Fine artwork on playing cards is often constrained or wasted by the small size of each card, so here we have brought these wonderful paintings back to life. The textured surface of the cards adds to the visual enjoyment of these remarkable paintings, whilst the slender corner indices are not excessively intrusive.
Considered to be the last of the great Ukiyo-e masters, Hiroshige Ando (1797-1858) was most famous for his 53 stations of the Tokaido (East Sea Road). Hiroshige started to learn to draw at the age of 15 with Ukiyo-e artist Toyohiro Utagawa. He avoided beautiful women and concentrated on the Kabuki actors and Geishas for his human subjects but he mainly produced landscapes. The Tokaido was the main highway in Japan going from Edo (now called Tokyo) to Kyoto a distance of 450 km on the island of Honshu. In the 17th century the government set up 53 stations along the route with stables and somewhere to sleep for travellers to rest during their journey. It is still the busiest highway in Japan today.
Ukiyo-e (浮世絵; Japanese pronunciation: [u.ki.jo.e]) was a Japanese genre of painting and woodblock printing with subjects typical of the decadent lifestyle of the middle classes from the 17th century to the 19th century. Their entertainment was the Geishas and the Sumo wrestling and often Courtesans. The Ukiyo-e, which means “pictures of the floating world”, depicted these interests with pictures of the Geishas and Courtesans as beautiful women and the Kabuki actors and Sumo wrestlers as heroes. The natural world was also depicted by some of the artists.
Member since February 01, 1996
Founder and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.
A limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.
A limited edition art print of the Jack of Hearts 1984 woodblock joker.
Details of 13 paintings by 8 different Impressionist artists on elongated cards.
Geometric designs by the French artist Jean Garçon for Knoll International, the furniture company.
Modern designs by Italian artist Marcello Morandini using the simplest of forms and colours.
Free reinterpretation of the traditional Paris pattern courts by the artist Claude Weisbuch.
Miniature cards in sheet form with Sylvanian Families characters on the courts and Jokers.
“Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots” video game characters on playing cards, Japan, 2008
Kyoto Souvenir playing cards by Nintendo aimed at the up and coming tourist industry, 1950s.
History meets pop culture in a 36-card set that pays tribute to Lenormand's legacy and the colourful...
Men's and ladies fashion playing cards published for the Seiko Corporation by Nintendo, Japan, 1971....
Glico Almond Chocolate playing cards with designs by Izumi Tamai, produced by Nintendo, Japan.
This tarot deck captures the idealised Eastern world's magic from the eighteenth and nineteenth cent...
Newtropolis and the Fantastic Fur: Heroes vs. Villains playing cards illustrated by Peter Wood, 2015...
Presidential playing cards with portraits from Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, USA.
A Spanish-suited pack as conceived by 48 different artists from the region of Murcia.
Bold designs by Jacques Auriac representing people and enterprises for which the town of Issy-les-Mo...
Detailed pen and ink drawings of the major arcana by the German artist Helmut Wonschick.
Original designs by French artist Jean Vérame, with clubs replaced by four-leaf clovers to bring goo...
Secrets of the Far East playing cards featuring the designs of Violeta Monreal , Spain, c. 1991.
Museo del Prado: Pintores y familias reales / Painters and royal families playing cards.
Ases de la pintura / Masters of painting playing cards made by Naipes Comas, Spain, c.1990.
Art Genius playing cards with illustrations by Rebecca Clarke and published by Laurence King Publish...
‘Scarfes Bar’ satirical playing cards with cartoons by Gerald Scarfe, United Kingdom.
Standard international pattern playing cards made in occupied Japan, c.1950.
Rembrandt playing cards published by the Rembrandthuis (The Rembrandt House Museum) in Amsterdam. ...
54 different paintings from the collection of the Guildhall Art Gallery, London.