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Boiardo and Sola-Busca

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Abrac  Abrac is offline
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Boiardo and Sola-Busca


The Sola-Busca may have been influenced by Boiardo, but it's clearly not an illustration of his tercets. The Capituli and the Sola-Busca came from the same time period, but they don't have much in common near as I can tell.

Boiardo was a poet; and the deck he describes in the Capituli reflects a poet's perspective. His themes come from classical literature. The Sola-Busca on the other hand reflects the work of someone deeply immersed in the occult, alchemy, astrology, and and magic. The deck is illustrated with known historical figures; however, the presence of these figures can easily be explained. Illustrating cards with known characters was common. The author(s) of the Sola-Busca may have simply been expanding on this tradition, or they may have put them there as a misdirection tactic. The deck has all the earmarks of a magical tutorial in picture form.

As for Boiardo's "game", I find his use of the word "art"(it's up to you to find the art of the game)most interesting. Art is the word used by alchemists to descibe their craft(Art of Perfection, Philosophic Art, etc.).

-fof
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Huck  Huck is offline
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I don't understand, where you see the "earmarks of a magical tutorial in picture form".
I personally see homosexual erotic, and especially, when I observe the trumps, I see only men.
Maybe homosexuality had occult aspects in 15th century and still in Crowley's time, but alchemy etc ... where?

I agree, that Boiardo's poem and Sola-Busca are from two different worlds, they seem to have in common the number 22 and the pairing structure, and the lovee to classical figures, but that's all. The spirit is another.
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Abrac  Abrac is offline
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Hi Huck

I may try to put something together in writing and post it. I'm going to be pretty busy for the next several months so I'm not sure if I'll be able to. Most of the magical and alchemical aspects of the Sola-Busca have been documented in Sophia Di Vincenzo's book.

-fof
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Huck  Huck is offline
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I don't know the book ... it would be nice to hear something about it.

But in our (trionficom) studies we see this context:

In the Lazzarelli hypothesis ...

all the stuff at
http://trionfi.com/0/m/00/
and in the menu

... it's assumed, that the Mantegna Tarocchi was realised in the 70s in Rome in the circle of the Accademia Romana.

The Mantegna Tarocchi is copperplate engraving, as the Sola Busca (the only 2 copperplate engraving decks ... if one will name the Mantegna Tarocchi a deck). It's assumed (our hypothesis only), that Lazzarelli participated in the Mantegna Tarocchi process. Lazzarelli was part of the circle of the Accademia Romana.
The Accademia Romana was well known for their context to the homosexual scene, even once accused for it. Also there had been elements of "magic" and "secret societies habit" involved ... they had a sort of "high priest", just in Lazzarelli's time. It's difficult to study this stuff.
When Lazzarelli made his "Fasti" (that's a text) in Rome, he incorporated praising letters of other poets (which belong mostly to the context of the Accademia Romana). One of these poets is only known by a pseudonym (pseudonyms are common in the Accademia - likely for good reasons). This pseodonym is Pamphilus.

http://trionfi.com/0/m/07/

"Pamphilus: Temporis o nostri uates clarissime carmen/ Hoc nostrum expleto perlege iudicio/...Hinc tibi fama decus nummi noua gloria surget / Sic tu defunctus nomine uiuus eris. [10 verses]
Pamphilus / wrote an epitaph on Aesop published in Rome 1475 - a riddle is around his identity "

There is a person usually called Sasso di Sassi, but also called Panfilo Sasso (1450 - 1527)

http://www.giovannidallorto.com/lavori/sasso2.html

It's Italian of course, but already in the title of the page you can see that here is a collection about homosexual poets of 15th century in Italy (... there are many poets mentioned).
Sasso di Sassi was a "wandering poet", well known to many places, so it cannot be excluded, that he was at the right time in Rome once and praised Lazzarelli (especially as the Accademia had a very special fame, which should have attracted him). Later around the early 90's, when the Sola Busca was produced (likely in Venice) it seems, that Sasso di Sasso was in the region, also with contacts to the creative court of Ferrara. Famous then for his more or less unhidden homosexuality, famous also cause some open mockery was frequently noted about his sexual habits.

We've already mentioned that 4 figures of the 22 trumps of the Sola-Busca must be seen regarded as different from the others:

0, 1, 20 + 21

The first 2 and the last 2.

"Panfilo" is the card number one and it is a very good place for the author to sign his work.
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Huck  Huck is offline
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[QUOTE=Huck]I don't know the book ... it would be nice to hear something about it.

But in our (trionficom) studies we see this context:

In the Lazzarelli hypothesis ...

all the stuff at
http://trionfi.com/0/m/00/
and in the menu

... it's assumed, that the Mantegna Tarocchi was realised in the 70s in Rome in the circle of the Accademia Romana.

The Mantegna Tarocchi is copperplate engraving, as the Sola Busca (the only 2 copperplate engraving decks ... if one will name the Mantegna Tarocchi a deck). It's assumed (our hypothesis only), that Lazzarelli participated in the Mantegna Tarocchi process. Lazzarelli was part of the circle of the Accademia Romana.
The Accademia Romana was well known for their context to the homosexual scene, even once accused for it. Also there had been elements of "magic" and "secret societies habit" involved ... they had a sort of "high priest", just in Lazzarelli's time. It's difficult to study this stuff.
When Lazzarelli made his "Fasti" (that's a text) in Rome, he incorporated praising letters of other poets (which belong mostly to the context of the Accademia Romana). One of these poets is only known by a pseudonym (pseudonyms are common in the Accademia - likely for good reasons). This pseodonym is Pamphilus.

http://trionfi.com/0/m/07/

"Pamphilus: Temporis o nostri uates clarissime carmen/ Hoc nostrum expleto perlege iudicio/...Hinc tibi fama decus nummi noua gloria surget / Sic tu defunctus nomine uiuus eris. [10 verses]
Pamphilus / wrote an epitaph on Aesop published in Rome 1475 - a riddle is around his identity "

There is a person usually called Sasso di Sassi, but also called Panfilo Sasso (1450 - 1527)

http://www.giovannidallorto.com/lavori/sasso2.html

It's Italian of course, but already in the title of the page you can see that here is a collection about homosexual poets of 15th century in Italy (... there are many poets mentioned).
Sasso di Sassi was a "wandering poet", well known to many places, so it cannot be excluded, that he was at the right time in Rome once and praised Lazzarelli (especially as the Accademia had a very special fame, which should have attracted him). Later around the early 90's, when the Sola Busca was produced (likely in Venice) it seems, that Sasso di Sasso was in the region, also with contacts to the creative court of Ferrara. Famous then for his more or less unhidden homosexuality, famous also cause some open mockery was frequently noted about his sexual habits.

We've already mentioned that 4 figures of the 22 trumps of the Sola-Busca must be seen regarded as different from the others:

0, 1, 20 + 21

The first 2 and the last 2.

"Panfilo" is the card number one and it is a very good place for the author to sign his work.

****

Well, our time is much more free for homosexuality than other times. Naturally in other times homosexuality had to hide in many forms. Naturally we've also the phenomenon, that many historians do keep this factor out of their considerations, just "as if blind", not reporting the "real story", but a forged one, distilled by many mental censors of the past.
So, a natural observation: "there are only men in the 22 trumps" has its difficulties to find to the right conclusion.
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DoctorArcanus  DoctorArcanus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fools_fool
Most of the magical and alchemical aspects of the Sola-Busca have been documented in Sophia Di Vincenzo's book.
Fof, thank you for starting this thread. My interest in Boiardo derives from my interest in Sola Busca, I agree that the connection betweeen the two deserve investigation.

I still have to study Boiardo seriously: I appreciate what Huck is doing on this subject and I would like to contribute.
About Di Vincenzo, I am sorry she does not present any reference about the Alchemical texts she found relevant. I will have to study that too

When comparing these decks, I would like to start with some kind of simple data gathering such as this:

Code:
                    PierpontMorgan SolaBusca Boiardo
                         Visconti
22 Trumps                    -        X        X

Knaves are classical         -        -        X
characters

Knights, Queens and Kings    -        X        X
are classical charcters

Suits of batons, cups,       X        X        -
coins and spades

Illustrated Pips             -        X        -

Made in Ferrara              -        ?        X
A lot of work must be done....it will be fun

Marco
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Huck  Huck is offline
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Why Ferrara for the Sola Busca? When the date of the foundation of the city of Venice is mentioned on the deck?? 1491 (likely).

Parallel to this we've 3 allowances of the gameTrionfi in 3 North Italian cities ... which, at this time are "Veneian cites"

Extract from Michael Hurst's page, who states at the same place, that the Sola Busca is "from Ferrara":

"1488 Brescia, Italy
Prohibition of games of chance, “buschatia”, defined as “omnis ludus taxillorum et cartarum exceptis ludis tabularum et rectis ludis triumphorum et scachorum”, thus excluding backgammon, chess, and triumphs. (M 52n; GT 98.)

1489 Salo am Gardasee, Italy
Prohibition similar to 1488 Brescia, exempting Tarot. (M 52n; GT 98-99.)

1491 Bergamo, Italy
Prohibition similar to 1488 Brescia, exempting backgammon, chess, and Tarot. (M 52n; GT 99.)"

In Michael's long article to the Sola Busca the word "Ferrara" is not mentioned.

...............

who made this argument?
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DoctorArcanus  DoctorArcanus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huck
Why Ferrara for the Sola Busca? When the date of the foundation of the city of Venice is mentioned on the deck?? 1491 (likely).
It is possible that the Sola Busca is from Venice.
I think it is from Ferrara for sytlistic reasons. I think I can see analogies between a few of the cards and some XV Century Ferrara painting: I will have to connect a few images and try to understand if this impression of mine makes sense.

The Sola Busca book by Sofia Di Vincenzo has an excellent introduction by Giuseppe Berti:

Quote:
Stimulated by the beuty of this images (i.e. the photograph at the British Museum) the English iconolgist Arthur M. Hind went to the home of Count Sola in Milan i n1934 to study them first hand.
...
With regard to the color implementation, Hind ventured the name of Mattia Serrati da Cosandola, an Illuminator who worked between the end of the XV Century and the beginning of the XVI at the convent of St. Bartolomeo on the outskirts of Ferrara. This suggestion arose form the presence of the monogram MS....but it is an hypotesis that still needs to be verified.
....
Most of the inscriptions referred to by Hind were added by the illuminator who later colored the black and white deck. All the handwritten phrases and initials did not exist on the original black and white version.
....
These observations, together with considerations of a technical and stylistic nature regarding the prints, led Hind to conclude that the deck had been made in Venice or in the Veneto area.
.....
Hind moreover recognized similarities to engravings of probable Veneto origni, but indicated clearer stylistic resemblances to certain prints of the Ferrarese stamp.
....
This consideration, among other things, induced Hind to hypotehsize, with much and justifiable prodence, that the 2 faces engraved on th Two of Pentacles could represent Ercole I D'Este and Gerolamo Savonarola.
So, we don't know. As you can see on Kaplan Vol.I, the Venetian inscriptions are not on the original engravings.
Marco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorArcanus
It is possible that the Sola Busca is from Venice.
I think it is from Ferrara for sytlistic reasons. I think I can see analogies between a few of the cards and some XV Century Ferrara painting: I will have to connect a few images and try to understand if this impression of mine makes sense.

The Sola Busca book by Sofia Di Vincenzo has an excellent introduction by Giuseppe Berti:

### "Stimulated by the beuty of this images (i.e. the photograph at the British Museum) the English iconolgist Arthur M. Hind went to the home of Count Sola in Milan i n1934 to study them first hand.
...
With regard to the color implementation, Hind ventured the name of Mattia Serrati da Cosandola, an Illuminator who worked between the end of the XV Century and the beginning of the XVI at the convent of St. Bartolomeo on the outskirts of Ferrara. This suggestion arose form the presence of the monogram MS....but it is an hypotesis that still needs to be verified.
....
Most of the inscriptions referred to by Hind were added by the illuminator who later colored the black and white deck. All the handwritten phrases and initials did not exist on the original black and white version.
....
These observations, together with considerations of a technical and stylistic nature regarding the prints, led Hind to conclude that the deck had been made in Venice or in the Veneto area.
.....
Hind moreover recognized similarities to engravings of probable Veneto origni, but indicated clearer stylistic resemblances to certain prints of the Ferrarese stamp.
....
This consideration, among other things, induced Hind to hypotehsize, with much and justifiable prodence, that the 2 faces engraved on th Two of Pentacles could represent Ercole I D'Este and Gerolamo Savonarola.
" ###

So, we don't know. As you can see on Kaplan Vol.I, the Venetian inscriptions are not on the original engravings.
Marco

To: "So, we don't know. As you can see on Kaplan Vol.I, the Venetian inscriptions are not on the original engravings."

Kaplan says not in Vol. 1, but Vol II: "Comparison with the extant cards in the Albertina Collection, which have no illumination, show that the painter added some details to the original engravings. The initial on the aces, "S.M." are probably those of the illuminator." p. 297.

I don't know, if there is any way to decide which is original and which is copy. The idea of this "clear identification" seems to have been that the engraver's plate was modified definitely, so that it couldn't be used any longer for the printing. But is this technically true?
An engraver was able to print only the half or a part of an existing copperplate, also he was able to compose one great engraving out of various small copperplates.
When he had a commissioner, who wished a Sola Busca without Venetian inscription, he could do so, just giving no ink to these details. In this case the fuller Venetian Sola Busca engraving would have been the original.

But it is not a real poblem and Berti states, that all inscriptions are handpainted and written. Of course a Ferrarian artist could have worked for the Venetian bookmarket for instance. About 80 km distance, that is not much.
And we suspect Sasso da Sassi ... not as the engraver, but as the deciding poet. He was well known in Ferrara.

We've a Venetian-Ferrarese war till 1483/84 ... at that time relations were not good. But in February 1485 Niccolo da Correggio "accompagna Ercole d'Este a Venezia ed č presente ad una solenne giostra organizzata in piazza San Marco da Roberto da San Severino" ... so then already again cultural exchange worked.
We've 3 allowances of the "Trionfi" game in Venetian cities short after this from 1488 - 1491 and the Sola Busca production is indicated for 1491 in Venice. There are not much allowances for Trionfi known (I guess, the complete number is 5), so the whole should be not accidently corelated in time.
Perhaps the Venetian senate changed an earlier prohibition (which stayed unknown to our eyes). Perhaps the Venetian senate didn't like these "Milanese customs" earlier - Venetia understood itself as republic, and perhaps "Trionfi" (cards and triumphal processions) were identified as anti-republican in style. Perhaps they changed this politic with the end of the war of Ferrara-Venice and became more tolerant then.
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DoctorArcanus  DoctorArcanus is offline
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8 Queens


The characters on the figures of the Sola Busca deck are not easy to identify. Only the Queens are clear:

Queen of Cups: Polissena / Polyxena - daughter of King Priam of Troy; was captured by the Greek and killed as a sacrifice before they left from Troy.

Queen of Coins: Elena / Helen of Troy - A Greek queen that left her husband for a Trojan Prince (Paris). She was the first cause of the Trojan war and the fall of Troy.

Queen of Wands: Palas / Pallas Athena Minerva - Greek goddess of War

Queen of Swords: Olinpia / Olympias - The mother of Alexander the Great. "A woman of a jealous and implacable temper", according to Plutarch.

I collected a few more information in the pages reachable from:
http://www.tarotpedia.com/wiki/index...la_Busca_Tarot


Boiardo's queens are:

Queen of Fear (Andromache):
FEAR prevented Andromache from saving
Her son, seeing Ulysses: and made him enter
Into the same tomb as his father Hector.

Queen of Jealousy (Juno):
JEALOUSY made Juno come to earth many times
For various loves of Jove,
Because whoever has it in the heart can never rest.

Queen of Hope (Judith):
HOPE led Judith
Out of Betulia, to put Oloferne to an end,
and it seemed it was nothing but a big hope.

Queen of Love (Venus):
LOVE, the son of Venus, made her
Burn for Adonis and with such flames:
Because Love infuses its star also from heaven.

All of Sola Busca queens are from Greek myths. Boiardo's are from different origins: Venus and Juno are the Roman versions of Greek goddesses. Judith is a Biblical character. Andromache is a character from the War of Troy (like Polyxena and Helen).

So, 7 of the 8 queens are derived from Greek mythology.

In Boiardo, the Queens of Fear and Jealousy have a negative meaning, and the Queens of Hope and Love a positive meaning. Actually, the positive/negative meaning is not relative to the main character, but to the specific episod. For instance, Juno is not negative "per se", but is negative as a moral example of excessive jealousy.

On the other hand, all of the 4 Sola Busca queens seem to have a negative meaning. In particular, Polyxena and Helen are negative, both connected to the fall of Troy. Olympias is also partially positive, being the mother of one of the greatest man in the history of the world. Pallas can also be seen as partially positive.

Any comments?
What do you think?

Marco
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