Il Tarocco di Amerigo Folchi

This Italian art deck, by prolific Tarot artist, Amerigo Folchi, creator of the Omaggio a Erte, among others, is done in collage. The collage consists of drawing and painting. Per the artist, "The aesthetic principle underlying all the cards in this deck, linking them together, is the garment and the scarf or handkerchief. A sort of amusing striped drapery which, especially in the Minor Arcana, becomes the symbolic figure for the protagonist with the traditional suits of every card, creating a dynamic, dialectic relationship between them before the reader's eyes serving as an aid to his own divinatory interpretations." Hmmmmmm. That said, a striped cloth of some sort does figure in every Minor Arcana card. It is less evident in the majors, where it is more likely to appear as a piece of clothing, such as a stocking or a shirt on a major figure, rather than the centerpiece of the card. The Majors in this deck are traditional in name, but not in style. Folchi used several cliches in this deck. For example, the Magician shows a silhouette of a figure in top hat, and cane, holding another top hat containing a rabbit; The Devil shows an apple and a snake, as well as the striped cloth, which in this case is tied in knots. Justice is VIII and Strength is XI.

The suits are Swords, Cups, Wands and Coins and the court consists of King, Queen, Knight and Page. The Minors are pips containing the requisite number of suit symbols and a striped cloth, red stripes for swords; yellow stripes for coins; red, white and blue stripes on a green background for wands; and blue stripes for cups. The painted backgrounds on the minors are also consistent between suits: red and purple for swords, yellow for coins, green for wands and blue for cups. The suit symbols are arranged with the cloth in such a way as to be suggestive of meaning in some cases, but I found many of the arrangements to be more decorative than evocative.

The little booklet that comes with the deck provides the artist's views on the deck, along with short, fairly traditional interpretations for the Major Arcana, and a numerological approach consisting of descriptions of the qualities associated with each suit and each number from one to ten. This deck is from a numbered limited editions, published by Italcards. I recommend this deck for collectors.

See more cards from the Tarocco di Amerigo Folchi

This deck is available from Il Trigono Edizioni

The images are also included in The World of Tarot CD Collection II

Images Copyright Amerigo Folchi

This page is Copyright 1998 by Michele Jackson