The Crystal Tarot is inspired by Gustav Klimt (1862 - 1918), a Viennese painter who was one of the greatest leaders of the artistic cultural movement known as Liberty, Art Nouveau, or Secession. When he painted 'Beethoven Frieze' in 1902, Klimt tried to describe the intentions of his work and its symbolic language. He spoke of 'the suffering of the human race' and 'the external and inner forces which move man to fight for happiness'. 'The desire for happiness finds solace in poetry. The arts lead us to the ideal realm where we can find absolute peace, absolute love. Joy, that wonderful divine spark. This kiss to the entire world'. The Crystal Tarot shares this viewpoint that is so in tune with the nature of tarots. Together with a will (the Cartomant's) capable of understanding and directing the latent force of their symbols, they permit creating a connection with the emotional tensions, existential states, and intangible realities which make up the inner being of every individual.
The softness of the drawing is immediately obvious in the archetypal figures painted by Elisabetta Trevisan. Approaching and accepting the symbolism of this deck is truly impossible without recognizing the influence of the Liberty style. Before providing allegorical elements, the drawings of the Crystal Tarot offer an atmosphere, a sequence of sensations which are communicated to the reader through observation of each card. The Arcana seem to travel in a cocoon-like peaceful universe without loud noises or sudden movements where each figure is permeated by extreme gentleness, comprehension, and consuming melancholy. The image is like poetry in this deck: to use and interpret it, we must trust our inner poetry.
Pack information: 78 cards with booklet
Card dimensions: 65 x 120 mm
Author: Elisabetta Trevisan
Guest Review by Brian Stevenson
Inspired by the paintings of the 19th/20th Century Austrian artist Gustav Klimt, all the cards in the Crystal Tarot have a remarkable jewel-like quality. All the people shown in the cards are elaborately costumed and all have carefully drawn expressive faces. There is a definite feeling that they are all trying to communicate an elusive 'something' to the reader.
Most of the backgrounds have turquoise blue as the predominate colour. However, on closer inspection the reader will see that all the backgrounds are full of detail and symbolic imagery. In some cards, such as The Fool, the figure stands out clearly from the background; but in others, such as The Empress, the figure merges into the background and the reader has to think carefully where the figure finishes and the background starts.
The Major Arcana cards show the cards' traditional name in five different languages. However, the accompying booklet gives different names to all the Major Arcana. For example, The High Priestess is called Science; The Emporer is called Stability and The Chariot is re-named Victory. The booklet does not offer any explanation for this and it is up to each reader to decide whether to use these alternative names and meanings or whether to stick with the more traditional names and meanings.
The Minor Arcana cards are not fully-illustrated in the Rider-Waite style. However, they do contain some imagery which will help the reader to interpret the card. They also contain a large amount of decorative detail, which contributes to an impression of richness and luxury.
As the Minor Arcana are not fully illustrated, the deck is perhaps not entirely suitable for absolute beginners. However, it will appeal to anyone interested in Klimt and late-19th and early-20th Century art.
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