Re: The Tarot de Paris (The Parisian Tarot)

It's also interesting that in the Paris he is wearing sandals (something that is clearly showing only, it seems, in this deck).

I also agree with SteveM that there is a (semblance of a) pyramid beside the Sphinx.

The key of St Peter is also clear... as is his staff... but the staff's type is unclear - though I would expect it to be a triple cross based on the Geoffroy. Also, his head-dress is the triple crown (rather than the bishop's), so in the sequence of shown Popes, it is the Noblet that seems 'out of whack' with triple crown and crook (yet it remains my preferred rendition)!

Re: The Tarot de Paris (The Parisian Tarot)

Isn't the Hermit interesting?


I've always imagined the hermit walking in the wilderness, but here we can clearly see an archway of a building of some sort. Is it a monastery? The gate to a city?

This hermit also has a string of beads which I assume would represent a rosary? It's interesting that the artist chose to place a red tip at the end of the cane.

At first, I thought that the hermit might be ringing a bell, which would have been an interesting connection to compare to the Vieville, but on closer examination it looks like he is holding a handle, and the red line across the bottom would probably indicate the bottom of the lantern?

Perhaps we are seeing the hermit, with lantern, cane and rosary in hand, leaving the "safety" of the town and moving out onto his path?
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: The Tarot de Paris (The Parisian Tarot)

The Wheel of Fortune

There are several things I really like about this card. First and foremost, the figure on the top of the Wheel is clearly a ruler, probably a king, but the crown makes it pretty clear that this is a person in charge, and the fact that it is a person and not a supposed sphinx is also attractive to me.

Compare this figure to a few from other decks...

Jean Noblet Tarot:

I think the noblet is most likely also showing a human ruler, to me it looks like he is kneeling, although I'm not at all sure what is behind him, perhaps a cape, or a throne?

Jacques Vieville Tarot:

Same for Vieville, I see a crowned figure holding a baton, and he appears to have one knee raised, I would guess his other leg is also kneeling.

Jean Dodal Tarot:

With the Dodal we can see the figure is crowned, but it is harder now to see if the figure is human. The baton in the Vieville is clearly a sword here as the hilt can be seen curling up near the base. The back of the image is still hard to understand. Of note, it looks like a tassel is hanging off of the right side of the platform, which reminds me of the tassel under the King of Cups:

Another aspect that I like a lot about this card is that it shows four figures as seen in the Visconti and other early Italian decks:

It's interesting as well that the Cary Sheet seems to show four figures as well, or at least I would guess so by seeing the figure at the bottom of the Wheel (top left of linked image): ... 613378.jpg

An usual feature of this wheel is that none of the figures seem to have animal features at all! Even the Visconti deck shown above has ears drawn into the gold area to show the animal instincts and foolishness of trusting in Fortune.

Another interesting feature is that the Wheel is supported from one centre post, instead of two as is generally seen in the Tarot de Marseille. Of course, it might only be the perspective that gives that impression, but considering that other Italian decks have the same basic one post design, I suspect that that is what we see here. one delightful aspect of the post is the two fishheads at the bottom, what fun!

I'm also delighted by what seem like carvings on the wheel, I don't have any idea what they are supposed to mean or why they would be there, but they remind me of Aztec calendar inscriptions.

The Paris also seems to imply that indeed, it is a cape waving in the background, so perhaps that is what we are seeing on later decks?

Isn't this a great card???
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: The Tarot de Paris (The Parisian Tarot)

* A very interesting card of course...

-Also because as in the case of Vieville and the the Tarot de Paris the figures at the wheel are moving to the same direction.
So again I say that Vieville is not a reversed or inverted deck.
I know that at the Cary Sheet the direction is the opposite,to be honest here.

And anybody is moving the crank Monsieur !

The Universe is like a Mamushka.

Re: The Tarot de Paris (The Parisian Tarot)

Hi Robert,

I, too, have always liked this Papessa very much. Her crown is wonderful, and surprising to me, for I tend to expect a double-crown on La Papessa. I very much like her hair and find it quite interesting that her hair is uncovered. She wears no veil! The book is a really strong point of interest here: it is closed and she appears to me to be holding it with disdain, yet she is really NOT holding it! Perhaps this is another way to say that she does not hold it in high regard. Perhaps she eschews the Patriarchy, holding them, their teachings and their low regard for women in contempt! She does, however, still have the key, silver(symbol of the moon) to represent feminine truths as opposed to the gold one (color of the sun), representing the masculine teachings, held by Le Pape. In later decks both keys are held by the Pope figure which, to me, symbolizes the complete oppression of women, and the usurpation of their power and dignity. I agree that that is probably a cushion with tassels at her feet for I really can't make out a spinning wheel.

Wish Jean Claude would do a clear, clean restoration of this deck so we could see the lines more clearly and appreciate the wonderful detail this deck incorporates. With all the decks we'd like restored we could keep him busy for a very long time!

Incidentally, I have always wondered why at least some of the card makers did not use a pin or fence registration system and apply color with their stencils first. If the lines could have been printed over the colors, we would see the wonderful detail that is so sadly obscured.

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