Bologna & The Tarot
An Italian Legacy from the Renaissance -
History Art Symbology Literature
English Translation & Edit by Tarot Scholars Andrea Vitali and Michael S. Howard
Soft Cover Book: 512 Pages, Including Hundreds of Color Illustrations
6.7" Wide x 9.5" Long (17 x 24 cm)
Appendix by: International Tarot Museum of Italy
Published by: Mutus Liber in Late 2022
Order Directly from Museo dei Tarocchi: €48.00 Euro + P&H from Italy
For U.S. Customers: A Special Price Shared Below
Bologna and the Tarot
has ever been published in English or is likely to be so again. This is the result of forty years of books, essays, research and exhibitions by
the esteemed Tarot historian
and ten years of collaboration with
on translations. The focus is mainly on Bologna, highlighting the city as one of the key reference points for the birth of Tarot. Together with
various essays by other respected experts, the result is a
unique and impressive compendium of compelling information, drawn from original 15th - 19th century sources which, for the most part, had never been published since their eras of origin -
but are now (at last!) translated into English.
This monumental tome of 512 pages is enriched by hundreds of illustrations (mostly in color) of cards, artwork, documents and 1000+ footnotes; while providing transcripts of the original sources and when available, where to locate them on the Internet. These testimonies from Bologna and elsewhere in northern Italy present a compelling history that will be of interest not only to Tarot enthusiasts, but to those with a fascination for Italian literature, art, and culture.
A few highlights from the sixteen chapters of Bologna and the Tarot:
· Relevant tarot decks, plus literary works that assign the Triumphs (Major Arcana) to various luminaries such as: noble ladies (of Pavia, Ferrara and Bologna), religious activists, street walkers and other intriguing historical details.
· Numerous selections from Bolognese authors relating to Tarot themes, and applying the cards and 'the game' to diverse situations, from love and war to politics, and humorous medical prescriptions.
· New information and insights into the meaning and origin of the word tarocco (tarot in French). Likewise the presence of the Magician (called El Bagatella early on) in the procession of the Triumphs, positioning it, as well as other cards as steps on a "mystical ladder".
· Comparison of an 18th century Bolognese cartomancy document with a previously unassociated early divination system by Etteilla and how the cards of both are now leading to new conclusions.
· Analysis of the clothing in the hand-painted “Charles V” Tarot, providing unique insights into the fashions of the different cities, pointing to Bologna and Ferrara as a likely region of Tarot origins.
· Recently published documents on the origin and symbolism of the “Equal Papi” rule, whereby in Bologna the two Imperial and two Papal cards depicted the same title and rank.
· The production of Tarot cards in Bologna and the difficulties card makers faced.
· "Pentagonal numbers” as an organizing principle for the Tarot sequence.
This impressive undertaking is an invaluable reference for Tarot scholars, collectors and those interested in understanding this captivating aspect of ancient history that emerged during the Italian Renaissance, and which offers an insightful array of supporting documents, visual references, Tarot cards and related art.