Art Nouveau Tarot Deck                         Review by Michele Jackson

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This is an attractive deck. The art is good and the artist has incorporated a stained glass effect into many of the cards. The deck is allegedly done in Art Nouveau style which the artist describes as having "...stylized, decorative treatment of plants, human figures and other forms." By that criteria, I suppose it qualifies, but it doesn't look like what I recognize as Art Nouveau. Then too, I majored in Accounting, and never took an art class. What do I know? Each card has one or two central characters who take up most of the scene. They are surrounded by a minimal amount of scenery and a stained glass border. The colors are good, with lots of shimmering blues of various hues, lavenders, purples, greens and enough bright accents to keep things interesting. The people depicted in this deck are all beautiful. Most could land a role on Bay Watch or Melrose Place with no problem. The deck is not a Waite-Smith clone. Much of the symbolism found in the Waite deck, as well as clues to interpretation are missing. This is due partly to the art style but primarily due to the artist trying to incorporate a story into each suit, as well as trying to stay faithful to the traditional meanings of the cards. All of the stories center around a couple for the suit. Although violence and treachery are in the stories, no violence is depicted in the cards themselves - only the aftermath of violence (usually the injured party being held or comforted by their lover) is shown. This will appeal to the sweetness and light crowd. In my opinion both the stories and the interpretations suffer as a result of this attempt.

The little booklet that comes with the deck is about par for the course. It provides a brief description of each card, including the storyline, and upright and reversed interpretations. The interpretations are fairly traditional, though they are not always apparent from the scenes depicted. A "Ten Card Spread," which is identified as a variation of the Celtic Cross, is also provided.

I recommend this deck for those who are looking for an attractive deck, not too far removed from the Waite-Smith in terms of interpretation and for those who are romantic in nature. The couple stories may appeal to them.

See more cards from the Art Nouveau Deck

If you would like to purchase this deck, click here.

Art Nouveau Tarot Deck
ISBN: 0-88079-375-9
Available from US Games Systems, 179 Ludlow St., Stamford CT, 06902, (800) 544-2637, Fax: (203) 353- 8431


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