With their images of princely hunts, opulent costumes, and a cast of characters ranging from royals to commoners, each of the playing cards in this engaging volume is a unique work of art that reflects a period of tumultuous social, artistic, economic, and religious change. The only study of its kind in English, this book features the most important luxury decks of hand-painted European playing cards to have survived from the late Middle Ages, plus a selection of exceptional hand-colored woodblock cards, engraved cards, and tarot packs. Each of these cards has a fascinating story to tell; collectively, they conjure up the courtly culture and customs of the day, and chart the transition from late medieval to early modern Europe.
Timothy B. Husband is curator in the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Cloisters (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)