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The Emperor Art and Meaning

Visconti A Tarot Deck Fragment

About the Deck

(aka Cary-Yale Tarot Deck or Visconti di Madrone Tarot Deck) One of the earliest Tarot Decks, the Cary Yale Visconti Deck is entirely gilded, with fine paintings upon it. Like the other Visconti decks, it features numerous heraldic devices. Unlike the other Visconti decks, it features a maid and a lady among the court cards.

Traditionally said to have been commissioned by Fillipo Maria Visconti for the 1441 marriage of Bianca Maria Visconti to Francesco Sforza I.

Provenance

Italy, c. 1441.

According to Many Schools of Thought

A. E. Waite's Secondary Meanings

The Emperor, by imputation the spouse of the former. He is occasionally represented as wearing, in addition to his personal insignia, the stars or ribbons of some order of chivalry. I mention this to shew that the cards are a medley of old and new emblems. Those who insist upon the evidence of the one may deal, if they can, with the other. No effectual argument for the antiquity of a particular design can be drawn from the fact that it incorporates old material; but there is also none which can be based on sporadic novelties, the intervention of which may signify only the unintelligent hand of an editor or of a late draughtsman.

S. L. MacGregor Mathers's Divinatory Meanings

Upright

Realisation, Effect, Development

Reversed

Stoppage, Check, Immature, Unripe.

Papus's Divinatory Meanings

Will.