At the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana, the Tarot of Mantegna is on display.

From April 17 to July 1, 2018, it will be possible to see Mantegna's Tarot on display at the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan.

The Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan will host from April 17 to July 1, 2018 the exhibition"Divine Man. Ludovico Lazzarelli and the Mantegna Tarots in the Ambrosiana Collections."

Visitors will be able to admire 28 of the 31 sheets, which arrived in the Ambrosiana probably already with the nucleus of works by Federico Borromeo, of the oldest and most famous printed series made in northern Italy in the second half of the 15th century.

These are the so-called"Mantegna Tarot": 50 engraved prints created with a very fine stroke, attention to detail and a refined play of shading by hatching that represent man as microcosm and the universe as macrocosm.
These famous Tarot cards appear in playing card format and are preserved mainly in loose specimens.

Those preserved in the Ambrosiana are decorated with gold leaf details and gilded highlights.

At first, the engravings were considered to be Florentine-influenced in style, based on comparisons with the works of Baccio Baldini, but at the end of the 18th century they were considered to be Venetian-influenced, proposing Andrea Mantegna as the author.

This proposal was abandoned in favor of a Ferrara-influenced reading in relation to the frescoes in the Salone dei Mesi in Palazzo Schifanoia.
Recent studies have attributed the Tarot to Lazzaro Bastiani, a Venetian artist known as a miniaturist.

Also on display in the exhibition is the manuscript of Crater Hermetis, a text dedicated to Ferdinand of Aragon by Marche humanist Ludovico Lazzarelli.

The exhibition is curated by Laura Paola Gnaccolini.

For info:

Hours: Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Mondays.

Tickets exhibition + Pinacoteca: Full 15 euros, reduced 10 euros.


As a science capable of reading the most hidden influences of cosmic forces Astrology replaces Astronomy, but follows precisely its description by Martian Capella.

She has a starry head and is winged, in her left hand she holds a wand with which she directs the movement of celestial bodies, in her right a closed book containing the prediction of the movements of the stars.

Next to her is the sphere of fixed stars.

Note in the lower right-hand corner the number (30) written in ink in old handwriting, testifying to the early dismemberment of the series.

The figure’s elegant profile finds a significant term of comparison in the profile of the Canaanite woman painted in conversation with Christ in a panel from the Corpus Christi Monastery in Venice (now Accademia Galleries) by Lazzaro Bastiani.

At the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana, the Tarot of Mantegna is on display.
At the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana, the Tarot of Mantegna is on display.

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