Marseilles virtues

We find the virtue Prudence is missing from the Marseilles deck of cards too. I love the simple woodcut designs of this deck. Many cards in this deck are clearly influenced by the symbolism of alchemical illustrations.

Temperance, Strength, Justice.

Prudence is often seen as a woman holding or stepping on a snake while looking into a mirror. I guess you could make a case for her in the card deck as the priestess, with book in hand, but this doesn’t seem to be as common an image as the snake and mirror combo. I’ll have to dig deeper into this to understand what’s up.

About pearce

Michael Pearce is an artist, writer, and professor of art. He is the author of "Art in the Age of Emergence."
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