The diversity of scenes and figures found on tarot and tarock packs provides compelling imagery that fascinates the mind. Volume II of The Encyclopedia of Tarot presents a wealth of information about the origin and developement of tarot during the past 500 years. The symbolism and icongraphy of tarot is explored from the earliest extant cards, dating from the fifteenth century, to tarot and tarock packs with a variety of scenes and subjects popular in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Volume II of The Ecyclopedia of Tarot reproduces over 3600 different cards from more than 300 tarot and tarock decks. The illustrations enable the reader to study the imagery and to contemplate the esoteric meanings and rick symbolism found on the cards. Many rare cards never before published are seen for the first time, enabling their significance in the developement of tarot to be placed into proper perspective. Differences between decks are analyzed, and the symbology and icongraphy of the cards are explained. The illustrations, in black and white and color, feature cards, drawn largely from the Stuart and Marilyn R. Kaplan Playing Card Collection and from leading museums and private collections worldwide.
Stuart R. Kaplan chronicles the rise and fall of the Renaissance rulers of Milan, the Visconti and Sforza families, who commissioned the earliest extant packs. A dramatic backdrop is presented with events from the place and time when the earliest tarot cards were used in a game played by the aristocracy of Northern Italy. Several frescoes and important documents relating to tarot are reproduced.
Bonifacio Bembo was an artist favored by Milanese nobility, and the early tarocchi cards are generally attributed to him. Many other works attributed to Bembo are illustrated, and hos history is given along with short biographies of artists of his milieu. Other people who have figured in the history of the early tarot decks are described.
For the first time, a detailed list is available of more than five hundred card makers from fourteeen countries who produced tatot and tarock packs from the sixteenth century to the present. Additionally, an invaluabel complition of tax stamps used on playing cards in six countries provides important clues to dating antique packs.
The annotated bibliography comprises more than 1300 books and articles not found in the bibliography of Volume I. Sources included in the compilation date from the fifteenth century to the present and deal with all aspects of tarot and the history of playing cards as an art form.
Each volume of The Encyclopedia of Tarot is complete in itself, while the entire subject of tarot is covered in great depth and detail in all the volumes.
Stuart R. Kaplan is considered the leading authority on tarot card symbolism. He is president of U.S. Games Systems, Inc. (Stamford CT), the largest publisher of tarot decks and related books and games. The Stuart and Marilyn R. Kaplan Playing Card Collection is one of the most extensive private collections of tarot decks and books.