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What's so great about the Jacques Vieville Tarot?

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Centaurs do indeed usually have beards, arms too, from what I can see. I think in Greek depictions the beards indicate that they are barbarians perhaps?? (not much better than the animals they replace?)

There is also a story of Admetus having to harness a wild boar and a lion together, which is relevant as the conflict between dual natures (and indeed the need to master them, together) seems to be a recurring theme in Greek mythology.

http://www.theoi.com/Gallery/Z12.5.html

The fine/poor horse is also interesting as there are two stories about the origin of Centaurs:

Quote:
Originally Posted by wikipedia
Centaurus was the founder of the Centaur race - a breed of half-men, half-horse warriors that inhabited northern Greece. Centaurus was said to be the son of the god Apollo and the nymph Stilbe, daughter of the River God Peneus. Centaurus had a twin brother named Lapithus, founder of the Lapiths. Whereas Lapithus was a noble warrior, Centaurus was born deformed, and spent his adulthood among the mares of Thessaly, mating with them and spawning the Centaurs.
There is another myth which atributes the fatherhood of Centaurs ot Ixion, whose punishment was to be placed on a burning solar wheel, eternally spining across the heavens!!!

There are quite a few Greek representations of Hermes driving a chariot, of course, sometimes with horses and sometimes with a winged figure


A version of another Greek myth says that the chariot was invented by Erichthonius ,who had had inherited his father, Vulcan's lameness and found it necessary to invent some easy means of locomotion... " Hephaestus/Vulcan, the smith god, who fashioned the universe, cast his seed upon the earth (Gaea), who bore the boy child, Erichthonius. Gaia, his mother, then rejected him. Athena, who had no children of her own, adopted him and tended to him lovingly. Athena hid Erichthonius in a box, which she entrusted to the daughters of Cecrops under strict orders not to open it. Filled with curiosity, the girls opened the basket and there they saw the child, with two snakes guarding him, the body of the child terminated in a dragon/serpent's tail. Out of fright at what they saw, the Cecrops sisters jumped off the Acropolis to their deaths. He grew up to be king of Athens..." ( though this story seems to be conflated with the description of Cecrops himself, who in another version are frightened by the snakes, not the dragon tail).

But again there's that man/beast dichotomy. And are those snakes left by Athena connected to Hermes' fighting snakes?
Top   #21
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There's also a very interesting story about the charioteer in Plato. I've never studied Phaedrus but I came across this - the full translation takes a bit of wading through but Wikipedia has a handy precis:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phaedrus_(Plato)

the guts of which

Quote:
A soul, says Socrates, is like the "natural union of a team of winged horses and their charioteer". While the gods have two good horses, everyone else has a mixture: one is beautiful and good, while the other is neither.24
...

All of the gods, with the exception of Hestia, follow Zeus in this procession. While the chariots of the gods are balanced and easier to control, other charioteers must struggle with their bad horse, which will drag them down to earth if it has not been properly trained.
this is a parable rather than a myth, but is still a prominent part of the Classical tradition.

Sorry, this is probably driving the thread rather off topic. The Chariot thread is here

http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=4074

Euri
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So many great ideas... centaurs and cherebs and sphinxs.. FANTASTIC.

Interesting note Ross on the Egyptian craze.. I mentioned in my first note that I thought it was later, (I thought it was contemporary with Count de Gebelin.. shows what I know!).

The picture lined by euripides is great too of Dionysos and the chariot with kentauroi.

I love the images on the link posted by OnePotato, they feel like the right track to me. Is it David? God? The Messiah? Also notice that Vieville has the "paw" or "claw" for a hand, not a hoof.

I love the to play with the idea that we are seeing the "Seat of God", the ark of the convenant, is the canopy above the tabernacle? Wow!

I love this. So much fun, thanks everyone.. wonderful stuff.
Top   #23
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pips


I bought the deck for the trumps, but what really makes this deck stand out in the Marseilles styled crowd is the pips.

<Did he say pips? I think he did- doesn't he know that all pips are created equal? Naw- I don't think he's been informed- just smile until he stops talking>

Yes, the pips. Somehow, the pips inthis deck look so alive- they have so much personality. I'm relatively new to the Marseilles world, and I remember getting a hold of my first deck (the Hadar) and thinking that it was beautiful..... except for those BLAND pips. I have since discovered the wonderful world of the "poorly drawn" cards. The exactitude of the Hadar pips made me think that maybe the Marseilles wasn't for me. I have since found otherwise.

<I can't just smile. Here, we were having a perfectly enjoyable conversation about those critters on the Chariot card, and this bloke comes in talking about the bloody pips! Someone must smak him down at once! That's not the way it's dont here, deal- just smile, I'm sure that he's almost done>

Part of what makes the older decks so wonderful is that sometimes you can't exactly tell what you are looking at. Between the crude execution of the original artists and the march of years of degradation of the paper and pigments, it isn't always easy to tell exactly what "that thing" is supposed to be. In the words of Le Pendu "what is in the Popess's hand.. a book? Are you sure?". The point is that maybe it is supposed to be a book, but once, in a future reading, maybe- just maybe it will take on the caracter of something quite different. It can do that, because it was never so clear to begin with.

<I swear, if he doesn't chime in on the chariot beast question soon, I'm going to scream!>

So how does this all tie in to the pips?

<The pips again? Doesn't he hear the silence! I mean, we all know that those decorations are all floral patterns and leaves, right?>

I mean, we all know that those decorations are all floral patterns and leaves, right? Wait.... where did I hear that before? So anyway, if they aer supposed to be leaves, we can't enjoy the benefits of the mistaken identity (book transforms into _____) that we enjoy with the picture cards. So who cares about the pips? But for me, if you are going to use the pips intuitively, it is a perfect situation. These pips look like Jackson Pollock forgot how to color within the lines. They are an explosion of personality filling each card. I'm not so sure what it all means- if anything- but they sure are interesting to look at.

<tell me when he stops talking about the demdable pips!>

So what do you all think?

<(cricket chirps)>

-tb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinbuddha
I bought the deck for the trumps, but what really makes this deck stand out in the Marseilles styled crowd is the pips.
Ah.. the Pips.

I was saving that.. I never intended this thread to be about the chariot.. I just started there because it is so weird... but there are lots of other reasons to love the vieville, and for me, one of the top ones is... THE PIPS!

Alright, I've mentioned it elsewhere (to death), but there's something special about the pips in this deck. THERE ARE NO NUMBERS on them.

So they were removed? Nope, I don't think so. I think they were added on the existing TdM decks.

Here's the sample I always show.. of the Eight of Batons:
http://www.tarothistory.com/images/8_wands.jpg

The first image is from a card found in the Sforza Castle. The second is the Veiville. The third and fourth the Dodal and Conver.

Vieville has retained the ornamentation that, in my opinion, was lost in all existing TdM decks when, as I believe, numbers were added to the pip cards.

I love the Vieville pips! Now about that Chariot...
Top   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinbuddha
Somehow, the pips in this deck look so alive- they have so much personality.
I get that exact same feeling... about all of the cards... the deck feels alive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinbuddha
Part of what makes the older decks so wonderful is that sometimes you can't exactly tell what you are looking at. Between the crude execution of the original artists and the march of years of degradation of the paper and pigments, it isn't always easy to tell exactly what "that thing" is supposed to be. In the words of Le Pendu "what is in the Popess's hand.. a book? Are you sure?". The point is that maybe it is supposed to be a book, but once, in a future reading, maybe- just maybe it will take on the caracter of something quite different. It can do that, because it was never so clear to begin with.
Great point. I usually have a different goal.. finding the connections between decks rather than reading, but then, we come to discussions like this.. where something isn't clear... and suddenly I'm learning new things and seeing the cards in new ways than I have before... and that's brilliant, even if it isn't exactly the same thing as you are saying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinbuddha
These pips look like Jackson Pollock forgot how to color within the lines. They are an explosion of personality filling each card. I'm not so sure what it all means- if anything- but they sure are interesting to look at.
Top   #26
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Alive - that's it - there's a sense of the artist's and craftsmen's hands, you can see the woodblock and the ink - not mechanical and perfect like contemporary printing.

There's also something that happens when someone makes a 'copy of a copy' - in trying to approximate what they 'think' was there, they lose something. Anything that might have been ambiguous can become completely amorphous or misinterpreted. When the artist is drawing their vision of the sphinx or the stave pattern, they are creating from the first. That is why even the best copy of an old master never seems quite right. Far better to draw from your own original - your understanding of the horse or the pip - but following the style of the master if you wish.

There's something in these decks of honorable imperfection, like the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi.
Top   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by le pendu
Alright, I've mentioned it elsewhere (to death), but there's something special about the pips in this deck. THERE ARE NO NUMBERS on them.

So they were removed? Nope, I don't think so. I think they were added on the existing TdM decks.

Here's the sample I always show.. of the Eight of Batons:
http://www.tarothistory.com/images/8_wands.jpg

The first image is from a card found in the Sforza Castle. The second is the Veiville. The third and fourth the Dodal and Conver.

Vieville has retained the ornamentation that, in my opinion, was lost in all existing TdM decks when, as I believe, numbers were added to the pip cards.
You may be right that numbers were added to the TdM and that because of that, some ornamentation was lost. But when I look at ALL the Batons cards of Vieville, I get the impression that Vieville just hated empty spaces (or just loved to draw flowers).
Unfortunately I have no scanner here (maybe someone else could be so kind...), but when you look at the 3, 5 and 7 of Batons, you can see that he also added flowers in the top and the bottom of the cards.
These flowers are missing in the TdM, but not because there is a space-issue there (as the numbers are on the sides of the cards, not on the top/bottom).
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So whaddayathink?
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Personally, I think that the addition of numbers is evident given both the manner in which they appear on this deck, and the lack of numbers on relatively many very early cards and decks.

As to the floral inclusion on the Vieville, I concur: the artist or woodcutter appears to have added these for aesthetic reasons. Whether this aesthetic reason arose out of very early decks that entirely omitted these but were later copied with mis-understood parts (as I claim in another thread for the hilt-part of some sword cards), or out of a sense of not wanting 'large' empty spaces remains, from my perspective, unknown, but likely a consequence of a combination of both.

In any case, a wonderful deck!
Top   #30




 


 


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