- Italian Tarocchi: Tarot cards have their origin in Italy as part of the great cultural achievements of renaissance in 15th century. Modern Tarot owes its strong development the great divinatory interests in the U.S., easily it is overlooked, that Tarocchi are in Italy a traditional object for art research and well-established iconography. The local interests are celebrated and manifested by many great events, from which the most noteworthy of the recent past might have been the exhibitions held at the Este Castle of Ferrara (from December 1987 to February 1988), at the National Museum of Castel S. Angelo (Rome, December 1994), at the City Archeological Museum of Bologna (December 1995) and at the Barolo Palace of Turin (April 1997).
In the background of this high-level Italian activities is the work of Andrea Vitali with his Associazione Culturale Le Tarot, in close alliance with the Italian Tarot author Giordano Berti with his Istituto Graf., known from his cooperation with Tarot producer Lo Scarabeo. At the index-page of Associatione Le Tarot is an extended and impressive composition of the organised events, which are not limited to the theme Tarocchi alone, but also include other topics of renaissance culture and art.
In our communication Andrea Vitali described his Tarocchi exhibition and his next intentions, which aim to make it possible to see the collected objects outside of Italy:
"Our exhibition is not simply an exhibition of cards, in the sense of only a presentation of tarot decks. It is an exhibition of the symbolic and iconographic universe of tarots, taking account of the links they have with the mysticism, theology, cosmology and the philosophical currents which inform the iconographic variants. It is all illustrated by pictures, old books and documents. The exhibition thus offers different levels of reading, from the harmony of the medieval world to the decorative arcanes of hermetic thought, from game to magic and thus what lies behind.
When I affirm that our exhibition is one of the most important ever organised, I am referring as much to its size as to the quality of its content, which presents the philosophic currents that inform the iconographic variants of the tarot and their symbolic significance. It is probably the only exhibition with such a vision. The public is extremely interested in it and the success of the exhibition encountered in Italy is the proof. In some cases research into the artistic patrimony, religious or secular, the paintings, frescoes or other things, of the town holding the exhibition have been undertaken, and their links with the tarots have been brought into the light.
It is to be hoped that a large exhibition could be organised in an important place, and I have good reason to think that it will see the day, like we have done in Italy. The exhibition could become traveling, to be held in towns of smaller importance, in view of the interest they would show or because there were tarot card makers there, or also because there are works of art there related to the theme. And without excluding for all that that it might be a case of a simple touristic or cultural event".
- Future expositions are actually in preparation in Rome and Bologna.
- Andrea Vitali has published in Italian language in the time between 1987 and 1994 various articles to specific Tarot cards. "The cards with which I am concerned are those which necessitate a very attentive iconological analysis, being the Fou, Pendu, Temperance (in particular the Alessandro Sforza tarots), the Tour, the Stars, the Moon, the Sun and the World." The articles contain very nice picture material, often enough otherwise unknown.
Generously Andrea Vitali has given the allowance to present two of them at pages of Trionfi.com, it is their first appearance in English language. Additionally Andrea has offered further articles in the future for our iconographical section, where they are included to our collection to the same theme with articles from Bob O'Neill, Ross Gregory Caldwell, Tom Tadfor Little and Michael J. Hurst.
Alain Bougearel, who is familiar with Andrea Vitali's work, commented in "Origines et histoire du tarot" published in 1997 :
"Comme le souligne le spécialiste italien de l'iconographie historique du Tarot, Andrea Vitali, les conceptions éthiques et mystiques du Tarot évoqueraient de façon pédagogique les Triomphes de Pétrarque "décrivant les forces fondamentales qui... gouvernaient l'humanité en fonction d'une hiérarchie bien établie". "A ma connaissance, Andrea Vitali est, de tous les tarologues contemporains, le médiéviste le plus pertinent.
Il voit les 22 "sujets allégoriques" structurés selon une logique ascentionnelle proche des conceptions aristotéliciennes du Cosmos"
Michael Dummett and Andrea Vitali
at the exhibition in Ferrara 1987/88
- Italian Tarot Literature generally has to be honoured for its high standard and its accurateness in historical representation, something, which is often a weak point in popular contemporary English Tarot Literature. Trionfi.com could earn some merit in recent past by informing the English Tarot scene by just informing about the studies of Franco Pratesi (Michelino deck and Prohibitions in Florence) and Gherardo Ortalli (The Prince and the Playing Cards - with help from Adriano Franceschini). Both authors gave us reasons to enlarged studies, which did lead to our chapters Oldest Tarot Cards, Ferrara 1441 and Documents (2).
So one major mission of us might be to build a communicative bridge between the good informative world of Italian Tarot research and the great publical interest, which Tarot nowadays finds in the English speaking countries.
- Bob O'Neill's book Tarot Symbolism is announced for reprinting, expressions of interest in the book, if received by the end of the month (Oct. 2004) will be available for A$27.50/approx €16 (after that at the RRP will be A$35/approx €21) . E.mail pre-orders may be sent to Jean-Michel David at firstname.lastname@example.org Please include your postal address to which both invoice and book may be sent.
The Online Library of Bob O'Neill at tarot.com has expanded in the meantime, beside Bob's works about Tarot iconology it contains Catharism and the Tarot, Magic and the Early Tarot and Tarot Influences.
- Paul Huson, author of the Tarot-related The Devil's Picture Book (1972, review) and some other books, published recently Mystical Origins of the Tarot . The book was intensively discussed in the yahoogroups TarotL (to visit the link you've to become member at TarotL) and found a friendly review by Bonnie Cehovet.
- K Frank Jansen: According to the last newsletter of tarotpassages, K. Frank Jensen will introduce soon his new tarot website at www.manteia-online.dk. "Manteia" was published till 1997 as a Tarot-magazine. Parts of the earlier contents are intended to be republished online, one of the plans is to consider the interests of cards collectors.
- "It's not spooky. We don't do spooky stuff," Sherrie Super said. "We're in the entertainment business, not the witchcraft business."
Professionell card reading is forbidden - in BAY CITY, Mich.. The honest "entertainment"-declaration doesn't seem to solve the case. Another mayor in another city has other problems - he (or she?) lost 54.000 dollars in card-readings, but not in Poker. Meanwhile The Tarot Cafe Manwha is on the best way to become a world success and the Indian movie Rakht about a Tarot reader gives reason to interview the artists, naturally with some focus on goodlooking Bipasha Basu ("she is looking hotter than ever now"), who wishes to retain her curves now and hopes for the next role in a comedy.
It can't stay hidden, Sherrie Super is completely correct, Tarot becomes - or already is - entertainment business. Nonetheless, according to our observations, people, which feel attracted to the keywords "witches and witchcraft", often also feel an attraction to Tarot cards, and, as mentioned above, occasionally even mayors.
- Exhibition Schaffhausen Tarock - Tarot, Switzerland: Tarot cards from 16th - 19th century, 17. September bis 2. Januar 2005, Vernissage: Donnerstag, 16. September, 18.30 Uhr
Museum zu Allerheiligen Schaffhausen, Baumgartenstrasse 6, 8200 Schaffhausen, Tel. 052 633 07 77, Fax 052 633 07 88. Oeffnungszeiten: Dienstag bis Sonntag 11.00 bis 17.00 Uhr
- New at Trionfi.com:
Technical matters don't leave much time to proceed with the historical texts. But a Biography section developed some form, the first group relates to Tarot History researchers. Each researcher has a page of his own, where he is introduced or can intoduce himself with links, bibliographies of his works, or whatever he possibly desires. In the moment most pages are rather empty, but it perhaps develops with the time. Somewhere in the net should be place, where Tarot historians - or simple persons, who have a greater interest in it - should find a way to each other, that's the idea.
Further extensions of the biography section (just in plan) will include other Tarot related persons, one larger group will be of course biographies for
persons, which had been in touch with Trionfi aka Tarot in 15th century. of course. Tarot heroes of 19th century will find a place and we think also of the
goup of important researchers of the past.
Some old decks appeared new in Alexander's Museum: They will be integrated soon in the time-line and in the list of Tarot decks, perhaps there are still some smaller technical errors, when you open them. But they are nice.
- ca. 1650, Pierre Barbey (France), Natural History
- 17th, Jean Vianey (France), Lyon I pattern
- 17th, Louis Millieu (France), Toulouse/Gerona pattern
- 17th, Richard Bouvier (Rouen, France ?), Rouen I pattern
- 17th, BM (Sicily), early Sicily pattern
- ca. 1710, Jacques Sellon (Marseille, France), Spanish National pattern
- 1715 and later, deck "Piquet"
- 1720, Carington Bowles (London), the "South Sea Bubble"
- ca. 1730, "Bowles", London, deck "Proverb"
- ca. 1745, Jean Gisaine (France), Paris pattern
- ca. 1750, "Al Soldato" (Bologna), Piacenza pattern
- 1765 and later, Rowley & Co (UK)
- ca. 1780, Guilleaume Mann, Colmar (Germany), Bavarian Animal Tarot
- ca. 1785, Martin Boehme (?), Dresden Germany, Military Tarot
- 1789, Franz Bernard Schaer (Suisse), National Suisse pattern
- 1790, J. M. Backofen, Bavarian Animal Tarot
- 1790 - 1804, A. Lefer, Paris, Vive le Roy
- 1790 - 1830, Hunt&sons, "Great Mogul"
- 1792, J. Pinaut, revolutionary models,
- 1793 Georg Fr. Schluter
- ca. 1794, C.J. Carrajat (Chambery, France), Dauphine pattern
- 1795, J. de Porre (Belgium), Animal Tarot
- 1797, Croxall (UK), deck King Henri VIII
- 1800 J.D. Backofen, Tarock ?
- ca. 1800, unknown, (Luebeck, Germany), Baltic Tarot (
- 18th P.F. Ulrich, Tarock
- unknown Ulm, "magical"
- ca. 1815, Jacob Wokaun (Czechia), Upper Austrian animal Tarot
- 1831/1974, reproduction AGMüller (Suisse), Tarot
- 1835, Giuseppe Bendelli (Trient), South Tyrol Animal Tarot
- 1884, A. Viassione (Torino, Italy) Tarocco Piemontese
- 1885, Edoardo Dotti, Milan, Dellaroocca Tarot
- 1910 - 1912, Guglielmo Murari, deck "I Tarocchi"
- 1920, probably older woodblocks from J.Jerger, "Renault", Tarot de Besancon
- 1922, Fratelli Armanino (Rome), Tarocchi
- 1991, Kolin (Czechia), Taroky
- 2004, unknown (Russia), Tarot
- 2003, unknown (Ukraine), Tarot
- Dal Negro (Italy), Tarocchi Piemontese
- Older Novelties at Trionfi.com:
- Timeline (June 2004)
- already mentioned in Tarot News June 2004 - but worth a rememberance with many hidden corners
- About 80 Fortune telling decks (June 2004)
- a collection of alternative non-Tarot divination, worth to be studied a little bit. The playing card world knows more than only Tarot.
- Updated: the article Oldest Tarotcards (June 2004)
- considerably enlarged. Of special worth is the new biography of Decembrio
- Compare Motifs (July 2004)
- of special worth, when you're interested to compare two cards of the same or a different deck. A good tool, when you're interested to study the properties of cards in detail.
(composed by Huck Meyer )
Tarotcards in Show Cases
Exhibition in Ferrara castle
Arrangement for Temperance