A reproduction of the 22 major arcana of

The Jean Noblet

Tarot de Marseille

 ∞ Created in France circa 1650 ∞

With an explanation of the Hebrew letters,

Judaic ritual objects, Torah stories &

Jewish holy days hidden in its images

In 1650 the Holy Office of the Inquisition was still actively pursuing Jewish converts to Catholicism who were suspected of practicing Judaism in secret.  The exile of all Jews from France, declared by King Charles in IV in 1394, continued unabated and had forced the remnant of French Jewish life to become entirely covert.  Jews were still forbidden from living in England due to the Edict of Expulsion  of 1290 declared by  King Edwards I.  In Italy, by order of Papal decrees, Jews were living in crowded ghettos and required to wear distinctive yellow hats. At this time, a French artist transformed the 22 major arcana of traditional Italian Trifoni cards into an entirely different set of images that have proven enduringly captivating.