Art Nouveau Tarot Cards (Lo Scarabeo)

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Pack information: 78 Cards and booklet
Card dimensions: 70 x 120 mm
Authors: Antonella Castelli 

Art Nouveau, Liberty, Modern Style, Jugendstil are some of the different names used around the world to define the same style, which grew in Europe and in the U.S.A. at the turn of the century. Liberty (from the name of the owner of a furniture firm in London) is the term used commonly in Italy. It is also called floral style, because of its salient characteristics: its curved line of vegetable inspiration, stylised and allusively symbolic, used in asymmetrical and bi-dimensional decorations. 

This style created in Europe an original and unitary artistic atmosphere; it realized a synthesis of arts outside their traditional academic hierarchies; it supported a point of contact of art with modern civilization and with industrial production; though with ingenuous faith it stirred a large social problem to let art become a common legacy. 

Pointing to a total integration of art in everyday life, Art Nouveau involved every field, from architecture to furnishing, from graphics to the design of the smallest utensil. It is from this point of view that Antonella Castelli created this wonderful tarot deck, in which she was able to join the mystery and the symbols of this ancient divination tool to the elegant and light graphics of Liberty. These cards become, therefore, not only a fascinating mean for cartomancy but also a real work of art to be treasured and collected

Guest Review by Brian Stevenson

The Art Nouveau movement grew simultaneously in Europe and the USA at the turn of the 20th Century. The key aspects of Art Noveau are elegant and sensual flowing lines, delicate colouring and floral and natural-inspired motifs.

All the cards in this artistic deck are reminiscent of the Art Noveau posters of the period and some people will remember that reproductions of many of these posters became very popular in the mid-1960s.

The Major Arcana cards are based on the traditional images. However, there are some interesting differences. e.g. The Fool is being chased by a green snake and not the more usual dog, The Chariot is only being drawn by one horse instead of two and in Strength, the male figure is killing a centaur rather than a lion. Although all the images are beautiful, many do not have as much esoteric information as is usually found in Tarot cards.

Each of The Minor Arcana cards features one or two figures in a elegant pose, with the number of the suits items in a box along the side or bottom of the card. In general the figures do not illustrate or give any indication of the meaning of the Minor Arcana card. This makes their interpretation more difficult without an extensive knowledge of all the cards' meanings.

The deck is not entirely suited to beginners to Tarot, although that I am sure that deck collectors and lovers of Art Nouveau will greatly appreciate the delicate and beautiful images.

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