Exhibitions/ The World in Play

The World in Play: Luxury Cards, 1430–1540

At The Met Cloisters
January 20–April 17
Exhibitions are free with Museum admission.

Exhibition Catalogue

The only study of its kind in English, this engaging volume discusses the significance of early European playing cards as unique works of art.

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Exhibition Overview

Only three decks of European hand-painted playing cards are known to have survived from the late Middle Ages. These include The Cloisters Playing Cards, which will form the core of this small exhibition highlighting one of the more intriguing works of secular art from The Cloisters Collection. Examples of cards from the earliest hand-painted woodblock deck as well as fifteenth-century German engraved cards, north Italian tarot cards of the same period, and the finest deck from the early sixteenth century will complete the display. Collectively, the figures and scenes depicted on these cards reflect changing worldviews during a period of tumultuous social, economic, and religious change, charting the transition from late medieval to early modern Europe.

#MetLuxuryCards


The exhibition and catalogue are made possible by the Michel David-Weill Fund.


Exhibition Objects

Playing cards are not an obvious platform for creating works of art. Worn out in play, torn, or lost, cards are fundamentally ephemeral. But they are also ubiquitous. Players of all social and economic strata have indulged in card games since their introduction to Europe in the fourteenth century. From the beginning, church and civic authorities inveighed against these "picture books of the devil." These works were condemned as morally corrupting, and the games associated with them were seen as idle pastimes tied to gambling and perceived as animators of avarice and portals to poverty.

The artists responsible for the decks in this exhibition took a very different view. These are not ordinary playing cards; in fact, it is highly unlikely that any of them were intended for play. They all were commissioned—some by nobility, others by patricians or wealthy merchants. Most originated in southern and southwestern Germany and in the Upper Rhineland. Inventive and evocative, their imagery ranges from the romanticized to the crude. Each deck reflects a differing worldview, slowly but inexorably shifting from nostalgic and idealized visions of a chivalric past to unvarnished and probing scrutiny of early Renaissance society. Collectively, they chart the transition from late medieval to early modern Europe. During a tumultuous period of social, economic, and religious changes, the exceptional artists responsible for these decks transfigured cards perceived as morally pernicious ephemera into enduring works of art that reflect diverse but compelling views of a world in play.

Decks of playing cards in late medieval Germany did not have standard suit symbols or hierarchies. Contemporary texts suggest that the earliest cards, from the fourteenth century, had figures borrowed from the social structure at court: kings and queens (not always paired); knaves (persons of low rank), usually with both an upper and an under knave; various officials and functionaries (marshals, chamberlains, heralds, cupbearers); and members of diverse occupations (clerics, cooks, footmen, fishmongers). The pip cards generally ran from 10 through 2, whereas the number of cards in a deck commonly ranged from forty-eight to fifty-two, but could extend up to fifty-six, or many more. The earliest surviving decks, which date to about 1430–50, have suits with creatures associated with the hunt (Falcons, Hounds, Stags, Bears) along with various types of flowers and birds, as well as Helmets and Shields. The number of suits in a deck also varied, numbering four, five, six, or more. Only in the late fifteenth century did the Germans settle on four suits: Acorns, Leafs, Hearts, and Bells.

We know very little concerning the games played. Sermons warning against card playing make it clear that gambling was all too frequently involved. Karnöffel in Germany and tarot in Italy involved trick taking. Decks with social ranks were also designed for trick-taking games, but in some, the lower ranks could trump the upper (not a popular twist with the authorities). We may surmise that a variety of other games involved drawing, passing, or retaining cards to hold the highest or to avoid holding the lowest, and yet others to capture cards in a particular sequence.

Within the framework of rules and through imaginative thought and strategy, the cards in hand can be parlayed into success—or not. The random conditions presented by a hand of cards are a metaphor for the circumstances one is born into, though a game of cards has a distinct advantage: if you do not like the hand you were dealt, you can draw another. The playing out of a hand of cards can be seen as a microcosmic reflection of the ever-changing world—a view that the creators of the cards exhibited here would seem to have shared.

Although the original commissioner of these exceptionally fine and unusually large cards is unknown, they soon found their way into the collections of the dukes of Bavaria and are first mentioned in a 1598 inventory of the archducal Kunstkammer. The court cards for the suits of Falcons and Ducks are male while those for Hounds and Stags are female. This segregating of the sexes may seem odd to us now, but a description of playing cards written in 1377 noted a pack of fifty-two with just such a sequence.

The imagery of the Stuttgart cards implies two different types of hunts. The kings and their courts preside over the falcons, which were trained to strike their prey (in this case, ducks), while the queens and their courts dominate the hounds, which were used to bring down large game (here stags). The birds and animals in the pip cards are vibrant and lifelike, suggesting observation of nature and knowledge of various types of hunts.

The face cards, on the other hand, have scant connection to any aspect of the hunt. The childlike figures with round, smooth faces project the insouciance of a world free from worry or strife. The queens remain comfortably indoors, whereas the rest of the court figures occupy shallow strips of pleasant greenery against a shimmering gold backdrop that provides a glittering shield against the world beyond. The youthful, elegant court figures evince the innocence and vitality of a privileged people untroubled by coarse quotidian concerns. Thus, in this deck the hunt serves as a metaphor for a world where man and beast cohabit in concord, where the cares of life evaporate—a blissful idyll with little basis in late medieval reality.


The Stuttgart Playing Cards (Das Stuttgarter Kartenspiel)
German, Upper Rhineland, ca. 1430
Paper (six layers in pasteboard) with gold ground and opaque paint over pen and ink
Suits: Falcons, Ducks, Hounds, and Stags
Thirteen cards in each suit: Falcons and Ducks: King, Upper Knave, Under Knave, Banner (10), 9 through 1; Hounds and Stags: Queen, Upper Dame, Under Dame, Banner (10), 9 through 1
Fifty-two cards, of which forty-nine survive
Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart (KK grau 15–63)

Selected Artworks

This luxury set of painted playing cards once belonged to Archduke Ferdinand II of Austria (brother of Emperor Maximilian II) and was kept in the Kunstkammer he created at Schloß Ambras, near Innsbruck, sometime after 1567. Unlike many German examples, this deck has fifty-six rather than the more conventional forty-eight or fifty-two cards.

Collectively, the suit symbols represent the progression of a particular type of hunt. The falcon strikes and kills the heron, the hound retrieves the heron, and the lures attract the falcon back to the falconer. The kings and queens are all set against a gold ground, but reds and blues dominate the backgrounds of the rest of the cards in each suit. In the face cards, the images were first drawn in pen and ink, then the green turf was sprinkled with flowers, and the backgrounds were painted. Most of the heads and hands are sketched in but left unpainted. A number of horses are highly finished, but others were left nearly or completely unfinished. The suit symbols of Herons and Hounds are drawn so expressively and with such control and economy of line that they appear to be finished drawings in their own right, but a light wash of blue over the necks and heads of the herons in the lower values indicates that they were intended to be painted. Why some cards were left incomplete is unknown.

On the basis of style, these cards have long been attributed to the workshop of Konrad Witz, who was born in Rottweil in southern Germany and became a member of the painters' guild in Basel in 1434.


The Courtly Hunt Cards (Das Hofjagdspiel)
Workshop of Konrad Witz (active in Basel, 1434–44)
German, Upper Rhineland, ca. 1440–45
Paper (pasteboard) with watercolor, opaque paint, and gold over pen and ink
Suits: Falcons, Herons, Hounds, and Lures
Fourteen cards in each suit: King, Queen, Upper Knave, Under Knave, Banner (10), 9 through 1
Fifty-six cards, of which fifty-four survive
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Kunstkammer (KK 5018–5071)

Selected Artworks

An anonymous Upper Rhenish artist known as the Master of the Playing Cards produced these engraved cards—a considerably less costly alternative to hand-painted decks. They are the earliest known intaglio prints and were made from engraved copperplates. The figures are brilliantly modeled, with fine parallel lines creating a masterful play of light and shadow as well as sculptural volume.

The artist's sure control of both the burin and the stylus (tools used to incise the copperplate) suggests he had traditional training as a goldsmith, whereas his painterly style with a skilled command of line and tonality may well be indicative of experience in a painter's workshop. Scholars have often noted distinct affinities with Konrad Witz (whose workshop made The Courtly Hunt Cards) both in the plastic treatment of figures and in his close observation of nature.

The pip cards, with values indicated by the number of repetitions of the suit sign, vary in both the choice of the symbols (there are variant forms) and their placement. The face cards were produced with a suitless image for each of the four ranks, to which a suit symbol could be added. Theoretically, the same suitless face card could be used for all five suits, which eliminated the need for a separate plate for each figure, but the Master of the Playing Cards also created an individual face card for each suit; thus numerous combinations were possible in different decks. Of the seventy-some impressions known, only one actually mounted as a card and hand-colored has survived.


The Playing Cards by the Master of the Playing Cards
Master of the Playing Cards (German, active ca. 1425–50)
German, Upper Rhineland, ca. 1435–40
Copperplate engraving on paper (suits signs printed from a separate plate)
Suits: Stags, Birds, Beasts of Prey (Bears and Lions), Wild Men, and Flowers (Roses, Cyclamen, and Pinks)
Twelve(?) cards in each suit: King, Queen, Upper Knave, Under Knave, 9 through 2; apparently no Banner (10) or 1
Original number of cards is uncertain, possibly forty-eight

Selected Artworks

Another Upper Rhenish engraver who followed in the wake of the Master of the Playing Cards is known as the Master ES, after the monogram with which he signed many of his works. In the early 1460s, he produced two sets of engraved playing cards, The Small Playing Cards and The Large Playing Cards. As in The Courtly Hunt Cards, each suit of the small deck has four face cards: king, queen, upper knave, and under knave; the pip cards run from 9 through 1, fifty-two in all. Both decks were copied within a decade by the Netherlandish engraver Israhel van Meckenem.


The Small Playing Cards of Master ES
Master ES (German, active ca. 1450–67)
German, Upper Rhineland, ca. 1460
Copperplate engraving on paper
Suits: Animals, Shields, Helmets, and Flowers
Thirteen cards in each suit: King, Queen, Upper Knave, Under Knave, 9 through 1
Fifty-two cards, of which about fifteen survive

Selected Artwork

Another Upper Rhenish engraver who followed in the wake of the Master of the Playing Cards is known as the Master ES, after the monogram with which he signed many of his works. In the early 1460s, he produced two sets of engraved playing cards, The Small Playing Cards and The Large Playing Cards. As in The Courtly Hunt Cards, each suit of the small deck has four face cards: king, queen, upper knave, and under knave; the pip cards run from 9 through 1, fifty-two in all. Both decks were copied within a decade by the Netherlandish engraver Israhel van Meckenem.


The Large Playing Cards of Master ES
Master ES (German, active ca. 1450–67)
German, Upper Rhineland, 1463
Copperplate engraving on paper
Suits: Men, Hounds, Birds, and Shields
Twelve cards in each suit: King, Queen, Upper Knave, Under Knave, 9 through 2
Forty-eight cards, of which about forty-one survive

Selected Artworks

Around 1500, a Cologne engraver known only as the Master PW created a pack of round cards with the suits of Pinks, Columbines, Roses, Parrots, and Hares, with each suit comprising a king, queen, upper knave, under knave, and pip cards from 10 through 1, for a total of seventy-two cards. These small and finely engraved works were published with a title and a colophon, suggesting that they were intended as a series of fine prints to be admired rather than as playing cards. None are known to have been mounted as cards.


The Round Playing Cards of Master PW of Cologne
Master PW of Cologne (active in Cologne, ca. 1490–1515)
German, Lower Rhineland, Cologne, ca. 1500
Copperplate engraving on paper
Suits: Pinks, Roses, Columbines, Rabbits, and Parrots
Fourteen cards in each suit: King, Queen, Upper Knave, Under Knave, 10 through 1, plus one card with an inscription honoring Cologne and another with the image of Death
Seventy-two cards, of which seventy-two survive

Selected Artworks

Cards produced from woodblocks were by far the most common. Simple in both design and production, the decks were printed from large woodblocks, typically two blocks with twenty-four cards each, then cut from the printed sheet into individual cards. There were, of course, many variations. Most were not colored, but those that were usually were limited to two colors, applied with the aid of stencils.

Discarded when worn, few of these ordinary cards have survived. Because woodblocks were used continuously until they were worn or damaged beyond repair, and because they were widely reproduced and replicated, surviving cards may well reflect earlier designs. This seems to be the case with these four two-colored cards; they are generally dated about 1480–1520, but the costumes of the knaves suggest the designs may date as early as the middle of the fifteenth century.


Four Woodcut Cards
German, Upper Rhineland, Basel, ca. 1480–1520
Woodcut on paper with coloring
Suits: Acorns, Flowers, Bells, Shields, and possibly others unknown
Structure of deck unknown
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. , Rosenwald Collection (1943.3.711, 1943.3.1759–.1782)

Uncut Sheet of Tarot Cards
North Italian, 15th century
Woodcut on paper (uncut sheet)
Suits: Cups, Swords, Batons, and Coins
Fourteen cards in each suit: King, Queen, Knight, Knave, 10 through 1, plus twenty-one trump cards (here unknown) and one Fool 
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Rosenwald Collection (1951.16.6)

Selected Artworks

These cards were in the collections of Archduke Ferdinand II of Austria and appear in his posthumous inventory of 1596. The deck is structured according to the hierarchy of officials and functionaries in a late medieval court, from those of the highest rank down to the lowest.

There are four suits: heraldic shields blazoned with the arms of the kingdoms of Germany, Bohemia, Hungary, and France. Each suit is led by a king and a queen, followed by a master of the household (10) and a marshal (9), with a fool (1) at the bottom—two male and two female. A lady-in-waiting (6) appears in all four suits. The rest of the pip cards (8, 7, 5, 4, 3, and 2) are all court functionaries or purveyors of descending ranks and are different in every suit—except the 4 of Bohemia and the 4 of Hungary, which are both mounted trumpeters—for a total of twenty-three subordinates. These range from a medical doctor and a cupbearer, to a falconer and a cook, to a court tailor and a fishmonger, to a barber and a potter.

The deck is a unique compendium of secular woodblock prints of a quality unsurpassed at this early date. The articulated lines are cut to a remarkable thinness with assured fluidity. The coloring of the figures and of their surrounds is executed with a painterly refinement. Great care is given to the detailing of costumes, fabrics, and appurtenances, while decorative elements are richly enhanced with applied gold and silver, frequently embellished with punchwork that scatters reflected light. Some correspondences with the engravings by the Master ES have long been noted, supporting an attribution to the Upper Rhineland, but other scholars have argued that the cards may have been produced in Austria—perhaps Vienna.


The Courtly Household Cards (Das Hofämterspiel)
German, Upper Rhineland, ca. 1450
Woodcut on paper (pasteboard) with watercolor, opaque paint, pen and ink, and tooled gold and silver
Suits: Germany, Bohemia, Hungary, and France
Twelve cards in each suit: King, Queen, Master of the Household (10), Marshal (9), 8 and 7 (all different figures), Lady-in-Waiting (6), 5 through 2 (all different figures), Fool (1)
Forty-eight cards, of which forty-eight survive
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Kunstkammer (KK 5077–5124)

Selected Artworks

The earliest references to tarot all date to the 1440s and 1450s, and are centered around Venice, Milan, Florence, and Urbino. Tarot cards employed the standard Italian suits—Cups, Swords, Batons, and Coins—with values from 10 to 1 and with a king, queen, knight, and knave, for a total of fifty-six cards. To these were added a fool (matto), which was a wild card, and twenty-one trump cards, or tarocchi, with the fool at the bottom leading up to the emperor and pope at the top. Because the trump cards in these decks are not numbered, the hierarchy varies according to their geographic origin.

Tarot is a game of trick taking and the rules of the game likely have not changed significantly since the fifteenth century. The present-day association of tarot with fortune-telling and the occult gained currency only in the nineteenth century and has nothing to do with medieval tarot cards.

Three luxury tarot decks have survived from the mid-fifteenth century. One of the decks, known as The Visconti Tarot, was probably made for Filippo Maria Visconti, the last duke of Milan of that name, prior to his death in 1447. The other deck, known as The Visconti-Sforza Tarot, was more than likely made for Francesco Sforza, a mercenary commander who married the only child of Filippo Maria Visconti. A third luxury deck (not on view), known as The Brambilla Deck (after a former owner), is in the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan. All three decks are attributed to the workshop of the Milan court painter Bonifacio Bembo.


The Visconti-Sforza Tarot
Workshop of Bonifacio Bembo (Italian, active ca. 1442–77; died before 1482)
Italian, Milan, ca. 1450
Paper (pasteboard) with opaque paint on tooled gold ground
Suits: Cups, Swords, Batons, and Coins
Fourteen cards in each suit: King, Queen, Knight, Knave, 10 through 1, plus twenty-one trump cards and one Fool
Seventy-eight cards, of which seventy-four survive (six by a different artist, ca. 1480)
The Morgan Library & Museum, New York (MS M.630.1–.35)

Selected Artworks

The earliest references to tarot all date to the 1440s and 1450s, and are centered around Venice, Milan, Florence, and Urbino. Tarot cards employed the standard Italian suits—Cups, Swords, Batons, and Coins—with values from 10 to 1 and with a king, queen, knight, and knave, for a total of fifty-six cards. To these were added a fool (matto), which was a wild card, and twenty-one trump cards, or tarocchi, with the fool at the bottom leading up to the emperor and pope at the top. Because the trump cards in these decks are not numbered, the hierarchy varies according to their geographic origin.

Tarot is a game of trick taking and the rules of the game likely have not changed significantly since the fifteenth century. The present-day association of tarot with fortune-telling and the occult gained currency only in the nineteenth century and has nothing to do with medieval tarot cards.

Three luxury tarot decks have survived from the mid-fifteenth century. One of the decks, known as The Visconti Tarot, was probably made for Filippo Maria Visconti, the last duke of Milan of that name, prior to his death in 1447. The other deck, known as The Visconti-Sforza Tarot, was more than likely made for Francesco Sforza, a mercenary commander who married the only child of Filippo Maria Visconti. A third luxury deck (not on view), known as The Brambilla Deck (after a former owner), is in the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan. All three decks are attributed to the workshop of the Milan court painter Bonifacio Bembo.


The Visconti Tarot
Workshop of Bonifacio Bembo (Italian, active ca. 1442–77; died before 1482)
Italian, Milan, ca. 1450
Paper (pasteboard) with opaque paint on tooled gold ground
Suits: Cups, Swords, Batons, and Coins
Fourteen cards in each suit: King, Queen, Knight, Knave, 10 through 1, plus twenty-one trump cards and one Fool
Seventy-eight cards, of which sixty-seven survive
Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut (ITA 109)

Selected Artworks

Largely on the basis of style, these cards have been attributed to the Burgundian Netherlands and dated to about 1475–80. Beyond style, however, the deck has a greater affinity to the German packs than to any cards in France. Like the German decks, the suit symbols pertain to the hunt: Collars (for dogs), Tethers (for hounds), Horns (for hunting), and Nooses (for suspending birds or small game from the belt). The figures were drawn in with pen and ink and then colored with typical medieval pigments.

Perhaps most striking in The Cloisters' face cards are the elaborate, sumptuous costumes of the kings and queens, displaying abundant amounts of ermine and bejeweled trim, gold embroidery, and substantial gold necklaces with gem-studded pendants. The knaves—jester, herald, foot soldier, and huntsman—are dressed appropriately for their occupations. The royal figures function as fashion plates representing the middle and later decades of the fifteenth century, rather than as a record of some specific time or event. A number of details seem odd or excessive even by the standards of Burgundian court fashion. These figures in their lavish dress displaying ordinary equipment of the hunt as if it were regal appurtenances might have been intended to parody the extravagances of the Burgundian court.

Unlikely a noble commission, The Cloisters Playing Cards may well have been made for a wealthy urban mercantile client who felt sufficiently secure in a newly established social order to hazard satirizing a declining one. If so, the cards were eerily prescient, for the death of Charles the Bold on the battlefields of Nancy in 1477 heralded the demise of the court of Burgundy as it had been known.


The Cloisters Playing Cards
South Netherlandish, Burgundian Territories, ca. 1475–80
Paper (four layers in pasteboard) with pen and ink, opaque paint, glazes, and applied silver and gold
Suits: Collars, Tethers, Horns, and Nooses
Thirteen cards in each suit: King, Queen, Knave, 10 through 1
Fifty-two cards, of which fifty-two survive
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Cloisters Collection, 1983 (1983.515.1–.52)

Selected Artworks

Hans Schäufelein worked in Albrecht Dürer's studio from 1503 or 1504 until 1507. He was a painter and a prolific draftsman, and he produced more than twelve hundred woodcuts, which are famed for their wit and epigrammatic content. In his deck of playing cards, the kings, following convention, sit holding their suit signs or gesturing toward them. The knaves, on the other hand, are more socially stratified: the upper knaves are elegantly turned out, while the attire of the under knaves ranges from modest to rags.

Schäufelein's scenes in the lower zones of the pip cards present a more forthright view of the social condition. Some merely depict pleasantries among the denizens of the upper strata. Most, however, underscore the uncouth, even salacious behavior of farmers and peasants or, more generally, the foibles and failings of mankind expressed through imagery loaded with sardonic, proverbial, or moralizing messages. In the 6 of Bells, an old woman gazes at a glass vessel, emulating the charlatan practice of analyzing urine. She is conducting a pregnancy test; the urine bottle she contemplates, however, holds a mound of feces, the only thing this woman is likely to give birth to. Other images merely underscore the foolishness of human behavior. In the 10 of Bells, a man serenades a hare with a fife and drum, and, in the 8 of Bells, a woman attempts to milk a bull to its obvious disconcertment.

A master of economy, Schäufelein created compositions with taut line and narrative conciseness that convey the essence of each image with arresting directness. Schäufelein seems to have assembled an almost arbitrary selection of images poking fun at humanity's failings, arranged in no particular order, as though the random dealing of cards were a metaphor of life's vicissitudes.


The Playing Cards of Hans Schäufelein
Hans Schäufelein (German, Nuremberg ca. 1480–ca. 1540 Nördlingen)
Published by Wolfgang Rösch
German, Nuremberg, ca. 1535
Woodcut on paper colored with stencil
Suits: Acorns, Leafs, Hearts, and Bells
Thirteen cards in each suit: King, Upper Knave, Under Knave, 10 through 1
Fifty-two cards, of which forty-eight survive
Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg (GNM Sp 7074–7120 Kapsel 516)

Selected Artwork

Compared to many of his contemporaries, Peter Flötner produced relatively few woodcuts, but included among them is the most arresting deck of cards made in post-Reformation Germany. The cards were hand painted and enhanced with gold. The backs of the cards are inscribed with musical notations and lyrics, with each suit given a particular voice: Acorns, bass; Leafs, tenor; Hearts, treble; and Bells, alto. Each suit is headed by men alone: a king, an upper knave, and an under knave.

The suits each have loose thematic connections. In Acorns, five of the pip cards deal with the scatological antics of pigs, which in popular culture were equated with gluttony and lust. In Leafs, several scenes are devoted to the capers of farmers or peasants, underscoring their reputation for drunken and licentious behavior. Hearts are concerned primarily with the pastimes of the bourgeoisie and the lack of chastity. And in Bells, a number of scenes address folly, vanity, and the futility of foolish behavior.

The droll lucidity of his images is a pungent reminder that card playing spawns all types of sin, effectively justifying the denunciations of the clergy and civil authorities. But in another sense, these scenes may be seen as the final flourish of imagery that developed out of the monstrous, bawdy, topsy-turvy drolleries that abound in the marginalia of fourteenth-century manuscripts. In the crude subject matter of the cards, Flötner acknowledged man's baser instincts while warning against them. These striking cards bring to life a microcosmic view of a world long gone while animating social and moral themes that still resonate today. More than any other artist, Flötner fully exploited the conceit of playing cards as a visual polemic to convey his worldview.


The Playing Cards of Peter Flötner
Peter Flötner (German, Thurgau 1485–1546 Nuremberg)
Published by Hans Christoph Zell
German, Nuremberg, ca. 1540
Woodcut on paper with watercolor, opaque paint, and gold; the d'Este arms are hand drawn in pen and ink on the two of every suit
Suits: Acorns, Leafs, Hearts, and Bells
Twelve cards in each suit: King, Upper Knave, Under Knave, Banner (10), 9 through 2
Forty-eight cards, of which forty-seven survive 
Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg (GMN Sp 7418 1–47 Kapsel 516)

Selected Artworks



Clockwise, from top left: Under Knave of Ducks, King of Falcons, Queen of Stags, 5 of Stags, Under Dame of Stags, Banner (10) of Hounds, Queen of Hounds, 7 of Hounds, King of Ducks, from The Stuttgart Playing Cards, ca. 1430. German, Upper Rhineland. Paper (pasteboard) with gold ground and opaque paint over pen and ink. Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart