I have received permission from the General Editor of PMHRS to place online
Vivanco, Laura, 2003. ‘Calisto, his Falcon, and the Ape: the Iconography of the Sanguine in Celestina?’, in Proceedings of the Twelfth Colloquium, ed. Alan Deyermond & Jane Whetnall, Papers of the Medieval Hispanic Research Seminar, 35 (London: Dept of Hispanic Studies, Queen Mary, University of London), pp. 89-100.
A pdf version can be downloaded from this website. Since I was unsure whether I had the right to make the illustrations available too, I have not included them in the pdf. I have, however, been able to locate similar images which are available elsewhere, and links to them are included below.
Since the pdf is not searchable, I have also made a text version available below. I have tried to keep the layout and formatting of the latter as close as possible to that of the original.
Calisto, his Falcon, and the Ape: The Iconography of the Sanguine in Celestina?
(University of St Andrews)
The significance of the falcon and the ape, present in both the Comedia and Tragicomedia versions of Celestina, and the identity of the author responsible for the introduction of the motif of the lost falcon, have been much discussed.1 The falcon is mentioned in the ‘Argumento del primer auto’, which tells us that Calisto entered Melibea’s garden ‘empos dun falcon suyo’ (85), and in Act 2 when Pármeno reiterates the lost bird’s role in causing the meeting and specifies that it was a ‘neblí’ (134).2 The ape is alluded to in Act 1 when Sempronio asks Calisto, ‘Lo de tu abuela con el ximio, ¿hablilla fue?’ (96). The lost bird has been described as a symbol of ‘Calisto’s lust for Melibea’ (Barbera 1970: 8) and the ape too could be a ‘symbol of lust’ (Rowland 1973: 8).3 There was a literary tradition of ‘feminine bestiality’ with apes (Green 1956: 12) and Sempronio’s phrase may therefore give Calisto ‘a lineage of lust and shame’ (Blay Manzanera & Severin 1999: 11). Thus, although the two creatures do not appear in close proximity in the text, they
1 Martín de Riquer suggested that Sempronio’s words about a ‘girifalte’, ‘fueron tal vez lo que sugirió a Rojas el tema del halcón’ (1957: 390). María Rosa Lida de Malkiel suggested that both the ‘neblí’ and the ‘girifalte’ might have been added by Rojas (1962: 201). Vicenta Blay Manzanera and Dorothy S. Severin feel that the ‘scene-setting seems to have been the work of Rojas’ (1999: 9).
2 All my quotations from Celestina are taken from Rojas 1987, and are followed by the page-number in parentheses.
3 For the symbolism of the ‘neblí’ see F. M. Weinberg (1971: 137-138), Miguel Garci-Gómez (1987), and Blay Manzanera & Severin (1999: 9-10). Lida de Malkiel (1962: 201), Charles Faulhaber (1977), E. Michael Gerli (1983), and Donald McGrady (1988 and 1993) find parallels between Calisto’s ‘neblí’ and lost hunting-birds in other works of literature. I examine the relationship between the ‘nebli’ and other birds in Celestina in Vivanco 2002. H. W. Janson (1952) discusses the ape as a symbol of lust, as well as many other aspects of ape lore.
share a similar sexual symbolism and are both associated with Calisto. That symbolism is particularly appropriate for a sanguine, since this humoral type was thought to be moist and hot, characteristics which resulted in men who ‘desire much and are capable of much’ (Jacquart & Thomasset 1988: 143). Calisto’s sexual prowess, confirmed by the admiring Tristán, ‘Oygo tanto que juzgo a mi amo por el más bienaventurado hombre que nasció; y por mi vida, que aunque soy mochacho, que diesse tan buena cuenta como mi amo’ (285), coincides with that of the sanguine and makes the lustful associations of the ape and the falcon appropriate for him. An even closer link between the ape, the falcon, and the sanguine is to be found in medieval humoral iconography.
Unlike the bestiaries, which do not associate the two creatures, humoral iconography often represented the sanguine personality as a man accompanied by an ape and a hunting bird.4 Birds, as noted in Blay Manzanera & Severin’s ‘Register of Animals’ (1999: 33) were associated with the element ‘air’, as were sanguines (Jacquart & Thomasset 1988: 49). In ‘the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the metaphoric use of "ape" to denote being drunk or getting drunk became established on the Continent’ (Janson 1952: 247) and Alberto M. Forcadas has therefore suggested that the ‘ximio’ mentioned in Celestina could be a reference to ‘"mona", palabra que figurativamente se usaba […] con sentido de "borrachera"’ (1973-74: 567-68).5 Although the ape could connote drunkenness in general, it was also more specifically linked to the sanguine. An individual’s humoral type was thought to be discernible from behaviour when drunk (Janson 1952: 241-48) and ‘The Calendrier des Bergers, published by Guyot Marchand in 1493, informs us that […] the Sanguine "has vin de singe, the more he drinks the gayer he becomes and pursues the ladies"’ (Janson 1952: 248).
The humoral types might be represented as a set on their own, as in the Calendrier des Bergers of 1493 (see illustration 1, below).The figures depicted here represent, from left to right, the choleric (shown with a lion), the sanguine (with his hunting bird and ape),
4 I have found no association between the ape and the falcon in the bestiary section of the Castilian translation of Brunetto Latini’s Livre dou Tresor (Bestiary 1982) nor is any mentioned by Wilma George & Brunsdon Yapp (1991), who paid particular attention to the illustrations of about forty English bestiaries.
5 Forcadas’s other hypothesis, namely that that ‘ximio’ refers to a Jew, is, as he himself admits ‘más esotérica’ (1973-74: 568).
the phlegmatic (and his sheep) and the melancholic (with a pig). They may also be found accompanying an anatomical drawing, as in the Denis Moslier Hours of 1489/90 (see illustration 2, below) which shows a corpse, opened to reveal its internal organs, surrounded, clockwise from top to bottom left, by the choleric, the sanguine, the melancholic and the phlegmatic, again all represented with their respective animals.6 Simon Vostre’s 1502 edition of a Book of Hours (see illustration 3, below) replaces the corpse with a skeleton but the arrangement of the humoral types remains the same.7 The anatomical drawing, whether of corpse or skeleton, was hugely popular and may therefore have been known in some form to the authors of Celestina. According to Claude Blum:
La planche de l’Homme anatomique se répand par dizaines de milliers d’exemplaires dans toute l’Europe, entre la fin du XVe siècle et le milieu du XVIe siècle. On la rencontre dans les Livres d’Heures, les Calendriers des Bergers, les ouvrages de médecine. […] Un squelette dans la même attitude, dont les cavités thoracique et abdominale contiennent aussi les viscères, remplace parfois le cadavre. (1983: 283-84)
Although the sanguine was not invariably depicted with both an ape and hunting bird in the fifteenth century, French Books of Hours printed in the 1480s and 1490s often depicted the ‘Visceral Planet Man with Temperaments’ (Bober 1948: 19-20) of the type found in the Denis Moslier Hours or the skeleton alternative found in Simon Vostre’s edition (Blum 1983: 283-84).8
It is almost certain that French Hours were available in Castile at the time Rojas was studying in Salamanca. Although it is not possible to ascertain when they entered Spain, the Catálogo general de incunables en bibliotecas españolas records five such Heures printed between 1495 and 1498.9 According to F. J. Norton, ‘foreign inter-
6 This was published in Paris by Jean Dupré (Janson 1952: 249). An almost identical illustration is the ‘Planet Man with Temperaments, from Pigouchet Horae, end 15th cent.’ (Bober 1948: Plate 5e).
7 This was printed in Paris (Klibansky, Panofsky, & Saxl 1964: xiv, plate 82). The illustration in the Heures à l’usage de Rome, printed around 1500 in Hardouin (Blum 1983: plate VII) differs from this primarily in its reversal of the positioning of the types: the sanguine appears in the top left, the choleric in the top right, the melancholic in the bottom left and the phlegmatic in the bottom right.
8 See Klibansky, Panofsky & Saxl 1964: plates 77, 78, 80, 81, 85, 90a for alternative fifteenth-century depictions of the sanguine. Plates 78 and 90a do, however, include a hunting bird, while plate 85 depicts the sanguine displaying his amorous tendencies.
9 All were printed in Paris, four by Philippe Pigouchet for Simon Vostre and one by
vention in the Spanish liturgical field’ of printing was ‘considerable in the fifteenth century’ (1966: 135) and we can be certain that at least one printer based in the peninsula, Baltasar Avella at Gerona, had come into contact with a copy of Pigouchet’s Heures since in the opening years of the sixteenth century he used details from it in some of his own texts (Norton 1966: 97-98).10An indication that French printers were aware of a market for their Heures in Spain is that they also produced editions in Castilian. Of the six pre-1500 editions of Castilian Horas listed by Hanns Bohatta, five are Parisian (1924: 62).
The ape and the falcon might also be used in a situation where a lover was being duped or ridiculed. The ape, either accompanying or mimicking the lover, had long been used to burlesque courtly love (Janson 1952: 261-62). One German woodcut of an amorous couple, dating from c.1480, shows a young woman picking her lover’s pocket (Janson 1952: 263, see illustration 4). The ape which surveys the scene ‘brands the youth as a vain fool deprived of all elementary foresight by his amorous desire’ (Janson 1952: 262). The picture also contains a falcon, ‘perhaps in order to indicate that the young man has a sanguine temperament, predisposing him to dalliance’ (Janson 1952: 277n) and the setting for the scene includes flowers and grass, presumably indicating a garden. These are elements present in Celestina, for although Melibea only indirectly causes Calisto to lose money, she meets with him in her garden and Celestina, Sempronio, and Pármeno most certainly have designs on his purse: Celestina skilfully extracts both cash and goods and Sempronio and Pármeno pilfer his larder. It would seem that Calisto is no wiser than the lover in the German woodcut.
That Calisto is a sanguine is an interpretation supported by contemporary iconography, but we need not rely on it alone. Charles F. Fraker has tentatively suggested that before Calisto succumbed to amor hereos his ‘temperament would have been a
Antoine Vérard (Incunables 1989: 468-69). It also lists a copy of the Compost et calendrier des bergiers printed by Marchant in 1496/97 and a Compost et calendrier des bergères, by the same printer, from 1499 (1989: 267). The copy of the Compost et calendrier des bergères is in the library of the Universidad Complutense and can be viewed online at http://www.ucm.es/cgi-bin/show-libros. It does not contain an illustration of the four humoral types.
10 Three of the texts printed by him contain ‘a number of profusely employed metal-cut border-pieces, with grotesque and other figures on a powdered ground, which are exactly copied from material used in the Horae of the Parisian printer Pigouchet’ (Norton 1966: 98).
favorable one, choleric or sanguine, more probably the latter’ (1993: 148). Anthony Cárdenas, by comparing some of Sempronio and Celestina’s comments on Calisto with the description of the sanguine given in the Arcipreste de Talavera, has provided evidence that ‘Calisto’s dominant humor is sanguine, and he suffers love melancholy’ (1988: 487). To avoid duplicating Cárdenas’s findings I have focused primarily on Calisto’s actions rather than on descriptions of him. Alfonso Martínez de Toledo described sanguines as ‘alegres, rientes, francos, plazenteros e de fermosos jestos e cuerpos, tañedores, cantadores’ (214) and many of these traits are demonstrated by Calisto as early as Act 1.11 Despite being afflicted by love, that ‘disease (close to melancholy) which is called amor hereos’ (Jacquart & Thomasset 1988: 84), Calisto shows himself to be ‘riente’, even if not ‘alegre’, for he exclaims at Sempronio’s joke, ‘¡Maldito seas! Que hecho me has reýr’ (95). In offering ‘el jubón de brocado que ayer vestí’ (103) to Sempronio he shows the first signs of being ‘franco’. He then assures Pármeno that ‘si para él hovo jubón, para ti no faltará sayo’ (114), and the trait is even more marked in his gift to Celestina of ‘Cient monedas en oro’ (129) and, later in the work, of the fatal ‘cadenilla’ (250). He shows himself to be ‘tañedor’ and ‘cantador’ when he orders Sempronio to bring him his lute, and then launches into song (91). As Cárdenas has observed, Sempronio mentions Calisto’s beauty in Act 1 (1988: 481) and in Act 4 Celestina describes him to Melibea, ‘Por fe tengo que no era tan hermoso aquel gentil Narciso que se enamoró de su propria figura quando se vido en las aguas de la fuente’ (167). Of course, Sempronio is trying to cure his master and Celestina’s evidence is biased by her wish to present her client in the best possible light, but on the whole Celestina seems to be guilty only of exaggeration, since she also mentions many traits already apparent in Calisto in Act 1.12 She describes him as being ‘en franqueza, Alexandre […] gracioso, alegre; jamás reyna en él tristeza’ (167) and
11 All my quotations from the Arcipreste de Talavera are taken from Martínez de Toledo 1979, and are followed by the page-number in parenthesis.
12 We do not have enough textual evidence to determine whether Celestina recognizes Calisto as a sanguine. Certainly, she shows considerable medical knowledge in other areas and may wish to present him as possessing the most noble of temperaments, but, if we accept that he is a sanguine, it is equally possible that her description of him is based on observation, embellished to make him more attractive to Melibea. (Ricardo Castells (2000, published after this paper was read, sees him as melancholic.)
parece que haze aquella vihuela hablar, pues si acaso, canta, de mejor gana se paran las aves a le oýr, que no aquel antico de quien se dize que movía los árboles y piedras con su canto. Siendo éste nascido no alabaran a Orfeo. (167)
Celestina adds to her portrait of Calisto the sanguine characteristic par excellence, their ability to attract women, ‘Ninguna mujer le ve que no alabe a Dios que assí le pintó; pues si le habla acaso, no es más señora de sí de lo que él ordena’ (168). This aspect of the sanguine personality was discussed at length by Martínez de Toledo who warned that:
por mejor muger se tiene la que le usurpa o puede aver para sí, o puede quitar de otra quel tal ama con pura envidia; que non ha cosa de que más arreada se tenga la muger que de alcançar marido o amigo que de tal calidad sea; siquiera sea difamada del pueblo todo e de sus parientes vituperada. […] E así se pierden muchas, e aun andan por mal cabo, e pierden sus buenos casamientos, sus honras e estados. (214)13
Melibea, yielding to Calisto, meets just such a fate: shunning the good marriage being prepared for her by her parents, she sacrifices all for his sake. The sanguine male, however, was not thought to possess equal constancy and devotion, ‘es mucho enamorado e su coraçón arde como fuego, e ama a diestro e a siniestro; e quantas vee, tantas ama e quiere’ (Martínez de Toledo: 212), his ‘amor […] dura quando más un año, e es ya mucho si tanto dura’ (215) and ‘en verdad non pierde sueño nin comer por ella - basta que lo perdió al comienço quando propuso de la captivar e engañar’ (215). In Act 8 Sempronio describes Calisto’s sleepless night, ‘ni ha dormido ni está despierto. Si allá entro, ronca; si me salgo, canta o devanea’ (217). In the same act Calisto intends fasting until after his return from church and has to be persuaded by Sempronio to eat (221). However, having spoken to Melibea and been assured of her love, he sleeps well, exclaiming at the beginning of Act 13, ‘¡O cómo he dormido tan a mi plazer después de aquel açucarado rato, después de aquel angélico razonamiento! Gran reposo he tenido’ (275-76).14 Calisto dies not long after, so we cannot be sure
13 Martínez de Toledo does not state that these women are aware of their beloved’s dominant humour or its implications for them: if they were, they would perhaps be better able to avoid the dangers of loving a sanguine. Rather they are drawn to sanguines because of their inherent characteristics, ‘como las mugeres se paguen de ombres alegres e amadores e enamorados’ (214).
14 Rather than ascribe this change to the inherent fickleness of a sanguine, Eukene La-
whether or not he would have fallen out of love, but Patricia Grieve notes that although ‘Calisto […] cannot live without the love of Melibea […] his ardor cools noticeably when Melibea gives in to his sexual advances’ (1987: 46).15 Areúsa’s somewhat ambiguous comment ‘No sé qué se ha visto Calisto porque dexa de amar otras que más ligeramente podría aver’ (228) may suggest that his devotion to one woman is uncharacteristic or simply that he has aroused that ‘pura envidia’ described by the Arcipreste. At very least, Areúsa thinks of Calisto as a potential client. Lacarra ascribes her outburst to the fact that she sees in Melibea ‘una rival en el negocio’ (1990: 91).
The presence of the ape and the falcon in the same act, their strong connection with Calisto and their role in contemporary iconography suggest that although these two creatures can often function independently, together they may reinforce the characterization of Calisto as a sanguine. Rojas displays a great deal of knowledge of bestiary lore in the elaboration of the prologue to the Tragicomedia, and it seems likely, therefore, that animal imagery appealed to him and that he used it to provide an insight into the personalities of his characters. Lacarra (1999) has demonstrated that Rojas displays considerable knowledge of medical theory in his depiction of amor hereos and Gustavo Illades Aguiar has shown that Celestina’s suggested cures for Areúsa’s uterine pains were based on contemporary medical practice (1999: 44-45). It therefore seems probable that Rojas was aware of humoral theory.16 If the motif of the lost ‘neblí’ was already present in the writing of the antiguo
carra Lanz believes that it is the reciprocation of his love and the promise of further favours which begins to cure Calisto of amor hereos: ‘la terapia comienza a funcionar’ (1999: 21). The two explanations are not necessarily incompatible: such hopes alone might not have had the same effect on a lover who, as a result of his different humoral make-up, had been more profoundly affected by the disease.
15 Sempronio’s observation that ‘todo se olvida, todo queda atrás. Pues assí será este amor de mi amo: quanto más fuerte andando, tanto más diminuyendo’ (141) would reinforce this supposition, but as he is saying this in the context of Celestina’s mention of danger to the servants it is possible that Sempronio speaks more to reassure himself than from a real knowledge of Calisto’s character.
16 The probability is even greater if Rojas counted among his associates ‘Francisco Villalobos, médico del rey español a partir de 1509’ (Illades Aguiar 1999: 11), who, Stephen Gilman believed, might have been ‘a member of La Celestina’s Salamancan circle of auditors’ (1972: 348). Illades Aguiar suggests that both Rojas and Villalobos formed part of a group whose literary works ‘habrían derivado de un amplio coloquio entre estudiantes asociados’ (1999: 11).
auctor, Rojas was well-equipped to recognize its implications and continue the characterization of Calisto as a sanguine: if it was introduced by Rojas it may be that it was suggested to him by the sanguine traits displayed by Calisto in Act 1, the presence of the ‘ximio’, the ‘girifalte’ (87) mentioned by Sempronio in the same act, and his knowledge of the iconography, frequent in the 1490s, linking the sanguine, the ape, and the falcon.17
Barbera, Raymond E., 1970. ‘Medieval Iconography in the Celestina’, Romanic Review, 61: 5-13.
Bestiary, 1982. The Medieval Castilian Bestiary from Brunetto Latini's ‘Tesoro’: Study and Edition, ed. Spurgeon Baldwin, Exeter Hispanic Texts, 31 (Exeter: Univ.).
Blay Manzanera, Vicenta, & Dorothy S. Severin, 1999. Animals in ‘Celestina’, PMHRS, 18.
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Bober, Harry, 1948. ‘The Zodiacal Miniature of the Très Riches Heures of the Duke of Berry: Its Sources and Meaning’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 11: 1-34.
Bohatta, Hanns, 1924. Bibliographie der Livres d’Heures (Horae B. M. V.), Officia, Hortuli Animae, Coronae B. M. V., Rosaria und Cursus B. M. V. des XV. und XVI. Jahrhunderts (Wien: Gilhofer & Ranschburg).
Cárdenas, Anthony J., 1988. ‘The "conplisiones de los onbres" of the Arcipreste de Talavera and the Male Lovers of the Celestina’, Hispania (USA), 71: 479-91.
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Faulhaber, Charles B., 1977. ‘The Hawk in Melibea’s Garden’, HR, 45: 435-50.
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Fraker, Charles F., 1993. ‘The Four Humors in Celestina’, in Fernando de Rojas and ‘Celestina’: Approaching the Fifth Centenary: Proceedings of an International Conference in Commemoration of the 450thAnniversary of the Death of Fernando de Rojas, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, 21-24 November 1991, ed. Ivy A. Corfis & Joseph T. Snow (Madison: HSMS), pp. 129-54.
17 My thanks to Louise M. Haywood for reading earlier versions of this paper, to Eukene Lacarra Lanz for some bibliographical suggestions, to Anthony J. Cárdenas for sending me a copy of his article, and to those present at the Colloquium whose comments I have taken into account in revising this paper.
Garci-Gómez, Miguel, 1987. ‘Ascendencia y trascendencia del neblí de Calisto’,Revista de Literatura, 49: 5-21.
George, Wilma, & Brunsdon Yapp, 1991. The Naming of the Beasts: Natural History in the Medieval Bestiary (London: Duckworth).
Gerli, E. Michael, 1983. ‘Calisto’s Hawk and the Images of a Medieval Tradition’, R, 104: 83-101.
Gilman, Stephen, 1972. The Spain of Fernando de Rojas: The Intellectual and Social Landscape of ‘La Celestina’ (Princeton: UP).
Green, Otis H., 1956. ‘"Lo de tu abuela con el ximio" (Celestina, Auto I)’, HR, 24: 1-12.
Grieve, Patricia E., 1987. Desire and Death in the Spanish Sentimental Romance (1440–1550) (Newark, DE: Juan de la Cuesta).
Illades Aguiar, Gustavo, 1999. ‘La Celestina’ en el taller salmantino, Publicaciones Medievalia, 21 (México: Instituto de Investigaciones Filológicas, UNAM).
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Jacquart, Danielle, & Claude Thomasset, 1988. Sexuality and Medicine in the Middle Ages, tr. Matthew Adamson (Cambridge: Polity Press).
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Klibansky, Raymond, Erwin Panofsky, & Fritz Saxl, 1964. Saturn and Melancholy: Studies in the History of Natural Philosophy, Religion and Art (London: Thomas Nelson).
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—, 1999. ‘Calisto y el amor hereos’, Ínsula, 633: 20-22.
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1. From the Calendrier des bergers (Paris: Guyot Marchand, 1493)
[See instead this image from the Morgan Library and Museum. The sanguine is in the top, right-hand corner. Details are as follows:
Planetary Man Master of Anne de Bretagne Printed by Philippe Pigouchet for Simon Vostre Book of Hours, France, Paris, 28 June 1500 PML 580 (ChL 1487), fol. a2r Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1902]
2. From the Denis Moslier Hours (Paris: Jean Dupré, c. 1489)
99[See instead Illustration 3a and Illustration 3b. These are both from the Enluminures website. Illustration 3a is from Avignon - BM - rés. 203, a 1533 manuscript of Heures à l'usage de Rome. The sanguine is in the top left-hand corner. Illustration 3b is from Blois - BM - inc. 119, another sixteenth century manuscript of Heures à l'usage de Rome. The sanguine is in the top, right-hand corner.]
3. From a Book of Hours (Paris: Simon Vostre, 1502)
4. A German woodcut, c. 1480.
After I placed this essay online I was sent details concerning two more essays, both of which are also available for download, that mention the relationship of Calisto's 'abuela con el ximio'. The first of these is Frank Domínguez's 'Monkey Business in Carajicomedia: The Parody of Fray Ambrosio Montesino as "Fray Bugeo"', eHumanista 7 (2006): 1-27, which includes a discussion of 'The association of the sin of Luxuria with an ape or monkey' (10). The second is Samuel G. Armistead, James T. Monroe, and Joseph H. Silverman's 'Was Calixto's Grandmother a Nymphomaniac Mamluk Princess? (A Footnote on "Lo de tu abuela con el ximio" [La Celestina, Aucto 1])', eHumanista 14 (2010): 1-23.