Bohemian Cats,  Bohemian Cats' Theatre Tarot,  Cat Tarot

A scary feline – it’s the Cat Devil puppeteer.

We wanted this Cat Devil card for The Bohemian Cats’ Theatre Tarot to be full of symbolism and with a depth of meaning.

After much thought, we turned to a very old table-top theatre that we bought from Austria, and two Czech puppets from Antonín Münzberg, a good, 1920s puppet maker.

Fortunately, we also had a puppet cat head that is also, we think, by Münzberg (er yes, we do have things like puppet cat heads sitting around in our rather odd collection!). 

Antique children's theatre used for The Devil image in The Bohemian Cats Theatre tarot and book

The next task was to work with Corinne, couturier and seamstress, to embroider and make the costume for the Devil himself. We decided on a rich red silk velvet (we avoid using synthetic fabrics in the costumes for The Bohemian Cats) and Alex designed an embroidery to suggest flames.

Photographing it was several hours work as we had to suspend the model over the theatre and then take great care with the lighting for the whole scene. At this point, we could begin to see it all come together, but there was still a long way to go.

However, when we spent some days of illustration work, combining all the elements with a background taken from a painting by 19th century English-American painter Thomas Cole, we felt that the effort had been well worth it.

The Devil card from The Bohemian Cats Theatre Tarot by BabaBarock

4 Comments

  • Arya

    This card is full of rich symbolism. It is both striking and powerful. It is so interesting to see all the hours of work it takes for you to put this together. The original Bohemian Cats Deck is my all time favourite deck and I can not wait for this one.

    • KarenMahony

      Thank you Arya. We love the original deck too, but our way of working has developed so much in the intervening years that we thought it was time to begin all over again – and with the new concept of this being a series of theatrical performances (or scenes related to theatre). It is such a pleasure to be working on the Bohemian Cats, but yes, it takes forever!

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