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kapoore  kapoore is offline
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Join Date: 24 Apr 2004
Location: California, USA
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I don't know if someone has mentioned Timothy Betts's Tarot and the Millennium: The Story of Who's On the Cards and Why. First of all it is an entertaining read for those interested in Tarot origins. He has done some first rate research on the time period of the Tarot, and has many illustrations from early decks. In discussing the Charles VI deck, for example, he brings up the Pisanello's bronze portrait metals that became the "talk of Italy" and became so popular that "In the 1450s both Francesco Sforza and King Ferdinand I of Naples issued coins bearing portraits." For those who haven't seen the Charles VI deck, the coins have portraits on them that probably were part of this craze. And it interests me that the original Pisanello portrait metals came out of the work that Pisanello did for the Council of Florence where he was the artist in residence. I have studied his paintings from the Council as well as other work contemporary with the Council and compared it to figures on early decks. Does John VIII Palaelogus appear on any of the coins of the Charles VI deck, I say 'yes' and someone else's eye says 'no.' But this is the flavor of Tarot origins and Timothy Betts does it very well.
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