Dover CD/book-The Art of Tarot Cards

I bought this about 2 weeks ago. I was excited that there is a source for hi-rez digital facsimile's of 11 antique decks. Now my forum posts can be profusely illustrated

The promo copy for this package never seems to list the actual decks.
  • - Le Minchiate Florentine
  • - Tarocco Italiano
  • - The classic Tarot
  • - Il Tarocchi Dei Visconti
  • - The Waite-Smith Tarot
The quality of line in this repro is disappointing. Parallel ines seemto thicken and join into blobs where they do not in any other examples found on the web.
  • - I Tarocchi Dei Mantegna
  • - The Knap-Hall Tarot
This deck has the effect of a double impression. It is hard to look at because I get the sensation that my eyes are blurring. It is the image. But I can't tell if it is the repro or is in the original printing or artwork of the card.
  • - Il Tarocco Di Besancon
  • - Ancient Tarot of Lombardy
  • - The Bolognese Tarot
  • - The Gumppenberg Tarot
They are in 2 sizes. One is called High-resolution. These are jpgs whose file size is around 3mgs. Supposedly at 300 dpi. This makes them okay for printing. My understanding is that 300 dpi is magazine resolution.

The other size is called 'web ready' at 72 dpi. They are small lo-rez jpgs around 200 X 3 or 400 pix. But they are all around 150 mgs each ! Calling them 'web-ready' is something of a joke !!! Especially when they pixilate at one or 2 magnifications. It does not seem that the person who did these 'web-ready' jpgs was a web designer. I would not post a 150 mg jpg on a forum, or have one on my own website. That is a 40 second load time on dial-up. Bigger than an entire page should be ! These are unecessary anyhow. You can easily reduce one of the 'hi-rez' files. (On OS X it can be done through the 'tools' menu in ). However, batch processing a whole deck is not such an easy proposition.

This can be done with Photoshop (if you have it) or with xnview, or the gimp. Both are free softwares.
Deliver me from reasons why you'd rather cry - I'd rather fly...
Jim Morrison - The Crystal Ship

Re: Dover CD/book-The Art of Tarot Cards

Thanks for letting us know about your thoughts on this Hoo.

Just to be clear... do all of the decks come with Hi-res and Web versions? I would think it would be a good investment for Hi-res versions of all of these decks, several of my favourites are there.
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Dover CD/book-The Art of Tarot Cards

Yes Robert -All 11 decks have hi-rez versions. As I say, these are the things worth having. The lo-rez are silly. Too small and low quality to be of any practical use whatsoever, and yet the file size is too big for the web!!!
(If anyone needs instructions on how to do 'batch processing' in Xnview or the Gimp, post here and I'll give the details.)

One deck, the 'Tarocco Italiano' has only the Major Arcana. The other 10 are complete. This is stated on the back of the book. I don't know why they did this.

Anyway, it's well worth having. Many important and beautiful decks on this CD. My main interest in the Tarot started with the Mantegna deck, and there's a very nice facsimile here. Now, when I write about this deck, I can illustrate exactly what I'm talking about with images that are actually big enough to see some details! That for me is the big draw of the CD.

I don't have a printer, so I can't test for that. The Mantegna shows extensive foxing on each card, and it would take some work to separate this out from the images. The PCS looks like it went from hi-rez to lo-rez and back up to hi-rez again or something, and I doubt if it will look as good printed as any of the decks available. The Knapp-Hall is the most problematic looking deck, as far as printing prospects go.
Deliver me from reasons why you'd rather cry - I'd rather fly...
Jim Morrison - The Crystal Ship

Re: Dover CD/book-The Art of Tarot Cards

Hoo, thanks for listing the decks on the CD - I wondered...

I have the Knapp Hall edition from the Philosophical Research Society. I looked through it yesterday when you mentioned the blurring, but mine seems sharp. It seems possible that the edition they used to scan had problems with the lithographic colour alignment. If you look at the legs of the two Slave of Discs on the thread on the link below you'll see what I mean. (I'm speaking here from studio experience rather than commercial printing, but I'd imagine the process is the same.)

Debra posted some comparisons of the different editions Here, on the Tarot Collectors Forum.

He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy...

Re: Dover CD/book-The Art of Tarot Cards

Pen - I think you're right. It's the register. At least one color is consistently to the right of the black lines. This is so consistent that I was thinking it was some antique idea of a jazzy new way to do things.
There is also what I would call a pronounced moire. It's probably not as noticeable on the real cards, at the real card size. But at full res onscreen it looks really terrible. Hard on the eyes.
Unfortunately sitting in front of a screen for hours on end 7 days a week has taken a toll on my vision, and someone else is going to have to buy this package and get a look at the Knapp-Hall. When I look at it, I feel exactly the same as when I've been staring at the screen for too long, and can't focus on anything clearly anymore. So I don't know if it's me, the Dover scans, or the original printing.
Deliver me from reasons why you'd rather cry - I'd rather fly...
Jim Morrison - The Crystal Ship

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