Re: Issy Exhibition (until March 13, '22) Catalog

I'll keep this as brief as possible, because I don't have a lot of time at the moment:

Regarding the provenance of the Charles VI and Catania decks: Beware of not seeing the forest for the trees. We always need to weigh up the whole ensemble of evidence available and in this case, we have a lot of factors pointing strongly toward Florence and really nothing that points strongly to anywhere else, so the only sensible conclusion is that these cards (and all the related ones) were made in Florence.

As for your idea about the Bolognese order being first, I think that the earliest Florentine order we can hypothesize would have been the order in the strambotto plus the Popess. The Popess must have been there originally because she's in the Rosenwald deck and because there were four papi in Bologna (I don't see any reason to think that the order came from Bologna to Florence, the direction of movement is far more likely to have been from Florence to Bologna; exactly where the order of the virtues was modified is very much an open question, especially because we don't know exactly what their order was meant to be in the Rosenwald deck). The Popess was probably trump 2 originally, although she might have been between the Pope and the Emperor (arguably the most intuitive position for people to have put her in at first, with the Empress probably just below the Emperor just as the queens were just below the kings).

As for minchiate:

- I'm of the view (and I am in good company in this) that the term "minchiate" in the 15th century records refers only to a game, not to a deck, and it appears to have been significantly different from the later Minchiate game and not merely in respect of its trumps. This is primarily based on the fact that the Minchiate deck (and associated game) is always called Germini in the earliest sources for a very long time before it gets called Minchiate—the only sensible conclusion is that the Germini game eventually took the name Minchiate from the other, older game, which it probably resembled in some significant respect. Moreover, one would not expect such a radical alteration of the tarot deck so early in its history, radical not only in terms of content but also in terms of the way the trumps were perceived. I think that in the beginning, people must have tried to see the trump sequence as a somehow logical progression of figures triumphing over one another—they must surely have derived substantial enjoyment and satisfaction from that idea. Whereas the Germini cards, by contrast, were clearly just a large number of cards inserted in a fairly slipshod fashion simply in order to increase the number of trumps in the game. It must have taken a while before attitudes to the tarot deck could reach the point where someone could do that, where someone could think of the trumps essentially just as tokens in the game, with no very meaningful signficance beyond that. I don't think it would have occurred before the trumps were numbered, which I think would have been an important step in transforming them from a meaningful hierarchy of named subjects into just a series of game tokens, known primarily by number alone.

- Regarding the non-Florentine origin of the Minchiate deck, that is based on two assumptions: (1) the Charles VI, Catania, Rothschild, Louvre, etc. cards are from Florence, and (2) the Rosenwald deck and the closely related Assisi deck are from Umbria (probably both from Perugia). If we make those assumptions, it seems very unlikely that the earliest standard, printed tarot decks in Florence in the mid-15th century could have had suit cards that looked anything remotely like the suit cards we see in the Minchiate deck. The standard tarot trump cards in the Minchiate deck also have features which look significantly different from what we see on their Catania and Charles VI counterparts. So I conclude that it is very likely that the tarot deck on which Minchiate was based was originally from somewhere outside Florence, most likely to the south, because of the similarity of the suit cards to those of Roman cards and the Umbrian cards. The dimensions of the Minchiate cards support this too, being markedly wider in format that the mid-15th century Florentine cards and much closer to the early cards we have from Rome. So I think that either the Minchiate deck was entirely invented outside Florence, or—more probably, given those Florentine halos on the four extra virtues of the Minchiate deck—Florentines at some point started using a tarot deck that had originally been designed in some nearby city, and someone in Florence then chose to use that deck as the basis for the Minchiate deck.

Issy movies ..... Exhibition (until March 13, '22) Catalog

Roberta Delmoro, Le Tarot à Milan ... wS1QG_9KsB
Gabriele Reina, Le Tarot à Milan ... sB&index=2
Marie France Lemay, Le Tarot à Milan ... sB&index=3
Thierry Depaulis, Le Tarot à Milan ... sB&index=4
Ada Labriola, Le Tarot à Florence ... sB&index=5
Emilia Maggio, Le Tarot à Florence ... sB&index=6
Ross Caldwell (lu par Thierry Depaulis), Le Tarot à Florence ... sB&index=7