Sei sulla pagina 1di 2

TheTarotdeMarseilles

TheTarotdeMarseilles ThefirstmodernTarotdeMarseilles(TdM)thatweknowofwasprintedbyPierreMadenieof

ThefirstmodernTarotdeMarseilles(TdM)thatweknowofwasprintedbyPierreMadenieof

Dijonin1709.Thisdeckwasnearlyidenticaltoitsprecursors,theNobletandDodal.In

1736,ChossonofMarseilleprintedwhatwastobecometheprototypeformostlaterdecks.By

themid1700s,decksnearlyidenticaltoChosson’swerebeingproducedinFrance,Belgium

andSwitzerland.Chosson’sdeckbecamethemotherofallcontemporaryTdM’sin1760when

NicolasConverofMarseillecopiedaChossondeckdirectlyontohiswoodblocks.The

ConverTdMbecamethestandarddeckinFrance,andisthemodelformostofthepopular

TdMsusedtoday.

TarotdeMarseillesVariants

TdMsusedtoday. TarotdeMarseillesVariants

AlthoughthePopeandPapessecardswererespectfulallegoriesoftheChurch,18thcentury

Churchofficialsconsideredthemblasphemousandforcedcardmakersinsomeareasto

replacethesecardswithotherimages.Inthemid­1700s,cardmakerVandenborreof

BrusselsprintedatypicalFlemish­styledeck(describedonthepreviouspage)butwiththe

SpanishCaptain(orCaptainFracasse),acockycharacteroutofCommediadel’Arte,

replacingthePapesse.BacchusstraddlingawinebarreltooktheplaceofthePope.

BesancondecksprintedinSwitzerlandusedJupiterandJunoasreplacementcards.The

distinctiveBolognesedeckreplacestheEmpressandEmperoraswellasthePopeand

PapessewiththefourMoorishKings.TheChurchevidentlydidn’tseetheironyofhavingreligiousfiguresreplaced

bypagancharacters.

TarotdeMarseillesinItaly

bypagancharacters. TarotdeMarseillesinItaly
bypagancharacters. TarotdeMarseillesinItaly

Inthe1700s,theTdMreturnedtoTarot’sbirthplaceinnorthernItaly

whereitevolvedintotheLombardyandPiemontesestyles.Thefirst

ItaliandeckswereidenticaltotheTdM,completewithmisspelledFrench

titles.OvertimetheyacquiredItaliantitles,becamedouble­headedand

tookonsomeuniquedesignfeatures.

CarloDellaRoccaofMilandesignedanexquisitelyengraveddeckin

1835knownastheSoprafino,whichhasbecomethequintessential

Milanesedeck.SomeofitsuniqueimageryincludestheDevilsittinginflamesandsurroundedbywrithinggreen

monsters;aredlobsteronasilverplatterontheMooncard;andayoungcoupledancingontheSuncard.Thestiff

courtcardsoftheTdMacquiredelaboratecostumes,livelyfacialexpressionsandindividualpersonalities.Thepip

cardsaredecoratedwithgracefulleaves,flowersandribbons.

Tarock

Bythelate1700s,cardplayershadswitchedtotheTarockdeckeverywherebutItaly.Invented

Bythelate1700s,cardplayershadswitchedtotheTarockdeckeverywherebutItaly.Invented

inGermany,TarockspreadquicklythroughcentralEuropeandScandinavia,andbythe20th

centuryreplacedtheTdMwhereverthegameoftarotwasstillplayed.TarockdecksuseFrench

suits(hearts,clubs,spadesanddiamonds).Thetrumpsaredouble­headedandhave

decorativeimagessuchasanimals,ruralscenes,orballerinasthatbearnorelationto

traditionalTarottrumps.WhiletheTarotdeMarseillesremainedstatic,Tarockdecks,

liberatedfromtraditionaltarotimagery,becameavehicleforcreativeexpression.

Afterthe1780s,decksforgameplayinganddecksfordivinationandesotericstudieswenttheirseparateways.The

traditionalTdMwithitsmedievaltrumpsandItaliansuitsofswords,batons,cupsandcoins,graduallybecamean old­fashionedremnantclingingtolifeinafewregionswheregameplayershungontotheirtraditionaldecks.

EasternFrancewasoneofthelastplacestoconverttothenewTarockdecks.Thisgave18thcenturyFrench

occultistsanopportunitytoadopttheTdMastheirown,preservingthetraditionalTdMdeckfromhistorical

oblivion.

Onthenextpagewe’llseehowFrenchoccultistsradicallyre­imaginedTarotwhileretainingtheoriginalstructure

andimagery.

ClickheretoreadabouthowtheTarotdeMarseilledevelopedinthePiedmontregionofItaly.