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Giordano Berti (born 27 February 1959) is an Italian writer and teacher of History of Arts. Born in Bologna, he grew up in Monghidoro, a town of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. After obtaining his College diploma he went on to study history and philosophy at University of Bologna and shortly thereafter started his career of editor and writer.
Berti is an established and prolific author of many books about different subjects, such as History of Esotericism (magic, divination, witchcraft, alchemy, astrology, heresies, gnosticism, heaven and hell, angels and devils) in his relationship with Art. Some of Berti's books are translated in English, French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Polish and Japanese.
He was president and co-founder of the Istituto Graf at Bologna, an association dedicated to the research and, often, rediscovery of the Arts and Folklore. Berti frequently organises, with the patronage and support of local Councils, many Art and History exhibitions throughout Italy.
As a Tarot historian, Berti was invited, as special guest, at the third World Tarot Congress, in Chicago (May 10 to 14 2001), where he delivered a long conference titled "The Babel of Tarot, or the evolution of the 22 allegoric Triumph cards as a transformation into an esoteric language".
In 2014 Giordano Berti created the project "Rinascimento - Italian Style Art" devoted to the reprinting of old Tarot, Sibyls and Playing cards that stand out for their beauty and rarity.
Various exhibits catalogues
Together with important historians, Berti organized various History Exhibits and wrote the relatives Catalogues (availables in Italian only):
- Tarot. Game and magic at Estense Court (Le Carte di Corte. I Tarocchi. Gioco e Magia alla Corte degli Estensi), with A. Vitali, M. Dummett, C. Gatto Trocchi, P. Marsili, G. Algeri; Ferrara, Estense Castle, October 1987 – January 1988.
- The Mose's People (Il popolo di Mosè), with F. Cardini, C. Colafemmina, D. Liscia Bemporad, A. Grossato, A. Sermoneta; Andria, Palace of the Dukes, September–October 1998.
- Giovanni Domenico Cassini and the origins of modern astronomy (G. D. Cassini e le origini dell'astronomia moderna), with P. A. Rossi e I. Li Vigni; Perinaldo, Municipal Palace, August–November 1997.
- Wonders of the Sea: divinities, monster, legends, dreams, illusions and discoveries in the history of Sea travelling (Mari delle meraviglie: divinità, mostri, utopie, leggende, sogni, illusioni e scoperte, nella storia del viaggio marittimo in Occidente), with F. Cardini, G. Costa, G. De Turris, C. Gatto Trocchi, P. A. Rossi, C. Widmann et al.; Comacchio, Bellini Palace, October 1995 - January 1996.
- The three jewels of Mediterranean Sea. Ritual objects of hebrews, christian and muslims (I tre gioielli del Mediterraneo. Oggetti rituali e paramenti sacri ebraici, cristiani ed islamici), with D. Liscia-Bemporad, F. Cardini, S. Noja Noseda, F. Patruno; Finale Emilia, Castle, September–October 2000.
- Vine and Wine in the card games and playing cards (La vite e il vino: giochi di carta e carte da gioco), with M. G. Lungarotti, F. Cardini, C. Gatto Trocchi, D. Domini, A. Vitali; Torgiano, ex S. Antonio's Church, November 1999 - January 2000.
- The Catholic Inquisition (L’Inquisizione, Santa, Romana e Universale), with F. Cardini; Finale Emilia, Castle, September - October 2001.
- The Sons of Abraham. Judaism, Christianism and Islam in Ritual Objects and Art, (I figli di Abramo. Ebraismo, Cristianesimo, Islam), with D. Liscia Bemporad, L. Volpi, M. Bargna; Abbiategrasso, Visconti Castle, March 2004.
- The Seventeenth Century in Bologna. Baroque culture, industry and popular life (Il Seicento a Bologna: cultura barocca, industria e vita quotidiana), with U. Mazzone, A. Vitali, S. Arieti et al.; Bologna, D'Accursio Palace, May 2004.
- Chronicles and Wonders of the Sea. Covers of illustrated Magazines from 1840 to 1960 (Cronache e meraviglie di mare nelle copertine di riviste illustrate: 1840-1960), with M. A. Stoico, G. Costa e S. Alligo; Cesenatico, Marine Museum, December 2005.
- In the House of Andrea Mantegna. Artistic culture in Mantua during the fifteenth century (A casa di Andrea Mantegna. Cultura artistica a Mantova nel Quattrocento), with R. Signorini et al.; Mantua, House of Mantegna, September–October 2006.
- Ferrara: his history from a collection of maps (Ferrara:la storia del suo territorio in una collezione di mappe e vedute dal XV al XXI secolo), with A. Alberghini; Ferrara, Palace Renée of France, September 2008.
- Mathers and Lands: mystery and sacrality (Madri e Terre: Mistero e Sacralità), with A. Marini, M. Bargna, L. Volpi; Abbiategrasso, Annunciata's Church, October - November 2008.
- The Castle of Fortune: the search of good luck in the centuries (Il Castello della Fortuna: trenta secoli alla ricerca della Buona Sorte), with A. Marini, M. Bargna, L. Volpi; Abbiategrasso, Visconti Castle, October – November 2009.
- The Castle of Delights: tables and foods from antiquity to modern times (Il Castello delle Delizie: il mondo a tavola dall’antichità all’epoca moderna), with A. Marini, M. Bargna, L. Volpi; Abbiategrasso, Visconti Castle, October – November 2010.
Tarot exhibits and catalogues
Together with Andrea Vitali, Middle Age historian and President of the Associazione Le Tarot (Faenza, Italy), and Michael Dummett, a British philosopher, Berti organized various exhibits on the History and Art of Tarot:
- Este Castle of Ferrara (from December 1987 to February 1988),
- City Archeological Museum of Bologna (Bologna, December 1994),
- National Museum of Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome, March 1995),
- Barolo Palace (Turin, April 1997).
With Vitali, Berti also published some important catalogues:
- Tarocchi. Gioco e magia alla Corte degli Estensi (Bologna, Nuova Alfa Editorale, 1987)
- Tarocchi. Le carte del destino (Faenza, Edizioni Le Tarot, 1988)
- Tarocchi. Art and Magic (Faenza, Le Tarot, 1994).
Historical studies about tarot
In addition to the tarot exhibition catalogues, Berti published a lot of studies on tarot and card games history for the Italian editor Lo Scarabeo of Turin:
- Tarocchi Rider-Waite. Storia, riti iniziatici e pratiche divinatorie di Arthur Edward Waite, with Rossella Ferrero (1993, in Italian).
- Antichi Tarocchi Bolognesi, with M. Chiesa and G. Crippa (1995, in Italian).
- Antichi Tarocchi Liguri-Piemontesi, with M. Chiesa and T. Depaulis (1995, in Italian).
- Antichi Tarocchi Milanesi, with M. Chiesa (1995, in Italian).
- The Sola-Busca Tarot, with M. Chiesa and S. Di Vincenzo (1995, in Italian).
- Egyptian Tarot, with T. Gonard (1997, in Italian, English and German).
- Antichi Tarocchi Marsigliesi, with T. Gonard (1998, in Italian).
- Visconti Tarot, with T. Gonard (1998, in Italian, English, German and Dutch).
- Tarocchi di Aleister Crowley, with R. Negrini and R. Tebani (1999, in Italian).
- Tarot of the New Vision, with T. Gonard (2005, in Italian and English).
- History of Tarot. Trues and Legends about the most mysterious Cards on the World (2007, in Italian).
Old Tarot Decks (reprints)
Berti has supervised the reprint of some ancient Tarots, accompanying the decks with unpublished historical studies:
- Vergnano Tarot 1830, (2014, Araba Fenice and Rinascimento), 78 cards engraved by Stefano Vergnano (Turin, around 1830).
- Perrin Tarot 1865, (2016, Araba Fenice and Rinascimento), 78 cards engraved by Claudio Perrin (Turin, around 1865).
- Sola Busca Tarot 1491, (2017, Araba Fenice and Rinascimento), 78 cards engraved by Anonimous (Ferrara or Venice, around 1491).
- Oriental Tarot 1845, (2017, Araba Fenice and Rinascimento), 78 cards engraved by Claudio Foudraz (Turin, around 1845).
New Tarot Decks
Berti wrote, also, numerous reviews on Tarot of modern artists and himself invented new Tarot decks realized by great artists:
- Celtic Tarot (1994), 78 illustrations by Giacinto Gaudenzi.
- Celtic Tarot (1994), with Bepi Vigna, 78 illustrations by Antonio Lupatelli.
- Enchanted Tarot (1995), 78 illustrations by Giacinto Gaudenzi.
- Dante's Tarot (2001), 78 illustrations by Andrea Serio.
- Ramses. Tarot of Eternity (2003), 78 illustrations by Severino Baraldi.
- Golden Tarot of Renaissance - Estensi Tarot (2003), 78 illustrations by Jo Dworkin.
- Bacchus Tarot (2005), 78 illustrations by Luigi Scapini.
- Venice Tarot (2007), 78 illustrations by Davide Tonato.
- Angels Tarot (2007), 78 illustrations by Arturo Picca.
- Universal Wirth Tarot (2007), 78 illustrations by Stefano Palumbo.
- Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn (2008), 78 illustrations by Patrizio Evangelisti.
- Prophetic Tarot of the Bible (2017), 78 illustrations by Severino Baraldi.
Sibyls and Decks
Various kind of divination cards:
- Zodiac Cards (1990), 22 illustrations by Giacinto Gaudenzi.
- Paracelso Oracle Cards (2005), 36 illustrations from an ancient book of prophecies.
- Celtic Oracle (2006), 24 illustrations by Severino Baraldi.
- Secret Games of the Elves (2012), 22 illustrations by Severino Baraldi.
- The Sibyl of the Heart (2015), 40 illustrations by Rudolph Mayr (1617) painted by Stiliyan Stefanov (2015).
Apart from tarot studies, Giordano Berti wrote some historical books about different themes of western spirituality. Below are some of the most important works:
- Hell's Visions. Sins and Tortures in the Art of Middle Age (1991) (Italian)
- Archangels: History and Legends (1997) (Italian)
- The Heretics (1997) (Italian)
- Dictionary of Christian Religion (1997) (Italian)
- The Other World and Afterlife (1998, in Italian, French, Japanese and Polish)
- Dictionary of Mystics (1999) (Italian)
- Prayers of all the World (1999) (Italian)
- Oriental Religions in the Western World (2000) (Italian)
- Enoch (2000) (Italian)
- History of Divination (2005) (Italian)
- Angel voices (2006) (English)
- History of Witchcraft (2010) (Italian)
- Personal web page (in Italian) (in English)
- Article about Giordano Berti on Tarotpedia (in English)
- Giordano berti and Rinascimento project
- Biographical news about Giordano Berti on Trionfi.com (in English)
- Article about Giordano Berti on Istituto Graf.org (in English)
- Article about Dante Tarot by Giordano Berti, review by Diane Wilkes (in English)
- Bibographical notes about Giordano Berti on Mondadori (in Italian)
- Books written by Giordano Berti on Il Giardino dei Libri (in English)
- Article by Giordano Berti about Dante and Islam (in Italian)