Portraits of First Tarot Players
Have you ever wanted to meet the folks who created the first Tarocchi decks and played Trionfi back in the 1400s? You can come face-to-face with many of them in an exhibit now up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City — The Renaissance Portrait from Donatello to Bellini. This exhibit focuses entirely on Italian portraits of the 15th century and includes many names that will be familiar to tarot history fans.
There’s Filippo Maria Visconti, who commissioned the first gilded and painted decks, and his daughter and son-in-law Bianca Maria Visconti and Francesco Sforza who commissioned the Visconti-Sforza deck from Bonifacio Bembo, the artist who most likely did the matching portraits of the couple in the exhibit. Also on display are their descendents Galeazzo Maria Sforza and Ludovico Maria (Il Morro) Sforza who raised Milan to its pinnacle of splendor. Read more