The Boiardo Tarocchi poem on its way out of some Italian dust


Regarding the pairing principle between the Boiardo trumps ..

mjhurst said:
Yes, many good ideas -- especially simple ones -- tend to be obvious. Boiardo was considerate of his audience by making the first pairing dead easy: Idleness and Labor. The good/bad aspect is equally obvious, as is the fact that the odd-numbered figures are male and the even-numbered ones female. (Some others are very obscure.) However, just because they are obvious does not mean that they are unimportant, nor that the first writer to point that out should not be cited. Who else might have referred to it more explicitly? Someone who has read Renier, Dummett's 1973 article, and other relevant works, would be in a better position to comment. However, although Lothar is probably where I got the idea, Viti appears to have alluded to it in his commentary, where one of the even-numbered comments refers to the previous odd-numbered subject.

Renier indeed made a remark about it ...

Se non che qui non abbiamo una serie fatta a catena, ma le relazioni ci appaiono sempre fra due elementi consecutivi. Il primo posto è del matto, che si fa combinare con l' ultimo trionfo, il mondo, mentre il posto del mondo è occupato dalla fortezza. Nei trionfi intermedi osserviamo che, secondo la serie ascendente, fatica vince ozio, ragione vince desio, grazia vince secreto, pazienza vince sdegno, perseveranza vince errore, fede vince dubbio, sapienza vince inganno, modestia vince caso [È questo l' unico luogo in cui non intendo troppo bene la relazione fra i due elementi.], esperienza vince pericolo, oblivione vince tempo.

... totally 3 sentences. For the Trionfi research it was not deciding, cause autorbis developed his pairing opinion years ago on the base of the short note of Stuart Kaplan to Boiardo, before "Renier in Internet" and before Internet.

As far I see it, Renier didn't see, that it was also expressed by the gender of the central persons, something which was explored ca. 2006 by us ... as far I remember after the translation, cause without the translation it would have been hard to discover this with security, as the text of the tercets contains various names, which are "not central". So the interpretation "before a translation was known" was possible perhaps to Italians, but to understand these Italian opinions one has to understand Italian.

The interest to control "all, what was written before" to a specific topic, is for practical reasons often not possible. A day has 24 hours and life is not endless and the working desk is full of unread stuff. Sure, the new technical possibilities (search engines with their short existence) and the grandious opportunities which have appeared with and others, do change here something ... but finally, these "world of opinions, misunderstandings of the researchers, interpretation developments etc." isn't the "real object" ... as it is in this case simply the real poem of Boiardo.


Reading through this Lucretia stuff and reports to early theatre the correlation between 10.000 spectators at one evening in Jan. 1486 in Ferrara to a "few activities" in houses of cardinals and a special show of Politano's Orpheus in
Mantova before looks somehow improbable.

There should have been a little more before.
I stumbled upon a list of Terence' comedies printings ...,M1

(the list has many pages) ... and was overwhelmed about the fact, how much interest this author got from beginning of printing on:

I made a summary of the first years to get an overview:

Comedies of TERENTIUS Afer, Publ. Comoediae.
- J. Mentelin 1470
- Brixiae 1471
- Naples, Sixt. Riessinger 1471
- Rome, U. Han 1471
- Rome, J. Ph. de Lignamine
- Venice, J. de Colonia, 1472
- Rome, Sweynheim und Pannartz 1472
- Venice, (Vindel. de Spira, May 1473
- Milan, Valdorfer 1474
- J. di Reno April 1475
- Aug. 1475
- Rome, Bm. Guldinbeck 1475
- about 1475
- Rome, G. Lauer
- Milan, Ant. Zarotus, March 1476
- Venice, Jac. Gallicus, September 1476
- Venice, 1476
- Rome, J. Hugo von Gengenbach
- Milan, Ant. Zarotus 1477
- Tarvisii., Hm. Levilapis October 1477
- about 1478
- Taurini, J. Fabri 1478
- Naples, Fr. de Dino August 1478
- Par. Gering, about 1478
- Milan, Dm. de Vespalote / Jac. de Marliano, Sept. 1478

... and this truely doesn't give the impression, that Ercole's show was the first. And the probability is great, that this list is far from being complete.

It seems not logical, that Terence got so many readers without real shows (likely one should assume for this early time of printing, that each book found more than one reader and user).



Earlier I identified this picture as possibly showing Lucrezia d'Este, Giovanni Bentivoglio and Annibale Bentivoglio, but I discovered another picture:


Left above the central person with the text paper is a person, who seems to have the identity of the person at the other picture, whic I took as "Annibale".

The description, however, says:

Data Group Portrait of the Bentivoglio Family. COSTA, Lorenzo
Description Group Portrait of the Bentivoglio Family. COSTA, Lorenzo
Catalogue Text
Biography COSTA, Lorenzo
Zoom Group Portrait of the Bentivoglio Family. COSTA, Lorenzo
Born in Ferrara, Lorenzo Costa trained with the Ferrarese artist Ercole de'Roberti (1455/56-1496). At the start of the 1480s he is documented in Bologna at the court of Giovanni II Bentivoglio (Bologna 1443-Milan 1508) who governed the city between 1463 and 1506. In 1464 Bentivoglio married Ginevra Sforza, widow of Sante Bentivoglio and niece of Francisco II, duke of Milan, with whom he had two children. Giovanni II assembled a rich and brilliant court around him which left its mark on the city's churches and palaces. Among other projects, Lorenzo Costa decorated the oratory of Santa Cecilia and the family chapel, both in the church of San Giacomo Maggiore, also working on the decoration of the new palace, destroyed in 1502.

From the inscriptions on the upper edge of the present painting it is possible to identify all the figures, arranged in lines and grouped around Alessandro Bentivoglio, who holds the musical score. In the upper row, from left to right, are Bianca Rangona, Monsignore Bentivoglio, two anonymous singers, and lastly Caterina Manfredi. In the lower level, following the same direction, is a self-portrait of the painter, Pistano, Hermes Bentivoglio (in red, full-face), a canon, and lastly, Alessandro Bentivoglio. This was not the only occasion on which the artist painted the Bentivoglio family: in 1488, Lorenzo Costa represented Giovanni II and his wife on the walls of San Giacomo Maggiore, along with two of their children. Comparing that work with the present painting, we can see similarities between the figures of Hermes and Alessandro Bentivoglio and Bianca Rangona, despite the idealisation evident here.

This unfinished group portrait has a number of interesting details. The first is the presence of the self-portrait of the artist and its implications, offering as it does a valuable image of daily life and the court in which he worked and more generally of the Italian Renaissance. Costa painted his signature and date on his cap although these are now almost illegible. Secondly, as Rudolf Heinemann noted in 1969, this painting is one of the earliest Italian group portraits.

The canvas has been in the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection since 1934 when it was acquired from the Mercuria gallery in Lucerne. The Museum's archives contain the documentation relevant to its acquisition, signed in April 1934 by Wilhelm Suida and Tancred Borenius and in May by Lionello Venturi. All three attributed the work to Lorenzo Costa.

The date that appears on the painting is compatible with the style of costume worn by the figures. However, in 1956 Roberto Longhi dated the canvas to around 1490, despite the date that appears on it, relating it to another oil by the artist, A Concert, in the National Gallery, London, and emphasising the stylistic similarities between the two.

I don't know, who "Monsignore Bentivoglio" should be and I don't know of "Bianca Rangona" (a maitress of somebody ?)


I have found another possible source for Boiardo's pairings of good and evils in his poem. Trionfi on their website mentions a division between 10 "good Sephiroth" and 10 "bad kelipoi." The problem is how to get the specific pairings that Boiardo uses: the Jewish descriptions are all pretty general. I think they come from Pico della Mirandola's 9th and 10th theses on Hermes Trismegistus, which I would guess were written before his theses on Kabbala and shared with Boiardo before publication. Pico said that the "10 evil leaders in Cabala" correspond to "the ten punishers" in Hermes (Farmer, Syncretism in the West, p. 343).

Pico in turn was referring to Corpus Hermeticum XIII.7-10 ( There Hermes lists 12 “tormentors” and describes how they must be driven out by 10 powers of God, described in a manner similar to Kabbalistic descriptions of the Sephiroth. Then the soul will be capable of rebirth. For six or seven of the tormentors, Hermes gives the specific good powers that drive them out.

Pico reduced the list of tormentors to 10, to correspond with Kabbalah. It is possible that Boiardo then used this number, juxtaposed virtues to them in the manner of Hermes, and added one vice at the beginning and one virtue at the end, which weren't in Pico or Hermes but were in the triumph decks.

Pico listed the 10 "punishers" by name: Ignorance, Sorrow, Inconstancy, Greed, Injustice, Lustfulness, Envy, Fraud, Anger, and Malice. Ignorance corresponds to Boiardo's Error; Sorrow corresponds to Secrecy (the verse is about a man's secret love); Inconstancy corresponds to Doubt; Greed corresponds to Chance (the Wheel of Fortune mentioned in the poem); Injustice corresponds to Disdain (Herod's unjust killing of Mariamne) or Peril (the assassination of Julius Caesar); Lustfulness corresponds to Desire; Envy doesn't correspond (except maybe to the assassination of Caesar, if envy is an implied traditional motive); Fraud corresponds to Deception; Anger corresponds either to Disdain (Herod's anger against the one he loved) or Peril (the angry spark of Sulla that warned of Caesar's later assassination); Malice is a 2nd evil corresponding to Deception. The two remaining Boiardo evils are Idleness and Time; neither matches any of Pico's "punishers," although they are standard Renaissance motifs. Overall the match-up is fairly good, 8 or so out of 10.

Of Hermes’ virtues, Continence corresponds to Boairdo’s Chastity, driving out Boairdo’s Desire. Joy corresponds to Boiardo’s Grace, driving out the Sorrow entailed by Boairdo’s Secrecy. Otherwise the correspondences appear to break down. Error in Hermes is driven out by Truth; Injustice by Justice; Greed by Generosity; Ignorance by Knowledge; the rest are not clear to me. In Boiardo, Deception is driven out by Wisdom, Doubt by Faith, Peril by Experience, and Time by Oblivion. These are more Christian than Hermes’, which of course are Hermetic.

In conclusion, there is a fairly close match up between the torments in Hermes/Pico and the evils in Boiardo. The general idea of powers of God driving out torments comes from Hermes, and a few of the actual correspondences. But Boiardo is adapting Hermes to the Christian setting of his particular time and place. From Pico’s hints, it is possible that Boiardo was also be intending an allusion to Kabbalah.


I have nothing to add to this great thread, but have followed and read all the links with pleasure. Hucks opening post all that time ago made me smile with his thoughts. So here is a little crossover from another thread that Cerulean posted, and I lover her term 'gilding the Lily'...

Cerulean said:
Ihcoyc said...

My speculative opinion is that the relative absence of Greco-Roman images in the Tarot trumps, and the corresponding prominence of Christian allegory, marks the Tarot as originally a popular and populist product. It did not emerge from the ranks of the educated elite. If it did, we'd expect to see more of the gods and heroes, like we do in fine art and luxury goods from the period.

I'm in musing mode...
...That would make MM Boiardo's tarot poetry 'I Tarocchi' with the majors, minors and courts of 78 in the old Tuscan vernacular a truer novelty for the Ferrarese courtly pastime. Boiardo would spin the allegorical tercets and mentions of gods and heroes mixed with family member names and Biblical characters within the structure of popular playing card game...because it is a poetic invention with a gaming motif, he's gilding the gaming lily in a clever way...his poem is attributed to various dates, but the few historic mentions I've seen attribute the poem to prior to his epic "Orlando in Love" (1494 was MMBoiardo's death, Orlando epic published in 1495)...


Thanks Huck and nearly 'et all'


MikeH said:
I have found another possible source for Boiardo's pairings of good and evils in his poem. Trionfi on their website mentions a division between 10 "good Sephiroth" and 10 "bad kelipoi." ...

Pico in turn was referring to Corpus Hermeticum XIII.7-10 ( There Hermes lists 12 “tormentors” and describes how they must be driven out by 10 powers of God, described in a manner similar to Kabbalistic descriptions of the Sephiroth. Then the soul will be capable of rebirth. For six or seven of the tormentors, Hermes gives the specific good powers that drive them out.

Pico reduced the list of tormentors to 10, to correspond with Kabbalah.

Your observation of a parallel between Boiardo's work and Pico's is quite interesting.
Generally the 10-12-scheme, which also appears in Kabbala, should be seen as something different then the 10-10 scheme of good sephiroth and bad Qolifot., but surely it's not impossible, that Pico interpreted it in this way.

Boiardo was the far older cousin of Pico ... if they communicated with each other I don't know. Probably they did so. Boiardo learnt Hebrew (a rare quality), surely before Pico engaged in Kabbala, and Scandiano, Boiardo's home-place, knew a Jewish community already at the birth of Boiardo. Probably it's quite logical to assume, that Boiardo's studies prepared in a very natural way the studies of Pico, although perhaps the personal contacts were rare.

The suggestion is given by us (for specific Ferrarese reasons without consideration of Pico's activity), that the Boiardo Tarocchi poem should be dated "short before January 1487" and it's striking, that Pico's trouble caused by his famous publication started 1486 ... very near in time.

Thank you, a very interesting information, Mike


The interaction between the occurence of Pico's publication and the "only proposed" publication date for the Tarocchi poem of Boiardo is really remarkable.

Not precise data is given by Wikipedia:

"He finished his Oration on the Dignity of Man to accompany his 900 Theses and traveled to Rome to continue his plan to defend them. He had them published in December 1486 (Conclusiones philosophicae, cabalasticae et theologicae, Rome, 1486) and offered to pay the expenses of any scholars who came to Rome to debate them publicly."

The wedding of Lucretia d'Este, illegimate daughter of Ercole d'Este, occurred in late January 1487 and was celebrated with 2 very big theatre activities (which astonished all Italy) and a triumphal march in Bologna a few days later.
Part of the marriage show were a series of poems for the young bride ... it seems likely, that the Boiardo Tarocchi was also one of these honouring
poems. The top figure in the deck is the Roman Lucretia (from the Tarquinius Superbus story), reigning in the system of the deck above figures of some more historical importance (for instance Julius Caesar).

Wikipedia again: "In February 1487, Pope Innocent VIII halted the proposed debate, and established a commission to review the orthodoxy of the Theses."

The attack against Pico started rather immediately after the wedding.

It's remarkable, that Boiardo himself was not present at the wedding (instead a hostile relative was invited), but installed in more or less the same moment as gouverneur of Modena ... the background of this somewhat strange synchronity is mysterious to me.


Thanks for your quick reply and encouragement, Huck.

The 900 Theses were published 7 December 1486 (Farmer, p. 3). That may have been time enough for Boiardo to write his poem before the wedding. Or Boiardo could have read Corpus Hermeticum Tractate XIII on his own (Ficino’s widely read translation had been published in 1471), toyed with a poem connecting it with the game of triumphs, and finished the poem after the publication of Pico’s Theses. What Pico did was draw attention to the 1471 list, reduce it to 10, and draw the parallel with Kabbala. His work—the book of the hour, so to speak--would have provided a philosophical context for Boiardo’s poem, something that could have enhanced its value to an alert reader, as an expression of the universal philosophy of all ages and nations.

Since some readers of this thread may not be familiar with the book by Farmer, or the texts I am referring to, I should probably and say something about the book and give the relevant quotes from Pico and “Hermes Trismegistus.”

The book is S. A. Farmer’s 1998 Syncretism in the West: Pico’s 900 Theses (1486): The Evolution of Traditional Religious and Philosophical Systems, With Text, Translation, and Commentary. It has the Latin on one side and English on the other, with a long introduction and lots of notes.

Pico’s first 400 theses, or “conclusiones” are “Theses According to the Opinions of Others,” covering the Latins (meaning the Scholastics: sections 1-6), the Arabs (sections7-14), the Greek Perepatetics (sections 15-19), the Platonists (sections 20-24), and ending with the Pyathagreans (sect. 25), Chaldeans (section 26), “Mercury Trismegistus the Egyptian” (section 27) and “the Hebrew Cabalist Wisemen” (section 28). The theses I am citing are 27.9 and 27.10. And we are not even halfway through Pico’s book. After that come 500 more, called “Theses according to His Own Opinion,” on various subjects, ending with 72 “Cabalistic Conclusions.”

So here they are, 27.9 and 27.10. First the Latin, (Farmer, p. 342).

27.9. Decem intra unumquemque sunt ultores: ignorantia, tristia, inconstantia, cupiditas, iniustitia, luxuries, inuidia, fraus, ira, malitia.

27. 10. Decem ultores, de quibus dixit secundeum Mercurium praecedens conclusion, uidebit profundus contemplator correspondere male coordinationi denariae in cabala et praefectis illius, de quibus ego in cabalisticis conclusionibus nihil posui, quia est secretum.

The commas in 27.10 are underlined, meaning that they were added by Farmer for easier reading.

Now here is the English translation (Farmer, p. 343):

27.9. Within each thing there exist ten punishers: ignorance, sorrow, inconstancy, greed, injustice, lustfulness, envy, fraud, anger, malice.

27.10. A profound contemplator will see that the ten punishers, of which the preceding conclusion spoke according to Mercury, correspond to the evil order of ten in the Cabala and its leaders, of whom I have proposed nothing in my Cabalistic conclusions, because it is secret. (355)

The “(355)” I think refers to the original page number.

Then there are Farmer's footnotes. First, one on the Latin side of the page:

27.9. colon retained from 1486 edition | 1486 luxuries: deceptio: … ira: temeritas: | Emendationes errorum, dele dictions deception: temeritas: quas superflue ponuntur | 1487 text amended sic

And one on the English side:

27.9-10. Twelve “punishers” in the Hermetic Corpus and the editio princeps, which Pico reduced to ten in his Emendationes errorum to maintain his correspondence. See my discussion above, p. 82.

What these footnotes mean, at least in part, is that our edition (of 1487, apparently) is amended according to the corrections that Pico listed at the end of the 1486 edition, after most of it had been printed. The original 1486 wording had twelve punishers, from which Pico removed “deceptio” and “temeritas,” i.e. deceit and recklessness. The 12 came directly from the Corpus Hermeticum. However, to make the parallel to Kabbala, he had to have 10. So he removed those 2. One, recklessness, was already said equivalent with anger in the Corpus Hermeticum text. I would guess that he probably removed deceit because of its similarity to fraud.

Restoring these deletions, Pico’s actual words in the original 1486 edition are closer to Boiardo’s wording in the poem than I thought in my last post, since Boiardo did explicitly include deceit.

In the other footnote, Farmer refers to his comments on p. 82. What he says there is:

Another example of a forced fit, this time diminishing and not increasing a set of distinctions, is found in the tenth of Pico’s ten conclusions “according to the ancient teachings of Mercury Trismegistus the Egyptian.” The thesis syncretically identifies the ten demonic “punishers” (ultores) Pico found in the Corpus Hermeticum with the “evil order of ten” in the Cabala—that is, with the “left-hand coordination” or mirror image of the sefirot presided over not by God but by evil demons. Unfortunately for Pico’s correspondence, the Corpus Hermeticum lists twelve and not ten punishers, whose properties Pico unwittingly copied into his thesis. He apparently caught the discrepancy after his theses went to press. Thus in the emendations of errors at the end of the editio princeps we are simply told to drop two punishers from the thesis: When in doubt, Pico’s text, and not the correspondence, had to go.

Finally, here is the relevant passage in Tractate XIII of the Corpus Hermeticum, in a better and more recent translation (by Brian Copenhaver) than the ones on the Web:

“Do I have tormenters within me?”

“More than a few, my child; they are many and frightful.”

“I am ignorant of them, father.”

“This ignorance, my child, is the first torment; the second is grief; the third is incontinence; the fourth, lust; the fifth, injustice; the sixth, greed; the seventh, deceit; the eighth, envy; the ninth, treachery; the tenth, anger; the eleventh, recklessness; the twelfth, malice. These are twelve in number, but under them are many more besides, my child, and they use the prison of the body to torture the inward person with the sufferings of sense. Yet they withdraw (if not all at once) from one to whom god has shown mercy, and this is the basis of rebirth, the means and method. From here on, my child, keep silence and say nothing; if you do so, you will not obstruct the mercy that comes to us from god. Henceforth, my child, rejoice; the powers of god purify you anew for articulation of the word.”

“To us has come knowledge of god, and when it comes, my child, ignorance has been dispelled. To us has come knowledge of joy, and when it arrives, grief will fly off to those who give way to it. The power than I summon after joy is continence. O sweetest power! Let us receive her too, most gladly, child. As soon as she arrives, how she has repulsed incontinence! Now in fourth place I summon perseverance, the power opposed to lust. This next level, my child, is the seat of justice. See how she has expelled injustice, without a judgment. With injustice gone, my child, we have been made just. The sixth power that I summon to us is the one opposed to greed – liberality. And when greed has departed, I summon another, truth, who puts deceit to flight. And truth arrives. See how the good has been fulfilled, my child, when truth arrives. For envy has withdrawn from us, but the good, together with life and light, has followed after truth, and no tormehnt any longer attacks from the darkness. Vanquished, they have flown away in a flapping of wings.”

“My child, you have come to know the means of rebirth. The arrival of the decad sets in order a birth of mind that expels the twelve; we have been divinized by this birth. Therefore, whoever through mercy has attained this godly birth and has forsaken bodily sensation recognizes himself as constituted of the intelligibles and rejoices.”

“Since god has made me tranquil, father, I no longer picture things with the sight of my eyes but with the mental energy that comes through the powers. I am in heaven, in earth, in water, in air; I am in animals and in plants; in the womb, before the womb, after the womb; everywhere. But tell me this also: how is it that the torments of darkness, twelve in number, are repulsed by ten powers? By what means, Trismegistus?”

“This tent – from which we also have passed, my child – was constituted from the zodiacal circle, which was in turn constituted of [ ] entities that are twelve in number, omniform in appearance. To mankind’s confusion, there are disjunctions among the twelve, my child, though they are unified when they act. (Recklessness is not separable from anger; they are indistinguishable.) Strictly speaking, then, it is likely that the twelve retreat when the ten powers (the decad, that is) drive them away. The decad engenders soul, my child. Life and light are unified when the numbers of the henad, of spirit, is begotten. Logically, then, the henad contains the decad, and the decad the henad.”

“Henad” is a Neoplatonic technical term meaning, roughly, “unity.” Copenhaver has three pages of notes to the passage I have quoted; two are relevant to the present discussion. First, the eighth, ninth, and tenth members of the decad, he says, are indeed the good, life, and light. These are not Christian virtues, so Boiardo would have had to improvise. Second, Pico’s reduction of twelve to ten may not be so forced and arbitrary as Farmer would lead us to believe. The 1950's commentator Einarson, in a note to the French edition of this tractate, advocates such a reduction as one possible way of reading the last paragraph above: Einerson says: “If four of the twelve vices constitute two diaxugiai (“disjunctions”…), which act as unities, the twelve become ten…Recklessness and anger constitute one such unified disjunction. The other is not named” (Copenhaver p. 191). Einarson is disputed, however.

I think it can be seen that what the Corpus Hermeticum passage says philosophically is very close, with suitable Christian modifications, to what the Boiardo poem says poetically.


Boiardo in early 1487--from our timeline of long ago

MM Boiardo was attending, assisting or working for the pleasure and 'profit' of Ercole D'Este in 1487...

I don't have any more details (have not located updated biographies yet), but in general:

February 1485: After the peace of Bagolo, Boiardo attended Ercole on his visit to Venice. Matteo Maria is thought then to be at Scandiano preparing his book for the press, as the first two books of the Orlando Innomorato were published in Venice in 1487 with a dedication to the Duke of Ferrara.

January 1487 - Boiardo is appointed captain of the city and duchy of Reggio. On February 1, he made his state entry, was greeted with acclamation and enthusiasm. He was considered too mild in temperment, by not using the death penalty. He is subject to harassing lawsuits by some who he wrote to the Duke,"from me he will have nothing but kindness and good company."

If I do get some more updates/detail, I'll definitely post!



MikeH said:
Thanks for your quick reply and encouragement, Huck.

The 900 Theses were published 7 December 1486 (Farmer, p. 3). That may have been time enough for Boiardo to write his poem before the wedding ...

Hi Mike,

Your representation is very interesting and it's good, that you found your specific topic (Pico) inside the djungle of our Tarot data.

I would resist to fix the production time of the Boiardo Tarocchi poem between December 7 1486 and January 1487. It's possible, that it happened after it, and it's possible, that it happened before.

In the opening of Boiardo major work, the "Orlando", Boiardo uses specific numbers, which made us speculate, that he was using either kabbalistic or similar concepts as background. An earlier occupation of Boiardo with either kabbalistic or similar content before his work on the Orlando is logical … there was a Jewish community in Scandiano, Boiardo’s home town, much earlier and an intellectual highstanding Jewish community in Ferrara with some intercourse with the court.

Boiardo’s Orlando prolonged indirectly the “Morgante” of Luigi Pulci, started 1461. Pulci got trouble in Florence 1474/75 with other intellectual circles, including Marsilio Ficino. In these heavy discussions it seems, that Pulci was called a kabbalist.
Pulci’s assumed kabbalistic connections are traced back to a very early time (true or untrue) short after 1450, due to contacts between Pulci and Jews cause money difficulties of the Pulci family (which endured all the life of Pulci). More sure it is, that Pulci had a feeling for “natural poetical magic”, already in the 1460’s, and that he feeded his Morgante poem with such elements, especially in the later parts

Generally: there were specific activities against Jews in various Italian cities in 1473, based on a Florentine start (likely a conflict between normal bankers and Jewish bankers) and on the relatively new Pope Sixtus IV. The attack and argument against Pulci in 1474 might correlate to this general trend, just as a part of a bigger movement.

The discussion in Florence 1474/75 caused, that the friendship Pulci/Lorenzo de Medici was disturbed and Pulci had to leave the city for some time.

Also one has to observe in this context the general social development, that’s the impact and explosion of printing industry – let’s say, that the year 1470 is the greatest turning point … it opened the way for writers and changed in an increasing manner the publication possibilities …. for everybody, for Pulci, Boiardo, but also their opponents. So there is an observable line, which did lead to the Hexenhammer in the 80’s, just starting with this anti-Jewish development in Italian society of 1473.

If we assume for Boiardo’s start of Orlando the year 1478/79, it’s obvious, that Pico (born 1463) himself is too young to have influenced Boiardo. With Pico’s work in 1486 we see a clever young man reflecting the general informations of his time in a personal, somewhat revolutionary manner … accompanied by the fact, that the person Pico had the rare base of a combination of “enough material wealth” and “high intellectual capabilities”.

What, if Pico hadn’t had this much money, but the same intellectual poperties? Would his name had become similar glorious as it happened ? I’ve doubts …

So I would say, that there was a source (probably your identified Hermetic text) and two different follow-ups (Boiardo and Pico), which possibly (or better likely) were connected by common social interaction – likely unted in a general social reflection of this Hermetic and other texts.

These persons in this time had trouble: They had contradictious informations “about the state of things” from different writers. They tried to believe their writers and tried to fix the truth between these contradictious informations. It seems, that Pico in his attempt “forged” the Hermetic input to fit with cabbalistic data.

Generally it seems advisable to study the actual political context of the years 1486/87.

The papal states had launched a heavy attack on Ferrara 1482-1484. Ferrara survived with great difficulties, and the following years saw Ercole d’Este struggling to win earlier influence again. His development “big theatre in Ferrara” (starting winter 1485/86) should be seen in this “struggling” context. His activity around the wedding of Lucretia a year later with two new great theatre shows with thousands of spectators was a new attempt and chess move to restore “old Ferrarese Glamour”.
The attack on Pico a little later looks like a papal attempt to strike back against the upcoming new Ferrarese offensive. Pico was identified as Ferrarese, I assume ... Mirandola belonged to Ferrara.

For Ercole d'Este (chief of Ferrara) we've this curious notice of one month after the papal attack on Pico (March 1487):

"Decide di recarsi in Spagna in pellegrinaggio a San Giacomo di Compostella con un seguito di 150 persone. Arrivato a Milano, il papa Innocenzo VIII gli ingiunge di fermarsi e lo minaccia di scomunica; ritorna indietro, tocca Bologna (è ospitato dal Bentivoglio), Siena (alloggia nella casa di Giulio Spannocchi) e si reca a Roma. Rende omaggio al pontefice con il cardinale Ascanio Sforza. "

Ercole wishes to make a pilgrimage to Spain with 150 persons ... but isn't allowed to do so by the pope Innocence with the threat of excommunication.

Likely Innocence fears political alliances between Ferrara and Spanish interests, likely on the background, that there had been a devastating war between Naples and papal armies in 1485/1486. Devastating especially for the region of Rome.

Perhaps the whole Pico case has as dominating background just the real politic of the time ... the philosophical aspect might be the smaller part of it. Pico is rather quick back again.