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Apollo - XX of Mantegna Tarot

Apollo - XX

God of Music, Poetry and the Arts

Apollo, one of the most versatile gods of Greek mythology, was considered the leader of the muses and the director of their choir.

The presence of Apollo and the Muses as the representavives of artistic creation in the Mantegna deck gives witness to the intellectual revival during the Renaissance, stimulated by the rediscovery of ancient Greek and Latin writings and florishing in the liberated atmosphere of the city states - at least for the lucky few who could afford to delve in the newfound humanism.

Nonetheless, human dignity, individual achievement, accumulation of knowledge and personal aspiration were valued; and the idea to break out of the preset place in the chain of being to rise above one's original status provided hopes and dreams for many.

The vast majority of 'Misereos', 'Fameios' and 'Artixans' notwithstanding, the Renaissance age did give ordinary people a chance to rise.

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