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Art Nouveau Tarot

Art Nouveau Tarot
Designers: Antonella Castelli  Publishers: Lo Scarabeo 2002  Size: 650mm x 1200mm (2.5 " x 4.75")  Shipping included in price.
Price: TW$1,317.79
Points Price: 230
Reward Points: 23


This is a remarkably pretty deck, drawn from the Italian version of the art nouveau tradition, more often known as Liberty, which relies heavily on intricate patternings of plants and leaves considerably more than it does upon the familiar stained glass effects more popular in Britain and the US.

It is a Lo Scarabeo publication, drawn by Antonella Castelli.   She more recently worked in collaboration with Laura Tuan on the Angel Voices oracle.  In keeping with most of the LS decks, the titles of cards appear in several different languages – and the accompanying booklet, written by Riccardo Minetti,  is printed in English, French, Italian, Spanish and German.  The card stock is the usual high standard we come to expect from LS.

The Majors follow the usual pattern, and Minor Suits are Chalices, Pentacles, Wands and Swords.  Courts are Knaves, Knight. Queens and Kings  The symbol of the suit repeats in the lower right hand corner of each of the pip cards, but is often not incorporated into the artwork of the main image.

The Images themselves are startlingly intricate and detailed, executed primarily in gentle pastel shades.   All cards contain images of people – mostly female.  There is a certain amount of nudity, and some of the cards hint toward sensuality – though this is never made explicit.

None of the cards are truly particularly evocative of the interpretations of the cards themselves – often you are reliant on a close study of the facial expressions and gestures of the figures for your only hint as to its meaning.  For this reason I’d steer beginners firmly away from the deck.

The accompanying booklet does not really do a great deal to meet with conventional meanings either – for example the 8 of Wands is defined as “Butterflies hunting is a symbolic activity, representing creative strain, hopes and plans”.  

However if you appreciate the Liberty style, and are already conversant with the cards, you could get an enormous amount from working with this deck.  I also suspect that if you are conversant with the language of flowers you might find fresh insights into the mind of the creator, for the use of individual blooms is extensive.

The Fool
The Devil
The Moon
The World
8 Wands
Knight Wands
7 Chalices
Q Chalices
9 Swords
Q Swords
3 Pentacles
10 Pentacles

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