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Posts tagged ‘Belgian tarot decks’

The Spanish Captain in the Vandenborre Deck

Question: Who is the Spanish Captain, and what’s he doing in a tarot deck?

The Short Answer: He’s a character from the Commedia dell’Arte who substitutes for the Papesse in a type of 18th-century Belgian deck.

The Long Answer: Read the rest of the article.

What is Commedia dell’Arte?

It’s a type of popular theater with roots in the classical world. It flourished in Renaissance Italy and spread throughout Europe, especially France, in the 14th through 18th centuries. An array of standard characters appeared in every play like Harlequin, Pantalone, and Pulcinella, who was the prototype for Punch and Pierrot. The audience instantly recognized these characters by their masks, their walk, costume and regional accent, as well as characteristic slapstick routines, stage business, gestures, jokes, and favorite curse words. Read more