Temple of Secrets – The Reinhard Schmid Tarot deck

Written by  on November 24, 2015 

Since 1994 Reinhard Schmid has been working on a big piece (15 by 45 feet) about TAROT cards in the former chapel of the Buergerspital (old hospital) inside the chapel.
In the late 18th century Court de Gébelin invented a wonderful story about the 22 major Arcana (cards with mysterious images), claiming that they were actually created by an ancient Egyptian god. According to that story the priests and wise men and women had accumulated enormous knowledge. They were really concerned, this knowledge could get lost and so one day they met to find a way to preserve it for all times. The idea to carve deep symbols into the walls of the pyramids was dismissed, because man made, even these giant monuments could be destroyed.
Then they thought, the ten wisest should be chosen amongst them and they were to select a student who should then be the keeper of the wisdom until they again chose someone to pass it on to. But this too could not work, because wisdom and craziness are just a fine line apart. To often a genius had turned into a mad person and there was no guarantee, what someone might teach in the future.
After endless discussions it was determined that the only thing that would be guarantied forever, was the weaknesses in human nature. “The knowledge” was translated into mysterious images and given to the people in the form of a deck of cards. Easily deceived by gambling, people would play with these cards which eventually made it all the way to Europe. In southern Germany people use them to play a game called TAROCK. All over the world the cards are now being used in a more esoterical way and that is , when we speak of them as TAROT.
A wonderful story, beginning in ancient Egypt and creating a bridge to Bavaria!
The structure in the chapel holding the 66 glass pictures has a total size of 45 ft. wide and 15 ft. high and is organized in three rows of 22 pictures in each row. The bottom row (almost completed- pencil on the reverse side of glass) shows Reihard Schmid’s version of the story, how the cards came from ancient Egypt to Bavaria. Above that, the major Arcana are currently being installed. The top row is dedicated to people who have played an important role in the artist’s life and they will be shown above the card that fits them.

Reinhard Schmid Tarot

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