prudence wrote:I wonder why Jean Noblet was of the frame of mind to include labels yet not lose any of the image?
Was this deck made as black and white or is it just the scan in a book is in black and white?
Well that really is a large part of the question isn't it? What are the sensible explanations to account for a card that is obviously a Marseille, yet is:
• Missing the Title
• Missing the Number (the XXI seems to be added in later)
• Found in Italy
• Obviously related to the Dodal, but has more content displayed
• Obviously related to the Noblet and Vieville by showing complete bodies on the Lion and Ox.
Frankly, I think it pretty far-fetched to imagine that the card took a Tarot de Marseille and "removed" the title and added in the rest of the body of the Lion and Ox. I'm pretty darn certain that what we have here is a card, or at least a style, that is *older* than the Noblet, Dodal, and Vieville. One that existed without titles and numbers, I suspect that the Noblet, Dodal and Vieville are all based on
this type of card.
So let's at least assume this is correct and work from there a bit...
We're going to assume that early versions of the Tarot de Marseille don't have titles and numbers printed on them. This card indicates that at least an example of such a card still exists; and the Cary Sheet shows the same thing, (no titles or numbers on the cards), some which are clearly related to the Tarot de Marseille.
I am going to assume at some point it made sense to add the titles and numbers into this design. Whether that is because it was an Italian design that had now entered France and the French wanted to add the titles and numbers seems likely to me, but of course this is all
So it seems to me that craftsmen who created decks like the Dodal used cards like the Sforza Castle card to draw new blocks, or, altered existing blocks by replacing parts of the blocks with new pieces of wood with the title and number areas. Instead of redrawing new designs, they were basically copying existing designs, and making modifications. Dodal really shows this. If you imagine that his deck is based off the old decks, but he had to struggle with the titles and numbers, some of the funkiness in his cards start to make sense. For instance, look at the Hanged Man:
The entire top post is obliterated with the number area.
On the Lovers, the feet are chopped off by the title:
He seems to squeeze in the titles around imagery, like on the Empress:
And the Pope is odd too:
Temperance doesn't even have an area defined:
The minions lose their feet:
As do the couple on the Sun:
And the world shows the halos breaking through the number area to be preserved and the title area unclearly defined and losing the bodies of the animals:
With the Valets, Dodal puts the titles where he can, if at all:
This makes the Dodal really important because, in essence, his deck "should" be a close "copy" of the older decks without titles and numbers, as he didn't bother to create "new art", but just copied things over and added in the titles and numbers, sometimes covering up (probably fairly "unimportant") details in the process.
It's frustrating though because I would consider the craftsman of the Dodal rather "sloppy". Compare the details and elegance of line of the Sforza Castle card to the Dodal, and it's shocking how crude it looks. Worse, Dodal seems to have been careless about details (losing the hand on the King of Batons for instance). So in my opinion, we are lucky enough to have a "copy" of this older pattern, but we're unlucky enough to have it done by someone who wasn't paying a lot of attention!
So... what about the Vieville and the Noblet?? .......