In the picture: Statue of Charlemagne at the Frankfurt’s Museum of History (Germany). [flipped picture!]
The King of Hearts – King Charlemagne: Nouveau and Nouveau Turquoise Editions
King Charlemagne (02 April 742/747/748 – 28 January 814) is also known as Charles the Great or Charles I. He was King of the Franks who united most of Western Europe during the Middle Ages and laid the foundations for modern France and Germany. He took the Frankish throne from 768, became King of Italy from 774, and from 800 was the first recognized Roman emperor in Western Europe since the collapse of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier. Expanding Frankish state, Charlemagne founded the Carolingian Empire.
In the picture: “Judith with the Head of Holophernes”, Cristofano Allori, 1613 (Royal Collection, London, UK).
The Queen of Hearts – Judith: Nouveau and Nouveau Turquoise Editions
Judith is the main character of the Book of Judith which is a deuterocanonical book, included in the Septuagint and the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christian Old Testament of the Bible, but excluded from Jewish texts and assigned by Protestants to the Apocrypha. This book isn’t historical. It tells a story about Judith, a beautiful and courageous widow, who saves Israel from the Assyrians. Being upset with doubts of her compatriots in God’s ability to save them from enemies, Judith goes to the camp of the enemy general, Holofernes, and uses her charm to become his intimate friend. Judith also promises to Holofernes information on the Israelites to gain his trust. One night she gets an opportunity to visit his tent when he is drunk as a lord. Judith cuts off his head and brings it to her compatriots. Assyrians are doomed without their leader. Israel is saved, but Judith’s countrymen condemn her for the way she has got the general’s trust. So, Judith remains unmarried for the rest of her life.
In the picture: Étienne de Vignolles, by Louis-Félix Amiel, 1835 (the Museum of the History of France, Versailles, France). This portrait was ordered by Louis-Philippe I for the museum in Versailles, so it doesn’t depict real La Hire.
The Jack of Hearts – La Hire: Nouveau and Nouveau Turquoise Editions
Étienne de Vignolles was a French military commander during the Hundred Years’ War. He joined Charles VII in 1418, when the English army invaded France. Étienne was regarded a very capable military leader as well as an accomplished rider. One of the most poetic theories about his nickname of La Hire would be that the English had nicknamed him “the Hire-God”.
He was a close comrade of Joan of Arc. La Hire was one of the few military leaders who believed in her, and he fought alongside her at Orleans.
In the picture: Statue of Julius Caesar by Nicolas Coustou in Versailles (Paris).
The King of Diamonds – Julius Caesar: Nouveau and Nouveau Turquoise Editions
Gaius Julius Caesar (July 100 – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman general and statesman. Caesar’s victories in the Gallic Wars (completed by 51 BC) extended Rome’s territory to the English Channel and the Rhine. He became the first Roman general to cross them when he built a bridge across the Rhine and conducted the first invasion of Britain. He played an important role in the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. As a statesman he carried out social and governmental reforms which led to centralization of the Republic’s bureaucracy, and was proclaimed “dictator in perpetuity”.
In the picture: “Rachel, The Daughter of Laban with a Lamb at her Feet”, John Thomas, the Science Museum (London, UK).[flipped picture!]
The Queen of Diamonds – Rachel: Nouveau and Nouveau Turquoise Editions
Rachel was a wife of Jacob, Biblical patriarch. She is first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 29 when Jacob happens upon her as she is about to water her father’s flock. She, beautiful and well favored, was the second daughter of Laban. Jacob fell in love with her and agreed to work seven years for Laban in return for her hand in marriage. But through the fraud of Laban, Jacob’s marriage with Rachel took place after he had married her elder sister, Leah.
In the picture: “The Farewell of Hector to Andromaque and Astyanax”, Carl Friedrich Deckler, before 1918 [?], private collection [?].
The Jack of Diamonds – Hector: Nouveau and Nouveau Turquoise Editions
According to Greek mythology, Hector was a Trojan prince and the greatest fighter for Troy in the Trojan War. He was a prince of the royal house, a leader of the Trojans and their allies in the defense of Troy. He had fought the Greek champion Protesilaus in single combat at the start of the war and killed him. But he lost a “duel” with Achilles.