioteer and he looks young and the chariot might have Medici heraldic with 7 palle .... we've a femele charioteer in the
Cary-Yale and in the Bembo cards

.... and we've here the first horse-symbol and we've also a death on horse and one needs two horses for chess.

And the most remarkable thing of the whole deck is the Tower (and this was never in Milan), but it was hidden in the Cary-Yale on the fame and the judgment card.

Fame isn't in the Charles VI, but there is a Tower. And the judgment cards has trumpets and trumpets are the symbol of the elephant and the elephant is used as chess-tower.

The deck has no empress. In chess this would be the Queen. It's missing in this deck, as the Queen is missing in all oriental chess games, and I think, that these have often an elephant.

So the Rooks of chess are indicated in the Judgment and Tower card. In the Cary-Yale reconstruction the towers were given to Judgment and Fame.

********

This deck reads the chess pairs (2 towers, 2 knights, 2 bishops) in dualistic negative/positive form:

Knights:
Chariot with horses (triumph / victory) - positive
Death on horse (death / defeat) - negative

Rooks:
Angel (the dead people are happy and come back to life again) - positive
Tower (a scene of destruction) - negative

bishops (mostly seen as advisors in chess):
Time (shown as a wise man in this Trionfi card version) - positive
Hanging Man (the traitor) - negative

Queen:
in this version the pope, follwing the oriental standard, which knows no queen

King:
Emperor

*****

In comparition to the Cary-Yale version (reconstructed) we've some changes:



Identical:
Emperor for King
Chariot for knight
Death for knight
Angel for Rook

Replaced:
Fame is now Tower for Rook
Pope as bishop is now Time as bishop
Popessa as bishop is now Hanging Man as bishop
Empress as Queen is now Pope as Queen.

The reconstructed version of Cary saw as the pawns the 7 virtues and as the 8th factor "Love"

In the Charles VI we've the virtues reduced to 4 and the 8th factor is stable, though variated with now 3-4 pairs of persons.

New are:
Fool - presenting Florencian literature, the Morgante
Moon - presenting Florentian wisdom and Science, Toscanelli
Sun - presenting Florentian industry.

*******

Well, it seems, that the Charles VI is a chess-version of the Trionfi-game of ca. 1463, following mainly the earlier Milanese version (1441) in a Florentine adaptation.
This adaptation should have had at least "one bridge" in 1450, a deck, which had at least one difference to the later Charles VI (Eastern Emperor, Western Emperor).


Perhaps one might assume, that this deck also had 80 cards (5x16 structure), as it is assumed for the Cary-Yale by us.

********

I'm interested to remind here, that we've more or less always presented the
viewing point, that the distribution of Trionfi cards (perhaps till 1470 or little later) was not very large.

The argument, that a 5x14-version or 5x16-version must have lead to more tradition in later decks, doesn't coun, if this distribution of these decks was limited only to a small circle.

Naturally the allowance of 1450 indicates a greater distribution, but nobody tells us, if this earlier edition was a large success. Perhaps these earlier decks were simply "too expensive" and the limitation to only few persons was a natural result.


So, let's declare a sort of success:



A young triumphator, the suspicion is given, that this representation aimed in a somewhat "humble" manner on the young Lorenzo de Medici, now proud 14 years old and with that "grown-up" in the mind of persons of the time.

There is read hat.



This is Cosimo de Medici, the grand-father, and there is the same red hat.





The same hat, but the color is missing.



A series of red hats to the left, the form of Cosimo's red (olf man on horse, leading) hat is variated.

It seems obvious, that this "red hat" had special meaning and that it is indicated, that this young man now belonged to a "specific class" of persons in Florence. Whatever this class was ... I don't know it for the moment.

There are on the chariot these 7-dots-elements.

It's said (we've seen this at more than one place), that the heraldic of the Medici changed their heraldic shield from 7 palle to the later usual 6 palle. However, it's difficult to find pictures with this 7 palle.

So there's an interest to find these 7 palle at contemporary "before 1465" pictures. (Well, it's possible, that pictures from earlier time were "updated" later to six palle).
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Ross G Caldwell  Ross G Caldwell is offline
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Hi Huck,

I think you're ignoring a lot of stuff.

We know our knowledge is very fragmentary, and decks lose their cards. There is only one court card in the Charles VI set - every other suit card is gone. Why shouldn't six of the trumps be missing also? Why should we assume that what we have in the trumps of ANY 15th century deck is the complete series, when there is no complete series of any tarot deck in the 15th century, except for the Sola Busca (which might not be 15th century).

The reasonable assumption is that there are missing trumps.

With the ensemble of tarot trumps from all decks suspected to have been made between 1441 and 1455 (giving Charles VI a "circa" date), every trump but the Devil is accounted for. That's a quick time to have all those standard subjects. The Steele sermon lists the standard trumps, and this sermon, closely based on another sermon written before 1450, has to be early (despite the date of the presumed copy).

We know that the type of cards had a standard name, and that the game had a standard name. It is reasonable to think that the deck used to play this game had a standard also. We suspect it is being played in the Borromeo fresco, we know it was a retail commodity in 1442, we know it too cheap for a Queen in 1448, we know it was already recognized in law in 1450, we know it was a retail commodity in 1450 (Sforza expected his decks in days, i.e. already made), we know already a basic rule in 1456 (four players in two partnerships). We know it was a game with a name - by definition, there was a standard practice, and must have had standard tools to play it.

We know it was all over Italy within 30 years, between 1442 and 1473. It seems impossible that most of these items could be unique and with different numerations, although identical subjects when taken as a whole class. And this is what this is about, the class of the item with the name of the class - carte da trionfi.

Who could have the power to change everywhere the basic structure of a game that everybody knew already?

There is no mention of carte da trionfi among Lorenzo's possessions -
http://www.memofonte.it/home/files/pdf/lorenzo.pdf
(although this is how we know of the birth tray with Fama on it) - or any kinds of playing cards, for that matter. But we know that princes and the wealthy had no reason to hide them, from the inventories of Valentina/Louis and Jacques Coeur (for instance). But the main point is, that you need to suppose that the cards were always rare and unique items, YET, they were always known by the same name. How is it that each time somebody wanted to make a set, they knew what to do? What subjects might be appropriate? What to call it? Was there a tradition invisible to us, that the designers of pageants and the artisans of gifts drew upon, when making each and every unique commission?

Yes there was of course, the STANDARD SERIES of triumph cards. The standard game of triumphs. And it is not invisible to us, but was there. And the cards that have come down to us have lost some subjects, they are not different games entirely, constructed each time according to different principles for a dogmatic or heraldic reason. The heraldry was adapted to the game, not the game to the heraldry.

There is every reason to think that the game took hold in northern Italy in the 1440s, and what we know is just the tip of the iceberg for what went on. What has survived is not the whole picture, and it is naïve to take it as such.

Ross
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Ross G Caldwell  Ross G Caldwell is offline
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Hi Huck,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huck
Fame isn't in the Charles VI, but there is a Tower. And the judgment cards has trumpets and trumpets are the symbol of the elephant and the elephant is used as chess-tower.

In the Charles VI we've the virtues reduced to 4 and the 8th factor is stable, though variated with now 3-4 pairs of persons.
I'm not sure why you still think the Charles VI World is Prudence. The reason that anybody ever thought it might represent, in some sense, Prudence, is that she had the same halo as the Virtues. There is no other reason (that, and the bias that there *should* be a Prudence somewhere).

But we have seen now, as the previous commentators did not know, that the Triumph of Fame, from the same place and time (most probably) as the Charles VI, is given this distinction - alone among depictions of Petrarch's Triumphs. The Charles VI figure also matches, in every essential attribute, the conventional properties of Fame.

In 1906, an anonymous writer for the Burlington Magazine
http://books.google.fr/books?id=64tt...QqWts#PPA68,M1
quoted the opinion of Werner Weisbach, who was discussing Pesellino's depiction of Fame on the Cassone he made for an unknown occasion, sometime before 1450


(now in the Gardner Museum, Boston -
http://www.gardnermuseum.org/collect...ino_p15e18.asp )

He writes -

Quote:
Far the most carefully studied of the six Triumphs is that of Fame - the first subject of the second panel. The car is drawn by two white horses, one of which grazing; beside them walk two bound captives, whose athletic figures reveal the influence of Uccello. Fame, with an octagonal halo and an orb in her left hand, sits before a kind of Mappamondo, upon mountains, and walled cities are lightly indicated. Weisbach has shown that this form of penumbra is suggested by a passage in Boccaccio's "Visione Amorosa" (cap. vi). At the right of the chariot stands a group of thirteen clerkly persons, at the left six great warriors; in these two pursuit fame being chiefly won."
Weisbach's literary source for this in Amorosa Visione of Boccaccio, stanza VI (the first stanza of Fame), which goes (rough translation)

"Beholding this personage holding in her hand
A sharp sword, with which
The world appeared to me to be threatened.
She was garbed in imperial fashion,
And held in her left hand
A golden apple, and in the royal throne
I beheld, she was seated; and by her right hand
There were two horses, which with stout chest
Drew the car between the people below.
And there was around this
sovereign Lady, enemy of death
with magnanimous aspect, a
circle which moved, grand and rotund,
from her feet going above her head.
I don’t believe that there was anything in all the world,
Towns, countries, domestic or foreign,
That didn’t appear inside that round.
Above these was written, and not in vain,
A verse which said the explanation:
“I am the Glory of worldly people.”

Weisbach might have been right... Apollonio's depiction of this triumph actually has the words "Gloria Mundi" above it (mispelled 'Grolia Mundi" in the manuscript, of course). And the main features are there - The World, seated on it, holding the globe (no sword here, unless it has been degraded).

Apollonio used a different thing in her left hand, a cupid (for Love), but the golden apple refers just as well to Love (because of the Trojan War) - it could be that for some that was too obscure, and cupid more direct. Also, the birth tray Fame has wings, a feature sometimes present in descriptions of her (like in Ripa later), but not necessarily. We know it was Fame in all these cases, even though there are some changes.

So we have every reason to suspect that the Charles VI artist had Fame in mind when he made his design (and none at all to think of Prudence). But a better title for tarot might be "Gloria Mundi", since the emphatic part of the alteration of the design is the presentation of the World.

Ross
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mjhurst  mjhurst is offline
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A Dissenting Opinion


Hi, Ross,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross G Caldwell
I'm not sure why you still think the Charles VI World is Prudence. The reason that anybody ever thought it might represent, in some sense, Prudence, is that she had the same halo as the Virtues. There is no other reason (that, and the bias that there *should* be a Prudence somewhere).
There is more to it than that. There are four figures with a common attribute, commonly given to the virtues. Three of the four figures are three of the four Classical Virtues, and the fourth figure is the highest card, matching Prudence, the Intellectual Virtue which governs the three Moral Virtues. That has not changed.

In fact, despite all our rummaging around in the obscure world of polygonal halos, essentially NOTHING has changed. We had the facts right from the beginning, as they apply to Tarot, despite having learned a great deal about things other than Tarot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross G Caldwell
But we have seen now, as the previous commentators did not know, that the Triumph of Fame, from the same place and time (most probably) as the Charles VI, is given this distinction - alone among depictions of Petrarch's Triumphs.
Yeah... so what?

This is a Tarot deck, not Petrarch's Triumphs, and the World card is NOT the only figure in this work with such a halo. Your argument fails twice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross G Caldwell
The Charles VI figure also matches, in every essential attribute, the conventional properties of Fame.
Hardly. Both Prudence and Fama usually have other attributes, which are not shown in the Charles VI World card. This depiction is going to be unique in one way or another, so some additional argument must be developed; an argument pertaining to this deck.

Instead of comparing it just to Petrarch's Triumphs, we can compare it to other Tarot decks. We have decks in which both the virtues and Fama appear, and the virtues are given the polygonal halo. Does Fama wear the polygonal halo in those decks? Does Fama replace the World in those decks?

Do you have any example of any work ever where Fama is shown with a polygonal halo alongside virtues with the same attribute?

It seems that Shephard has by far the best of this argument. (He makes a lot of lame arguments, so it's good to point out one where he got it right.) We need to first look to the work in question. In that work the three Moral Virtues are shown with a polygonal halo, and also given such an attribute is a woman with attributes of sovereignty on the World card. There is an obvious conclusion, based on the use of polygonal halos on virtues and on Fame in other decks and other works. The figure is certainly not Fame, and the figure is almost certainly Prudence.

Best regards,
Michael
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Hi Ross- I can't speak or read the Lorenzo inventory- is there any Games there? Like Chess? Or Backgammon? It occurred to me that cards under the cover of Chess in images would be acceptable.
I still have not worked out what are the reasons for 1450 as a date for Charles V1 type cards?
Secondly- why could not the Trumps be kept separate from the pips? You have two purposes for the price of one. Women and children play with the pips and then when the men come and play with the women you put the deck back together again? You then can use the trumps for education as well- just like Marriage Chests had several purposes as did things with images. Even plate had dual purpose- melted down it was coin. Why would not the cards be in the possession of his teacher or his mother- likely all mothers keep the images of their children- even if depicted in a game.
Somehow when reading about Card History the everyday usage gets lost. For me it is like imaging how the Egyptians lived by how they were buried- stylised and formal and somewhat divorced from the household. I know the facts have to be formally explained, but there is life in there somewhere. ~Rosanne
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IS the date of the card fairly well set ( the "chariot" style one in Hucks post)? Lorenzo de Medici's youngest son came to mind when I saw the card (Giovanni dei Medici) The curly hair, rather then straight and the red hat of his office as Cardinal Deacon at the very young age of 13. I am a absolute beginner when it comes to the history of cards, but not completely new to history. If that is a picture of a Medici then Giovanni comes to mind as a possibility. That would date to about mid 1490's. Just a thought, I wonder if he could be identified through his "Armour/suit". Great pride was taken in clothing and likely what he is wearing was real.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The crowned one
IS the date of the card fairly well set ( the "chariot" style one in Hucks post)? Lorenzo de Medici's youngest son came to mind when I saw the card (Giovanni dei Medici) The curly hair, rather then straight and the red hat of his office as Cardinal Deacon at the very young age of 13. I am a absolute beginner when it comes to the history of cards, but not completely new to history. If that is a picture of a Medici then Giovanni comes to mind as a possibility. That would date to about mid 1490's. Just a thought, I wonder if he could be identified through his "Armour/suit". Great pride was taken in clothing and likely what he is wearing was real.
Independant of the evaluation of the time of the deck the hat is not a cardinal's hat. The accompanying persons of the Pope card have cardinal hats, at least as the painter perceived them.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huck
Independant of the evaluation of the time of the deck the hat is not a cardinal's hat. The accompanying persons of the Pope card have cardinal hats, at least as the painter perceived them.

I was wondering if the wide brim would come up. That was not always the case, there are many examples of it being otherwise in art from the period.
Red caps were very common in 15cen Italy.

Here is an example: From 1460's

http://cgfa.sunsite.dk/mantegna/p-manteg15.htm

Still as you say I am likely wrong, He just happened to enter my mind because his age and status would make better sense then Lorenzo de Medici at the same age. As his father said in a pretty famous letter... "You are not only the youngest cardinal in the college, but the youngest person that ever was raised to that rank; and you ought, therefore, to be the most vigilant and unassuming, not giving others occasion to wait for you, either in the chapel, the consistory or upon deputations.".....
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The red hats of all shapes in the 1459 Procession of the Magi- are worn by dignitaries members in this particular painting fresco. Cosimo on the Brown horse -Piero his father on the white horse- Sforza is third- the wolf of Rimini is in armour next Sforza. Lorenzo has a hat to look like the Magi or King. Other red hats are Este and Gonzaga. So red hats signal those involved with the Peace of Lodi 1454, five years earlier. The cake tin red hats are Mantua Hats- not shown in the fresco.
In the Pope card the cardinals are wearing their outdoor or traveling hats called galeros and red cloak called Vestis Talaris. The fact they are wearing red- means they are traveling under Papal instruction- otherwise at this time in the 15th Century they would have worn black or purple capes and a biretta (not the gun ) Skull cap.
So to Lorezo on his Chariot- he is dressed like Medici Soldier (like the famous Malatesta)
~Rosanne
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