Pack information: 78 Cards and booklet
Card dimensions: 45 x 85 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 Vernon Marshall
This small Tarot deck really is quite small. At 4.5 x 8cm, the cards are a bit difficult to handle yet, at the same time, very convenient to carry around in the pocket, the handbag, or the briefcase. Thankfully, the names of the cards are traditional. There are now so many variations on the standards that it can be an arduous task to familiarise oneself with a new deck. This deck is not difficult in that regard, however.
The best thing about the deck is the artwork. It is quite exquisite! Each card is a work of art in itself. There is so much included in each piece that there is plenty on which to reflect. The colours themselves, though gentle pastel shades, are both contrasting and coordinated. Although the names of the cards may be traditional, the poses of the characters pictured are not always based on the Classical or the Rider-Waite images. Having said that, what is true is that the poses are not at all radical, but really quite gentle. The Two of Pentacles, for example, bears no image of a high wire acrobat or a juggler, but an attractive woman in a sitting position, wearing a long elaborate gown. For those relying on inspiration to interpret the cards it must be difficult as there are many cards bearing similar images. The Three of Pentacles, for example, also features an attractive woman in a long gown, this time the gown being of a different colour. The lack of variation of pose and image could be a problem in interpretation. On the other hand, for meditative purposes, and for convenience sake, these cards are extremely useful and are a worthy addition to my growing collection of decks.
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