Re: Regarding colours

#21
* I think that art concept must always be analyze in context cultural and historical understand it.
For example the man blowing in the Botticelli masterwork,out of historical context,surely will mean another meaning.
Giorgio de Chirico comes now to my mind or may be best Paul Delvaux ?
Regarding to decks colours,of course they change from one to another Enrique,this is out of discuss.
But as are different patterns and you are covering a time between 1643 to 1760,also I think one should restrict the search to a single pattern.
. So yes,the endless discussion: Tarot de Marseille 1 and 2 pattern.

- So again returning to the example of LE BATELEUR yellow shoes.
I can see them yellow in this decks : Pierre Madenie,Dodal,both Payen s,Tourcaty and Rochias,just for some examples....

- So I ask to you lamort,Enriquez and Steve...

. The Book of Kells has a naturalistic use of colours or a symbolic use ?


à bientôt j'espere ...

Thanks in advance...

Eugim
The Universe is like a Mamushka.

Re: Regarding colours

#22
EUGIM wrote:
- So I ask to you lamort,Enriquez and Steve...

. The Book of Kells has a naturalistic use of colours or a symbolic use ?


à bientôt j'espere ...

Thanks in advance...

Eugim
That’s irrelevant. Another subterfuge. We can find a million examples of artwork who has discernible color symbolism in it and that proofs nothing about the tarot unless we can actually detect a similar patter in one of the decks.

The proof is in the pudding. Please, tell me what does these yellow shoes mean and how that symbolic scheme extends to the rest of the colors in the deck. There is nothing to wait for, just deliver the goods, please.

Thanks,

EE
What’s honeymoon salad? Lettuce alone
Don’t look now, mayonnaise is dressing!

Re: Regarding colours

#23
Hello Enrique.
I just think that is not irrelevant and I never used subterfuges.
My speach was always clear,straight ahead...

1- I mentioned the Book of Kells because is an excellent example or earlier Medieval Art.
And the use of colours is clear on a symbolic way.

2- You asked for clear colour patterns common in many decks,so I showed the yellow shoes of LE BATELEVR.
I ve never suggested had the symbolic meaning of this,simply because that this is the final purpose of this thread.

* As red as are the shoes of LE MAT in 90 % of the decks,as red is the walking stick in may too many decks...

So that suppose a pattern based on a colour "decision" done.
As a result of this LE MAT has not yellow shoes ...

I copy here some of your excerpts,asking for this kind of answers.
(I think I given to you with any subterfuges...


If we were to establish any symbolic use of color in the tarot we would have to analyze deck by deck to see if any discernible pattern, built on top of a basic representational use for color, can be detected in any of them. Obviously, that will only show that such symbolic usage of color was present in that specific deck.


No two decks share the same color scheme, and more important, we even find color changes and variations in different editions of the same deck. If we set the context in which these cards were printed, we can see why such inconsistencies appear.

Even if we assume that there was an original symbolic intention in the use of color in some tarots, a pattern we haven’t found, its unlikely survival suggests that such color symbolism wasn’t a relevant, or definitive attribute of the tarot. The decks we have at hand suggest that such color symbolism isn’t discernible because we can’t detect any clear pattern, other than colors being used with a naturalistic intention. By discernible I don’t mean understandable



Eugim
The Universe is like a Mamushka.

Re: Regarding colours

#24
Hi Enrique,

Apologies for taking so long to respond.

Enrique, you wrote,
I agree with you in that the colors were intentionally applied. In fact, there is no other possible hypothesis: it is unlikely that the colors were accidentally spilled or unconsciously applied by someone who wasn’t paying attention.
Surely you know that when I spoke of intentional color, I meant it in the sense that Robert used the word in his quote here:
Had there been "intention" in the colour, I would certainly have expected more consistency.
Enrique, your G-Spot reference is really cute and provocative, but when you say, essentially in concert with Robert,
No two decks share the same color scheme, and more important, we even find color changes and variations in different editions of the same deck. If we set the context in which these cards were printed, we can see why such inconsistencies appear. As mundane as that is, as non-exciting story as that is, those are the facts.

I simply cannot agree. Actually, in many of the Marseilles decks, there is remarkable consistency, and of course, that may be because a kind of tradition was established early on. The colors in the Dodal, Des Centvries/Peyen, Heron, and Marsigliesi are really quite consistent with the exception of hand and face colors (see earlier posted examples under this topic) which I would call non-representational.

Enrique, you asked,
Is there any coherent, all-comprehensive, meaning you can derive from the way these colors are used, beyond their illustrative purpose?


No, I don't have this all figured out. I think the significance of the colors may be that they hint at ideas or concepts on a rather subtle subconscious level. And while we may not be consciously aware of the meaning of the color choices, we can still react to them.

It is interesting that in the early Marseilles color version, the outer garments of the Popess/Priestess and the Empress were red, but after the great change due to printing, the outer garments on these two cards changed to the more dignified, controlled, and in the case of the Popesse, more virginal, blue. What significance might be attached to this change? Red, seen as a very active, potent color in regard to men, is also an active, potent color in regard to women, where it is associated with women's sexuality and menstrual fertility. In the timeframe when printing methods changed, there was an effort to de-sexualize women—if they were “good” women, as opposed to what the Church termed ”harlots,” their higher, more spiritual qualities were to be emphasized (put on top). Notice that in the case of LA FORCE, who has been by some equated with a harlot, the outer garment (cape) remained red. Now these thoughts might never have entered the minds of people then, but I think they did.

If, on the other hand, the colors are mostly decorative (with a few representative, of course); then one would expect every color used in that edition to appear in every card especially since a given stencil would likely cover the whole sheet of cards. But such is not the case.

All of the above observations together with those in my earlier posts under this topic are why I don't find any hypothesis that categorically excludes a symbolic component to color in the Marseilles Tarot persuasive.

Enrique, you wrote,
There is a very peculiar idea I see being pushed forward now and them in this forum: ‘There must be a secret in there because we don’t know it’, ‘I can’t see a pattern so, there must be one’ or ‘that must be a code because I can’t decode it’.

Subtle color symbolism is not equivalent to a code. But even if we take that statement literally as you have phrased it, how is it qualitatively different from your position which seems to be, “Because I don’t see a pattern, because I don't discern symbolic content in those colors, because I can't find meaning in the colors, it simply is not there.”

It is nice when something can be nailed down. But from my point of view, this cannot be. If that makes me sound trivial, so be it. After all, this is the Unicorn Terrace, and for all you know, I might have long, long ago traded my cow for a handful of magic beans. That, too, can be a beautiful thing to do!

Cheers,
Marcei

P.S. It would be great to have Jean-Claude and Roxanne Flornoy weigh in on this topic.

Re: Regarding colours

#25
Marcei said :

P.S. It would be great to have Jean-Claude and Roxanne Flornoy weigh in on this topic.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Hello sweet !

* That s should be " great" ...

EugimyHendrix
The Universe is like a Mamushka.

Re: Regarding colours

#26
Hello Marcei and Eugim,

Thanks for your responses.

What is not cleat to me is the purpose of this thread. Yes, this is the unicorn terrace. As far as I understand, this is a place to push unconventional research or explore personal theories. In order to do that, we need to have an idea we want to pursue, no matter how crazy or ‘out of the box’ it may be. By comparing notes we should be able to arrive at conclusions, based on the objective interpretation of some evidence, so, perhaps, at some point the idea we are exploring stops being an unicorn hunt and becomes a feasible contribution to our understanding of the tarot. So far I haven’t seen such idea promoted here. What I have see is an approach to the tarot colors that makes me thing of a bunch of curious looking at a car crash: we stand around the subject with our hands in our pockets while commenting: “Yellow shoes...” “Very yellow shoes...” “Yellow indeed...” “Is not that here is meaning there but, isn’t?” “Well, they are yellow...” “Yellow indeed...” “Very mysteriously yellow...”

Where is the hypothesis?

Eugim, if what you are saying is that there is no symbolic meaning in the Bateleur yellow shoes, then, what are you saying? Are you just making an observation: “Le Bateleur shoes are yellow”. If then, with what purpose? Some Bateleurs have yellow shoes... Some others don’t. Incidentally, Mickey Mouse’s shoes are yellow and Donald duck has yellow feet but no shoes. When I ask about a color pattern what I am asking is: what does Le Bateleur’s yellows shoes have to to do with the Fool red shoes? You are implying that they have something to do, so, what is the color scheme there, symbolically speaking? How can we make sense of this, this is IF you are trying to make sense of it? And if you aren’t, then, what are you aiming at? Does the fact that in most landscapes in art history the sky is painted blue means that there is a pattern there and therefore, something is being insisted upon us across centuries of painting other than: the sky is blue?

The book of Kells would only be relevant if we can apply the same color symbolism to the tarot, or at least, a similar rationale. To infer that there must be color symbolism in the tarot because there is color symbolism in the book of Kells is not enough. Unless you can apply that code to ‘crack’ the alleged tarot color code, your observation belongs to the realm of my ‘G-spot theory’. But if you have found a way of extrapolate the Book of Kell’s color symbolism into the tarot, it would be interesting to see that rationale explored here. Tell us about it. The only way to demonstrate that there is symbolism in these colors is by articulating it in a readable form. Anything less than that is sloppy. Occultist have been playing that game for centuries. They have been saying that the tarot conceals a code “very very yellow... very very mysterious” without ever providing other evidence than veiled winks, wishful thinking, and tons of unreliable nonsense. So, again: what are you saying? How does “My Yellow Shoes Theory of Color” works? Are you saying that these colors have a symbolic codification? If so, what is your evidence? or are you expecting that someone else will do that research for you? In the other hand, are you simply stating the fact that Le Bateleur is wearing yellow shoes? If so, why? What do you expect to get from this thread then? So far it seems just like another circular thread in which you propose that there is something peculiar in this or that detail in the tarot but don’t provide any further insight on what is what you are saying, seeing, of hoping to uncover.

Eugim, I don’t want you to take this as a personal attack. I am really trying to ‘get you’ so I can understand what motivates all your post in which you simply notice something but provide no further analysis. At the same time, take my comments as feedback in the sense that, if you feel that you are actually providing content, for some of us your content is not coming across.


Marcei, in the real world, we can only move forward by analyzing evidence and evidence usually comes in the form of observable phenomena. I know you know that. If I can’t see a pattern I can’t talk about meaning in it. I am not trying to be obtuse, I am just hoping not to take a horse for a zebra when I see no reasons for it. Trusting things we cannot see is called faith, and although I am wondering if the real issue underlying all these discussions isn’t a religious one (even when we are talking about the tarot as the backbone of an alternative religion), I am still under the impression that this is a secular discussion. What I am trying to understand is what is your rationale to say that the fact that colors are consistent from one deck to another -in these examples when they are- mean something beyond mere representation? If these colors were following an allegorical pattern there should be no mystery. Not only colors but all materials used in the Middle Ages to craft artworks had an intrinsic narrative or metaphorical quality which is quite well docummented. Let take for example the absence of color in most of the character’s faces and hands. Illuminated manuscripts were made from parchment and parchment came from calf skin, this is, from flesh. So, at a metaphorical level, each page from a manuscript represented the earthly flesh who could be illuminated, as in inspired, by the Verb when the amanuensis wrote or painted on it. So, going out on quite a stretch -in more ways that I am able to enumerate here- we could offer a very unicorn-like theory on why there was no need for coloring the character’s faces and hands: the background material in itself is given to represent flesh. Now, what is non-representational there? That is my question. I am just offering a wild hypothesis I have no way to back-up, but at least I am doing something most occultists haven’t done: acknowledging the evidence in regards of how color and materials were perceived in the Middle Ages, not in our imagination. Color symbolism -and material symbolism- has been very well established within art history an iconography as part the mainstream pictorial tradition. There is nothing occult, arcane or counter-cultural about color symbolism. Anybody who puts enough time into it will develop a sound understanding of the metaphorical qualities of materials and colors in the Middle Ages, or for that matters, in all periods of art history in which color was used in a symbolical way. Then there is the distinction between trying to find coherent symbolic meaning in the tarot’s colors and trying to find a hidden message in these colors. These are two very different things. So, why is that no one is being able to provide a coherent lecture of the tarot colors either card by card or as a whole series using the already documented color symbolism? Why is that, in almost 300 years of ‘analysis’ occultist have decided to project their own idea of what color meant, ignoring what history teaches us about how color was used in allegorical representation?

I apologize from cutting this short. I have been working with clients for the last 11 hours.

Good night,


EE
What’s honeymoon salad? Lettuce alone
Don’t look now, mayonnaise is dressing!

Re: Regarding colours

#27
Hi Enrique,

You wrote,
“I am not trying to be obtuse, I am just hoping not to take a horse for a zebra when I see no reasons for it.”
and then you wrote,
Let take for example the absence of color in most of the character’s faces and hands. Illuminated manuscripts were made from parchment and parchment came from calf skin, this is, from flesh. So, at a metaphorical level, each page from a manuscript represented the earthly flesh who could be illuminated, as in inspired, by the Verb when the amanuensis wrote or painted on it. So, going out on quite a stretch -in more ways that I am able to enumerate here- we could offer a very unicorn-like theory on why there was no need for coloring the character’s faces and hands: the background material in itself is given to represent flesh. Now, what is non-representational there?
Yes, and I like the metaphor of the page (parchment/flesh) being illuminated by the scribe or image maker. I can easily buy the idea that there was no need for coloring the character's faces and hands. That would have been simple, that would have been beautifully elegant, that would have been highly economical from a production point of view, but that is not what they did. They used a color to symbolize flesh, a color that the French once called carnation. Furthermore, it is not that some card makers used this color to show flesh representationally, and other card makers left flesh areas uncolored as you have suggested; no, in the same edition of the same deck and even on the same character, some parts of the flesh are colored and some are not. Now how is it unreasonable to conclude there just might have been a reason for this?

Are you sure you are not trying to be obtuse? If not, I can live with a difference of opinion here. Can you?

Love,
Marcei

Re: Regarding colours

#28
Marcei wrote:P.S. It would be great to have Jean-Claude and Roxanne Flornoy weigh in on this topic.
Jean-Claude's ideas of colour are listed on pages 7-11 of the booklet that comes with the 78 Jean Noblet Tarot. I don't have time right now to scan or retype it, but perhaps someone (Eugim I believe has the deck) might be able to scan it and put it up?

While I have great respect for Jean-Claude as a craftsman, and fond affection for him as a friend, I often do not agree with him on points of Tarot history. His booklet is full of ponderings and suggestions, it is a pleasure to read, and I suspect that you will enjoy it very much.
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Regarding colours

#29
Are we to leave it as a matter of opinion rather than to attempt to expose and discuss the supposed colour symbolism used in the tarot? I might as well say there is an Aztec Calendar embedded in the Tarot, and it's there and I can see it, and if you can't see it then we just have to accept we have a difference in opinion.

I've stated my beliefs, and why I think there is not a system of colour symbolism in the tarot:
robert wrote:I think creating and using stencils reveals much about the colour choices used by our cardmakers. The distribution of colour over the card, I certainly believe, was a practical matter of maintaining the strength of the stencil card by using patches of colour so no area was too weak by having too large an area of only one colour.

While it is certainly true that colour would have had "meaning" to those who used cards (just as colour has meaning to us today), to think that colour choices "meant" something to the cardmakers beyond general traditional colour choices, I think, is to overestimate. As JMD points out, even among the decks of one cardmaker, such as the samples by Conver that we have, the colours changed dramatically. Had there been "intention" in the colour, I would certainly have expected more consistency.
To this I would also add that availability and price of colours probably also contributed to the colour choices and usage.

As Enrique has asked several times, if it is there, and you see it, what is it? Otherwise we're just talking Aztec Calendars.
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Regarding colours

#30
Thank you, Robert.

Unfortunately I have yet to order that deck. I look forward to doing so and reading the booklet that you mention. I do have the earlier hand-printed majors and some information including the verse on color that Jean Claude published a while back. I don't however, remember anything that addressed the elements of specific images including the flesh and clothing I mentioned.

While I love reading history, I make no pretense of being a historian. Perhaps I am really out of place in stating my observations on this forum, but I think you guys are tough enough to tolerate a divergent point of view from time to time.

Best always,
Marcei

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