[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

VMs: Re: Swallow tails + Iconography

Dear all,

Statistics is a weird science.
The more you know, the more difficult it gets.
If you know that something has two possible outcomes,
and you don't know anything else, then, hey, each
possibility has a 50% probability. As soon as more
information becomes available, the situation soon
becomes more difficult, and it is harder to make any
such straightforward statements.

Now let's take this to the castle in the VMs.
I don't know if the drawing depicts an existing
(at the time) castle or not, but my gut feeling is
that is is more likely an imaginary castle. So
put that at greater than 50% because there are
plenty of examples of imaginary cities and castles
in art.

Still, since it exhibits in a quite deliberate manner
stylistic features that do exist in a certain period
of time (and space), it is 100% clear that the
person who made the pictures knew what a 
N.Italian castle is supposed to look like. He did
not invent the swallow-tail battlements from
his imagination.

At the same time, it would be a big mistake not
to look for a castle that looks like the one in the
VMs, because, really, it could well represent an
existing one.... 

I really do like the Imola fortress, but still, I have
not seen any swallow-tail battlements in it, nor
any church tower or spire.


--- Petr Kazil <kazil@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Verona is full of swallow tails.

Absolutely. There is no single castle that looks like
the VMs, but the style is all over the city. The
same (but not to the same level) for Padova,
ad a number of places in the same area. I once
posted a figure of the Fenis castle in the Aosta
valley. Dana's recent mail on this subject includes
further places.
I also once posed a ME drawing of the castle
of Villalta (including swallow-tail battlements)
together with a modern picture, for reference. 
I am not sure if anyone partaking in the current
discussion has seen this.....
> "The Castelvecchio was the second
> and final residence of the
> Della Scala (or Scaliger) family; 

Scaliger is a famous Italian family of the time.
I was once tempted to think that the VMs could
be related to father-and-son Julius Caesar and Joseph
Justus Scaliger. The former was a friend of
Nostradamus. The latter did research in astrology
and astronomy, and invented the Julian date 
system (know to and currently used by
astronomers world-wide, named after his father).
He also translated an astronomical text involving
the 360 degrees of the zodiac, including 30 names 
for each degree per zodiac sign. Unfortunately,
these names do not look like the star labels in the
VMs zodiac section _at first sight_, but it may be
worth another look.

> Swallow tails are depicted in frescoes by Giotto.

A good case: he has seen them in real life and
used them in his art. 

> In one of the bridges between the rosettes "west"
> and "southwest" there is a
> diamond shape with rounded points. 

I can't resist. Let's be careful. The castle is ,
beyond any possible doubt, a picture of a castle.
the diamond-shaped thing could be anything. 

> Lake Garda is full of castles with swallow tails:

Indeed it is. Sirmione is one, but it has no round
towers. Still, there are plenty of castles with
swallow-tail battlements that do have round
towers so I am not too disturbed.
The 'lightning rods' are a different story. I am not
sure what they represent or whether they are

To summarise, our VMs 'illustrator' has seen Italian
castles. Or pictures thereof. He also has seen 
classical MS herbals and he has a clear
understanding of star catalogues. I would even say
that he has seen Ms. Vat.Gr.1291 but this is on
thinner ground.
In any case, anthing that helps to profile the 
VMs author (or illustrator) is another piece of
the puzzle.

Cheers, Rene

Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Tax Center - online filing with TurboTax