Sunday, 23 January 2011

keeping it simple

Just a quick hello.  Maybe it's the bitter cold that has sent me into hibernation.  Lot's of ideas are incubating as one of may favourite pastimes is conceptualizing.  I am drawing lately- in pencil;  keeping it simple.

Legends relating to playing cards date to the reign of the Chinese emperor Hui Tsung, 1100-1125. They were said to have been invented to relieve the boredom of the ladies at court.

The first European cards were probably made in Italy early in the 14th century. There were four suits with numbered cards from 1 to 10 and a King, Queen, Cavalier and Knave. The suits were cups, swords, coins and staves which were said to represent the four classes of medieval society; the clergy, aristocracy, merchants and peasants. In Germany the suits were hearts, acorns, bells and leaves and in France they were hearts, pikes, paving tiles and clover.

Playing cards seem to have reached England between 1400 and 1463 and the suits were derived from French and Italian sources. The clothes worn by modern court cards are those of the reign of Henry VII and Henry VIII. Playing cards were hand decorated until 1832 when Thomas de la Rue patented a method of colour printing cards. He also began to decorate the backs thus hiding the flaws in the paper and making it harder to use secret dirt marks to cheat.

I have found my favourite period to be the French as I play with a few ideas I've been cooking on.

I send all my love out to every body. 


Stone Tree Studio said...

What a beautiful pencil drawing! I like the background info on the different suits depending on the country - it is fascinating. Are you inventing your own deck? Have fun!

Enchanted Blue Planet said...

Boy, that was a fast response. Thanks, Elise. I like the idea of doing my own deck of cards, but I'm just focussed on this one for now- the Queen of Hearts.

Stone Tree Studio said...

I've always wanted to do my own version of the Tarot cards, at least the Major Arcana! One day ;-}

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