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Iupiter - XXXXVI of Mantegna Tarot

Iupiter - XXXXVI


The first things that jumps into the eye in this card is the mandorla (an vertical Vesica Piscis shaped aureola, from the Italian word for 'almond') in which Iupiter (Jupiter, the Roman equivalent for the Greek Zeus) is sitting, or rather throning. This particular form was prominently used to depict Christ in his majesty in early Medieval art. It emphasizes Iupiter's status as the ruler of the gods. The crown and the majestic eagle on top of the mandorla further stresses the regality of the god. The little figure sitting in the lower part of the mandorla is supposed to be Ganymed, while left and right we can see some hapless subjects.

The card reminds of trump 21, The World, in classic Tarot decks, particularly those who still show the Christian iconography with the four evangelists in the corners. Here, however, it is likely that the artist used the mandorla simply to stress Iupiter's powerful majesty.

Further reading: Jupiter (Planets)

Next card: XXXXVII Saturno (Saturn)