The Renaissance Tarotrena.jpg (19760 bytes)                                                                               Review by Michele Jackson

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

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

This deck is one of the prettiest decks in my collection. It is not flashy or brightly colored, but that is what makes it charming. The Majors are drawn as if one is looking though a large round topped window. They are framed in gold, and there are small illustrations in the small space between the rounded corner of the window and the corner of the card. Each card has a large central figure, many of which are dressed in appropriate styles from Renaissance period. Other figures are dressed in flimsy, flowing robes. The art is detailed and the colors are soft pastels with lots of gold accents. This is not a "cute" pastel deck like the Moon Garden Tarot; rather, it has a fine art feel. The Majors stick fairly close to the traditional symbolism, though there are some slight differences. Strength, for example, shows a finely chiseled nude male prying a lion's mouth open.
The court cards are standard: King, Queen, Knight and Page. The minors are not illustrated to give a sense of the card's interpretation; rather, they are decorated with human figures merely as decoration. The humans are not the focus of the cards; the suits are. The background colors of the Minors are uniform throughout each suit. Swords are yellow, Wands are blue, Cups are pink, and Pentacles are green. The backs are the only disappointment. They show some finely done design work interlaced with human figures, and animals which represent the suits. Unfortunately, the art is drawn in brown on a plain beige background. The colors on the card faces are so luscious, the backs are a real let down.
The book for this deck is another gem. Not just from a Tarot standpoint, but from a mythological and art history standpoint as well. The artist based most of the Majors on classic mythology, Strength is Hercules, for example. Williams explains the mythology and then shows several different versions of the card from other classic decks, such as the Gringonneur, the Mantegna and the Marseille, as well as non-Tarot artwork which has the same theme. My only complaint about the book is that the illustrations are all in black and white. There are three spreads in the book, the Celtic Cross, a variation of the Celtic Cross called the Tetraktys or Pythagorean Tetrad, and the Horoscope Spread. The artist/author is definitely an art lover, having studied it for many years both in the US and abroad. That he is also a talented artist helps as well. This artist also did the Post Modern tarot (PoMo).

See more cards from the Renaissance Tarot Deck

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

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

You can read a tribute to the artist of this deck, Brian Williams, here.

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This page is Copyright 1997 by Michele Jackson