Tarot Tales

Tarot Tales: The Eye of the Beholder


As always Lucy takes us on an exciting adventure with the tarot cards. In this instalment there are references to famous paintings. We have replicated the mood of the paintings but highly encourage you to Google any that you’ve never seen. They are stunning!

The King of Cups, Head Teacher of the local primary school and also responsible for art and music, together with Miss Cups and Miss Pentacle, was taking a group to the art gallery.  They would spend the morning in the gallery and return to school for lunch, after which they would each write a paragraph about their favourite picture.

“Ooooh, they’ve got no clothes on,” giggled some of the children as they passed through the sculpture gallery.   “ And those men are wearing leaves on their ….” sniggered some of the boys. “Why are they wearing leaves, Miss Cups?” they asked, knowing she would probably blush.  “It’s a convention,” said Miss Cups, disappointing some people by not blushing.  “What’s a convention?” they asked.  “We can discuss that when we get back.  Now here are the pictures you are going to look at and you can each choose your favourite to write about this afternoon.  Do you all have your notebooks?  And some pencils – to write in your notebooks – not on the wall – or on the paintings,” added Miss Cups, intercepting Five Wands before he could disfigure the gallery or the works of art.

The outing was, as is often the case, a mixed success.  The children enjoyed a morning out of school and some of them even liked the comments the King of Cups and Miss Cups made about the paintings.  Some were just bored and were rounded up by Miss Pentacle and put in front of a picture whether they liked it or not.  For all of them, writing up their notes in the afternoon was hard work.

Page of Pentacles: Whistlejacket painted by George Stubbs
George Stubbs was a painter who lived a long time ago and he painted a picture of a horse a long time ago too.  The horse is called Whistlejacket.  Whistlejacket is a very unusual name.  It is a very beautiful horse.  It is a very large horse. It is a much nicer horse than the horse my older brother rides.  My older brother’s horse walks very slowly and sometimes stops in the middle of a field and stands there on its legs and wont move.  My brother does not get cross with his horse he just waits for it to move off when it is ready.  Whistlejacket is standing on his back legs and he is looking at us.  His front legs are in the air.  He has a very beautiful tail.  He is a very beautiful colour.  When I am old enough to be a Knight like my older brother I want a horse like Whistlejacket.  Miss Cups said did I see that Whistlejacket was not in a field so I said yes and was he in a house?  Miss Cups said that George Stubbs had left the background plain so we could admire Whistlejacket more.

Page of Wands: Sunflowers painted by van Gogh
Miss Cups said that the painter’s name is van Goff but the label on the wall said van Gogg.  Miss Cups said van Gogh was French so the pronunciation is different.  I do not understand this.  I am a Wand and sunflowers are important to us.  We have sunflowers in our garden all through the summer.  Pamela Colman Smith did a picture of my mother with a sunflower that is why sunflowers are important to us Wands.  The sunflower my mother is holding is a tall sunflower.  The sunflowers painted by van Gogh are short sunflowers.  They are in a vase on a table.  Some of them look a bit untidy.  I think they look funny in a vase they should be in a garden like ours at home.  Some of the sunflowers look a bit dead.  I think it is funny to paint dead flowers.  When our sunflowers die we cut their heads off.  Miss Cups says I have written a lot about us Wands and not a lot about the sunflowers in the painting.  She also said van Gogh painted four vases of sunflowers.  I said one vase was plenty.  Miss Cups asked me why I hadnt chosen a painting I liked.

Page of Cups: Ophelia painted by John Everett Millais
John Everett Millais was a pree rafferlite.  He belonged to a brotherhood.  There were other people who painted like him thats why they were a brotherhood and they all had to paint the same.  The picture has a girl in a long dress floating in water.  She is lying on her back.  She does not look comfortable.  You can see her teeth but I dont think she is smiling.  Her hands are sticking out of the water.  She is holding flowers.  The water is still.  There are flowers round her.  They are very pretty.  The bushes and grass are also very pretty.  I do not understand why she is in the water wearing a dress and not a swimsuit.  Her dress will be wet and she will have no dry clothes to wear when she gets out of the water.  Miss Cups said the lady is called Ophelia.  She is in the water because she is sad.  I said that I go in water sometimes when I am sad but I do not go in wearing all my clothes I wear my swimming trunks.  Miss Cups said that Ophelia is from Shakespear and in Shakespear people sometimes do strange things.  She said when I go to secondary school I will read about Ophelia and then I will understand why she is in the water in a dress.

Page of Swords: St George and the Dragon painted by Raphael
Raphael lived a long time ago.  He lived longer ago than any of the other painters we saw today.  Saint George is the patron saint of England and he was a knight.  The King of Cups said that Saint George is very popular and he is the patron saint of other countries too.  This is not fair.  In the picture Saint George is on a horse in armour.  He has a long weapon called a lance as it is easier to kill dragons if you have a lance.  My brother the Knight does not have a lance he just has a sword but he does not go round killing dragons.  St George is on a white horse.  The horse is frightened.  You can see the whites of its eyes.  The dragon is on the ground and St George is sticking his lance into the dragon.  The dragon does not like this.  It is glaring at St George.  It is trying to push the lance away.  In the background is a girl in a pink dress.  She is saying her prayers.  St George is killing the dragon so that it wont eat the girl.  I dont know why the dragon wants to eat the girl but it is what dragons did a long time ago.  We dont have dragons now.  Miss Cups said dragons are mithickal and did not exist.  I do not understand why Raphael painted a picture of something that did not exist.

The bell rang to signal the end of the school day.  No-one remembered to ask Miss Cups what a convention was.  They were all too tired.

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