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VMs: RE: Swallow tails + Iconography
This has certainly been an interesting discussion to follow, but
I'd have to agree with Rene that these castles are probably
imaginary. If you look at Ascham's map in the SacroBosco
manuscript, he uses churches to depict the towns and countries,
but he'd never visited any of them. 14 years at Cambridge gave
him ample opportunity to browse the library and familiarize
himself with drawings of these places, but that was the extent of
his travels. And I think this idea may also hold true of some of
the wierd plants. The author had descriptions of them, but may
never have seen one in person. To top it off he wasn't the
world's most realistic artist.
What we do have however is a convention - that the structures in a
"map" form like this are representative of towns and seats of
kingdoms. Identifying the type of architecture may help identify
the town and kingdoms in question. And what are all the other
things represented in the drawings? If it is indeed a map, it is
probably an astrological map, with the four elements depicted, and
the influence of the zodiac and stars over each of these areas. A
map commonly refered to as "the condition of the world" in several
astrologicals, and a few herbals, and used to make predictions on
the state of the people of those kingdoms, as well as their
health, the weather, and the possibility of plague in those
territories in any given year.
> 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....