Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Art of the Game

Instead of doing a long winded post on the history of card playing, I decided to do a short bulleted synopsis of what I learned. I've included images from my collection; feel free to use these (and the card graphics from the previous post) in your art work and mixed media projects. I hope you'll enjoy learning these intriguing facts concerning "The Art of the Game."
• Most historians agree that card games originated in China, but it was the Islamic world which introduced cards to Europe.

• By the 14th century, card suits were used; many of these symbols were regional and portrayed important cultural icons.
• In early European tradition, the king of hearts represented Charlemagne, the king of diamonds Julius Caesar, the king of clubs Alexander the Great, and the king of spades the Biblical King David.
• During the Renaissance, artists were inspired by the artwork on Tarot cards, and painted images on the back of playing cards.
• Americans started producing their own cards around the turn of the 19th century and invented the Joker around 1870.
• During the 19th century, card art portrayed important political views. These images also promoted causes, products or services, and depicted landmarks & events.
• Italian and Spanish card decks do not have queens.