UNKNOWN MASTER, German
(active late 15th century)

Playing card

c. 1490s
Woodcut
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

In the mid-fifteenth century, mass-produced block-books, pages combining text and pictures, were already common for such items as calendars, books of hours and playing cards. However, it was the composition of whole books in moveable type, the laborious putting together of separate letters, that was revolutionary.

The present printed playing card features a postman.




© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.