FEBRUARY, 7, 1718 : anniversary of the death of the Master of engraving art GIUSEPPE MARIA MITELLI, author of the wonderful

(go to the page).

Mitelli ventaglio

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Among the many individuals that enrich the Tarot history, Giuseppe Maria Mitelli (born in Bologna in 1634) deserves a special place.

Mitelli autoritratto




“Carving to me was a game, indeed to play was like a Game, because carving for me was fun, just like a game”.

Giuseppe Maria Mitelli





This eclectic artist transformed the works of art of great painters into splendid engravings. He illustrated popular proverbs and invented new proverbs; portrayed the trades that took place on the streets of Bologna; ridiculed the customs and bad habits of poors and lords; created a wonderful “Alphabet of Dreams”. Above all, he loved to invent games.

Giuseppe Maria Mitelli created more than thirty board games whose titles make you smile and meditate, for example: Game of all forms of the Noses (1687), Game of Truth (1688), Game of a beloved woman with her lovers (1690), Game of Eyes and Mouths (1690), Game of husbands and wives (1691), Game of Fortune and Disgrace (about 1700).

Among the many games invented by Mitelli, the most important is certainly a deck composed of 62 cards, the Tarocchino Bolognese, made between 1660 and 1665 to be donate to a nobleman from Bologna, Count Filippo Bentivoglio.

MITELLI personaggi

The figures of the 22 Triumphs express a typically Baroque sensibility, reworking the traditional symbolic references.



It is important to dwell on four figures that in Bologna and Florence were called “Popes”. The Emperor and the Pope, enthroned, remain the same, while the Popesse was replaced by Mitelli with a Bishop and the Empress with a King, both pictured standing.

One can ask: why the Popesse and the Empress was removed? In the book that accompanies the deck,  italian historian Giordano Berti reported his opinions on this detail. In addition, he faced other enigmas that still surround the history of the Tarot in Bologna: for example the legend of Prince Fibbia (considered at the time the inventor of the Tarot), the case of the forbidden Tarot of Montieri, sent to the stake in 1725, and many others curiosity.


In summary, this work tells Mitelli’s adventurous life, his works and the individuals that are linked to his tarot deck.

In a long final chapter of the book, the Bolognese cartomancer Greta Boni Dori explains the meanings of the 62 cards and teaches how to use them for card reading according to the ancient Bolognese tradition; a tradition that precedes by a few decades the first “revelations” made in France by Etteilla around 1770.


Together with the book one can have a wonderful version of Mitelli’s Tarocchini, complete with all 62 cards hand-painted cards with bright and harmonious colors.

This deck, kept at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, in 2017 has been faithfuly reproduced in a limited edition of 900 numbered copies and signed on a warranty card.

The Mitellis’ artwork is available in a Deluxe box (book shape), or in a simple box.





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On the occasion of this Anniversary,
y o u    c a n    h a v e    a    

5%    D I S C O U N T
on the purchase of any deck, writing to:




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Tarot Anniversary : Claudio Foudraz

FEBRUARY 4, 1802: born of lithographer CLAUDIO FOUDRAZ, author of the wonderful Oriental Tarot (go to the page).

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With regard to Claudio Foudraz there is scarce biographical information, but a careful French researcher, Philippe Noyes, has discovered some documents that allow us to outline at least the origins of this card maker.

Claudio Foudraz was born in Besana (today Bessans), Valley of Moriana, in Savoy (a region that belonged to the kings of Italy, ceded to France in 1860). From the documents found by Noyes it appears that the Foudraz family was dedicated to agriculture. However, both Claudio and his two brothers started the activity of lithographers still young.

In 1829 Claudio moved to Turin with his wife. For some time he worked under the famous lithograph Felice Festa. At the death of Festa, Foudraz opened his own shop, devoting himself to the more usual works (invoices, writing paper, advertising sheets, ornate paper of various kinds). He also published some books, views of Turin and some portraits of famous personalities, but his masterpiece were the 78 lithographs of the Oriental Tarot, made in 1845, of which we provide the description in a special card    (go to “Oriental Tarot 1845”).

Palazzo Scaglia di Verrua e Tarocchi Orientali di Foudraz

Above: Palazzo Scaglia di Verrua, in Contrada degli Stampatori n.4, in Turin. The door on the left, at number 6, was the workshop of Claudio Foudraz from 1846 to 1851; then the lithographer moved to Contrada degli Argentieri n.10.

Other news concerning Foudraz and the historical and artistic history of his Oriental Tarot are contained in the booklet that accompanies the reprint of the deck made by RINASCIMENTO – Italian Style Art  in 2016, edited by Giordano Berti.


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JANUARY 23, 1989 : the brilliant Spanish artist Salvador Dalì, considered one of the greatest exponents of the Surrealist Movement, left this world. Dalì was the author, among the many amazing works of art, of a Tarot deck bearing his name: El Tarot Universal Dalì, published for the first time in 1984.
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Finally Arrived! Mitelli’s Tarocchino 1660

After long researches, italian historian Giordano Berti announces a new Tarot jewel published by Rinascimento Italian Style Art.

LIMITED EDITION: 900 numbered copies.

The box contains an unpublished version of MITELLI’S TAROCCHINI printed in Bologna around 1660 (click and go to the page).

MITELLI BOX E CARTE SU TESSUTO.jpgAlong with the deck there is also A BOOK (124 pages in FULL COLOR) telling life and works of the great Bolognese artist Giuseppe Maria Mitelli, the content of her Tarot, the HISTORICAL CONTEXT in which these cards were created, the characters in relationship with this extraordinary artistic adventure.


In the appendix to the book, italian scholar Greta Boni Dori describes the MEANINGS of 62 cards and DIVINATORY METHODS typical of Bologna, anticipating the first “revelations” of Etteilla for a few decades.



7 irrefutable relationships between the Bible and the Tarot

Until today, a Tarot deck that related to the Bible, had not been made. Yet, there are many indications that confirm the link between the Arcana of the Tarot and the Holy Book of Jews and Christians:

fenix bibbia0021. The sculptures and the stained-glass windows of Roman and Gothic churches, and the moralizing medieval texts, depict numerous images identical to the Major Arcana of the Tarot; for example, cardinal and theological Virtues, Death, Angels, Devils, the Last Judgment. Not surprisingly, all the major iconologists of the twentieth century, including eminent esoterics, such as Arthur Edward Waite and Gerard Van Rijnberk, argue that the origin of Tarot is in the Christian iconography of the Middle-Ages.

2. There are 22 Major Arcana in the Tarot, like the chapters of Revelation of St. John. Many Arcana are, in fact, directly inspired to Revelation.

fenix bibbia003

3. At the end of the fifteenth century, a Dominican preacher claimed that the inventor of the Tarot had used the images of the Pope, the Angels and even God to drag men into the game.

4. The Italian jurist Francesco Piscina in his Discussion on the order of the Tarot figures (Mondovì, 1565) described the unknown inventor of the Tarot as a “good and faithful follower of the Catholic andChristian faith”. Moreover, Piscina stated that the order of 22 Triumphs shows “many moral teachings … to bite the bad and pestiferous habits, customary of the populace of today.”

5. The French jurist Guillaume D’Oncieu, in Numeralium locorum Decas (Lyon, 1584) directly linked the subdivision of the Tarot deck to Christian numerology.

6. In the sixteenth and seventeenth reworking of Tarot decks, many Major Arcana still reflected the Christian traditional iconography. It was only at the end of the eighteenth century that the false belief, regarding the Egyptian or Jewish origin of the Tarot, took hold.

7. In 2008, The Diocesan Museum of Sarsina set up a Tarot exhibition by contemporary artists, entitled The Devil and the Holy water, curated by Prof. Antonio Paolucci, superintendent of the Vatican Museums; the catalogue also listed articles by Alejandro Jodorowski.

Do you want to know The Prophetic Tarot of the Bible created by Giordano Berti? Follow us on this blog, please.