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VMs: Re: Swallow tails + Iconography
One other possibility might be that the author of the VMS may have
indeed had a particular castle/city/kingdom in mind (e.g., Jerusalem)
but did not want to completely divulge that particular detail of
> 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.
> My FWIW
> [Rene wrote:]
> > 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....