The Men of f57v: Who are they?

Origins, comparisons, dating of Voynich Illustrations
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proto57
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The Men of f57v: Who are they?

Post by proto57 »

I've long suspected... and posted to the VMS-List about, and in private, my contention that the best candidate for one of the men in the center of the Magic Circle of f57v is Edward Kelley:

Image

Backing up a bit here: I also have come to believe that Wilfrid Voynich used the bestselling 1906 book, Follies of Science in the Court of Rudolf II as his "primer", or model for creating the VMs. Almost every forgery has a primer, which is the sort of "core" from which a forgery is influenced by, and grows up around. And Voynich was quite familiar with the book. He even said he "knew it by heart", and in his notes, listed at least 19 of the people mentioned in it, and also, in the order they appear in it.

In addition, a great many of the items suspected being represented IN the Voynich... whether the presenter thinks the Voynich real, fake, old, or new... also happen to appear in this book, and often in the skewed form the author, Bolton, presented them. But that is another, much larger subject for another post. This is about the men in the Magic Circle, and who I think they could be.
57v_cu3_skrying_man.jpg
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So I believe the man holding the circular object is probably Kelly, who of course aided John Dee in his skrying attempts. For a great overview of that process, and relationship, I recommend reading Dee's own words on the subject: His diary.

I think it possible that Dee is the man at the top of the circle, facing away. I don't know if a forger would have represented Dee's beard or not, but at least that guy looks older somehow, and we can't see if he has a beard or not. If this guess is correct, the who would be the other two? Well in Bolton, and in the Court, in fact, were both Kepler and Tycho Brahe. And at this time, it was an unfortunate reality that astronomers... as most doctors and (proto-) scientists, were compelled to offer readings for their patrons. It was often expected. Both Kepler and Brahe had to offer some astrological feedback, from their observations, for their patron Rudolf II. And so, I have long speculated (for as usual, speculation is all any of have, relating to virtually any image comparison and identification in the Voynich Ms.) that the men of f57v are, John Dee at 12:00 o'clock, Edward Kelly at 3:00, Tycho Brahe at 6:00, and Kepler at 9:00. Which brings me to an aspect of Mr. Six O'Clock that I have long noted: It appears his nose is clumsily drawn on. It was only last year, however, when looking more closely, that I noted what could be a "strap" drawn, wrapping around the back of the neck, breaking or covering the hair line, which also appears to have a line leading across the left cheek from it:

Image

I've been reluctant to publicly make this observation, because is is, granted, so thin. So it must be taken with a grain of salt, with which it is fully intended. But the thing is that Tycho Brahe famously lost his nose in a duel, when young, and wore a fake nose. This is outlined in Bolton, too, as long as in almost every description of the man written almost everywhere else, and even shown in engravings and sculptures of him. It is one of his defining features, and has been a great curiosity.

But the damning problem with thinking this line a strap, meant to show that the nose was so held on, is this: Brahe didn't use a strap to hold on his nose. He used a glue, or putty, which he would carry around in a small tin with him. He could affix his prosthetic nose if it came loose, or change it out for one of his many replacements... it is said he had as many as 14 of them, and at least one in silver and one in gold. It is believed he was buried with a brass or copper version, though, as verdigris seemed to be apparent on his skull, around the nasal opening, when his tomb was opened in 1901.

So it is dangerous for me to even suggest that this is a strap*, for why would a forger represent a glued on nose, with a strap? It seems unsupportable, and I agree. But nonetheless, I would point out that almost everything in the Voynich is some seemingly skewed version of something that is known elsewhere, often an imaginative and inaccurate representation of something else. Perhaps a forger, trying to evoke Tycho here, was not so specific as we would be today, in either drawing the man, or trying to identify him. And so, maybe, they decided to include an "identifying" strap for the rudely drawn false nose? I at the very least thought it would be interesting to raise the question.

* Two suggestions for this "strap" on the VMS-Net were a tie for his hair, or a fastening for a wig.
"Man is the measure of all things: What is, that it is; what is not, that it is not"- Protagoras

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Stellarwest
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Re: The Men of f57v: Who are they?

Post by Stellarwest »

@Rich,

I'm having a hard time with your presentation of these two depictions for the people you singled out on speculation that is who they can be. I believe the Wilfrid had access to some libraries in Italy as-well as America to perpetuate his con that the VMS was old.

My theory is two of them are the Este's or its a diagram: see attachment below!
folio 57v Estes.JPG
folio 57v Estes.JPG (60.38 KiB) Viewed 175 times
f57v Sands of time mortality_1.png
f57v Sands of time mortality_1.png (150.36 KiB) Viewed 175 times

side note:

One thing I know for sure is that the Voynich Manuscript was done in haste which may allude to a forge too present it as old. The odd unfinished paintings, drawings not completely filled in with color; which tells me the forger was a poor artist! Rich if you can find anything related to Wilfrid from the Grolier Glub or any other source for any art he did outside the Voynich Manuscript maybe this can aid as evidence in the forge pyrimidine. As VMS was done in haste maybe as I'm an oil/acrylic painter maybe I could find relationships to his art in conjunction the the VMS.

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proto57
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Re: The Men of f57v: Who are they?

Post by proto57 »

Hi, Stellar:
Stellarwest wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:51 pm
I'm having a hard time with your presentation of these two depictions for the people you singled out on speculation that is who they can be.
No, that's great. I of course can't say who they were meant to be, so any discussion about it is appreciated. Your ideas about Este are certainly interesting.
Stellarwest wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:51 pm
I believe the Wilfrid had access to some libraries in Italy as-well as America to perpetuate his con that the VMS was old.
I don't believe Wilfrid was ever in the United States until 1914, which was long after he claimed to have found the Voynich. So any possible influence from America would have to have been in print form for him to have seen it, and have it influence him. But yes he did have access to Italian libraries, as well as those in England, Germany, and some other countries in Europe before coming to the States.

Related to this is my "Voynich Theorem #1" (tongue-in-cheek label): "All the best comparisons between Voynich images and illustrations and objects outside of it, those outside items were either in print before 1909, and/or in a place which Wilfrid is known to have visited, or could reasonably assumed to have visited".

Every time a new comparison is made, it fits this set of parameters. And that observation works in many ways... for instance, when people say a good comparison is coincidence, or paradiolia, I would note that, for instance, there are no such good comparisons between Voynich illustrations and the contents of King Tut's tomb, which was only discovered a dozen years later, or some unpublished item found in a Milan, New York, Edinburgh, or Jerusalem museum. So if coincidence, then, why don't these comparisons appear? The implication is they are NOT coincidence, but the comparisons are valid.

There are a great many other implications to this, which I would make this response too long. But your thoughts on possible American influences made me think of this aspect...
Stellarwest wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:51 pm
One thing I know for sure is that the Voynich Manuscript was done in haste which may allude to a forge too present it as old. The odd unfinished paintings, drawings not completely filled in with color; which tells me the forger was a poor artist!
I'd have to agree with you on this. I do not think this was a very careful work at all, nor that it shows much artistic talent, despite the claims by some that it is/does. And both my friend Gordon Rugg and I have made "sample" pages, and discovered that to crank this sucker out, at the quality level seen, would not be all that hard or time consuming (as also often claimed it would have been). Here is Gordon's offering, which I think took him under two hours:

Image
From: https://hydeandrugg.wordpress.com/2013/ ... pt-part-1/

Here is my 15 minute attempt, which is granted, much simpler. But it is clear to me that with about a half hour to an hour per page, it would be no problem matching the quality or content of the Voynich:
my_fifteen_minute_page.jpg
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Here is another one, done on actual parchment, and just for jollies:
vms_copy_1_800x.jpg
vms_copy_1_800x.jpg (83.42 KiB) Viewed 166 times
And one more, my attempt at a copy of a microscope engraving in the "Voynich Style":

Image

... all to show that the level of "quality" and content of the Voynich is really quite low, and easy to knock off quickly. Another point about it is the terrific inconsistency of the work... while low quality, it does represent a spread of technique, sophisticated to totally lacking, such as in perspective and so on. This implies, to me, that copies of other works are used, which then include whatever technical level that source used. Artists don't usually do this... they remain consistent throughout original works.
Stellarwest wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:51 pm
Rich if you can find anything related to Wilfrid from the Grolier Glub or any other source for any art he did outside the Voynich Manuscript maybe this can aid as evidence in the forge pyrimidine. As VMS was done in haste maybe as I'm an oil/acrylic painter maybe I could find relationships to his art in conjunction the the VMS.
I've been in the Grolier Club, New York Society Library and Beineke collections several times, for many hours, and found nothing like this. I hoped for doodles or sketches, or whatever, but found nothing. The only thing that we have... and I do think it shows a similarity in style, method, level of talent, to the Voynich illustrations, is Wilfrid's famous "Sessa" logo of the cat with the mouse or rat in his mouth. He adopted it for his own:
sessa.jpg
sessa.jpg (80.77 KiB) Viewed 166 times
If you compare this to the other animals in the Voynich, I would say this could plausibly be by the same person, and that person was Wilfrid.

Image

But that being said, while I do suspect that the Voynich was by Voynich, I do hold the possibility open that it was forged by someone else, too.

In fact John Sanders, one of the other "modern forgery" adherents, believes this is a work by some members of the Boole family. He points out that one of Ethel's brothers had studied and written about MesoAmerican flora, fauna and languages, and of course Ethel's mother was an artist, too. I don't think that I have good reason to discount his ideas, although mine are a bit different:

In my hypothesis, I believe that Wilfrid made the Voynich, and that it was probably his only forgery. I think it may have started as a whim, and that it was meant to fascinate the Boole side of the family, and possibly endear Winifrid, too. I suspect this is why it is primarily a botanical, as Ethel was a great lover of plants, and used them in her writings to evoke moods for different scenes.

But that is just a hypothesis, and of course I love the discussion of all alternatives and variations to it.

Rich.
"Man is the measure of all things: What is, that it is; what is not, that it is not"- Protagoras

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Stellarwest
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Re: The Men of f57v: Who are they?

Post by Stellarwest »

@Rich,

The sketches are amusing and very awesome! lol its a comic book, for its conception; within Voynich Manuscript, yet the text which is so annoying in how it makes me go insane.


I can see these two images as being somewhat similar take a guess for what I'm thinking about regarding the comparisons of the drawings.
Ros2 Basilicas.JPG
Ros2 Basilicas.JPG (30.18 KiB) Viewed 149 times
Cats Meow Wilfrid.JPG
Cats Meow Wilfrid.JPG (21.47 KiB) Viewed 149 times

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proto57
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Re: The Men of f57v: Who are they?

Post by proto57 »

Damn good observation, Stellar.
"Man is the measure of all things: What is, that it is; what is not, that it is not"- Protagoras

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