This information from page of Bob Lancaster: http://members.aol.com/RSLancastr/blgupc/blgupc.htm
In 1955, French playing card publisher Editions Philibert produced what was to become regarded by many as one of the most beautiful decks of playing cards ever designed.
Artist Paul-Emile Becat took four years to design and create the memorable images in the deck, which was produced in a limited edition of 12,000 decks.
An article about the deck was published in the Spring, 1962 edition of Eros magazine, with the following information about Becat's inspiration for the images:
"For many of his illustrations Becat drew upon a set of paintings by Renaissance masters which the monk Savonrola had destroyed in 1496 because they revealed too much of the intrigue and sordidness of Borgia family life. Savonrola was greatly beholden to the Borgias. Detailed descriptions of these paintings had been preserved, however, and it was from them that Becat was able to paint a number of his miniatures. The balance of his pictures he based on other Florentine themes."
Below is a list of the illustrated cards from the deck, and the names Becat gave them:
Hearts Ace The Allegory of Love King King Francis I Queen The Lady and the Rose Jack Lovers of Verona Clubs Ace The Allegory of Gold King Duke Leonardo, Patron of the Arts Queen Her Majesty Encourages the Arts Jack Leonardo da Vinci and One of the Beauties He Immortalized Diamonds Ace The Adventuresses King Allegory of the Soldiers Queen "La Belle Ferroniere," Favorite of Young King Francis I Jack The Messenger of Love Spades Ace The Poisoners King Bluebeard Queen Lucretia Borgia Jack Machiavelli
Resources on the Web
Becat is best known for his erotic illustrations, but here are a couple of G-Rated portraits:
|Florentine Art Resources on the Web|