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Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

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Surrealism

5 Articles
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Bosch Puzzle Playing Cards

Bosch Puzzle Playing Cards by Sunish Chabba, 2020. • Sep 25, 2021

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Le Jeu de Marseille

Having deconstructed traditional, bourgeois playing card symbolism they produced new, liberated designs expressing their own beliefs and values. The court cards were persons expressing new, revolutionary ideals. • Nov 17, 2012

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Leonor Fini

The originality of Leonor Fini's work is evident in these playing card designs. The imagery of her paintings was loosely based on dreams and this led her to be associated with the Surrealists... • Oct 24, 2012

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Salvador Dalí

Based on the standard French ‘Paris’ pattern, Dalí composed his playing card figures out of geometric shapes, like a surrealist tapestry, but retaining the traditional aspects of playing card design. • Oct 15, 2012

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Taro Okamoto

The combination of shapes and colours in these playing cards creates a vibrant and eye-catching surreal effect. • Mar 09, 2013