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Da Vinci Tarot - tarot decks

Playing Cards
Playing Cards -> Tarot decks

Price: US $15.58

ProductID: alt820

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About this item
  • Also known as Leonardo da Vinci Tarot

Name Da Vinci Tarot
Alternate Names Leonardo da Vinci Tarot
Creators A. Atanassov, Iassen Ghiuselev
Publisher Lo Scarabeo 2004
Publisher Lo Scarabeo 2005
Deck Type Tarot Deck
Cards 78
Major Arcana 22
Minor Arcana 56
Deck Tradition Mixed
Minor Arcana Style Unique Scenes With Suit Symbols
Suits Chalices, Swords, Wands, Pentacles
Court Cards Knave, Knight, Queen, King
Major Titles The Fool, The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, Justice, The Hermit, The Wheel, Strength, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, The Devil, The Tower, The Stars, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement, The World
The Fool is 0
Strength is 11
Justice is 8
Card Size 2.60 x 4.72 in. = 6.60cm x 12.00cm
Card Language Spanish, Italian, German, French, English, Dutch
Card Back Reversible
Back Design Mirrored image in sepia of the Queen of Wands.
Companion Material 64-page stapled book (much larger than a regular companion booklet) written by Mark McElroy.


A brand new deck from Lo Scarabeo, created in honour of one of the greatest minds of the Italian Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci. Perhaps most famous for painting the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper, he was also an inventor, scientist and military strategist.

The stretch to make a connection between Leonardo and tarot is not too great a leap, as Leonardo may have had contact with tarot cards in his own lifetime. According to the booklet, he had visited the Milanese court of Ludovico da Sforza - famous in the tarot world for commissioning tarot designs that have survived to this day.

A standard tarot in its suits of Chalices, Pentacles, Wands and Swords and 78 cards, it is more unusual in it that two separate artists, both Bulgarians, completed the major and minor arcana. Iassen Ghiuselev originally completed the trumps in 1992, while in 2002 Atanas Atanassov (artist for other tarots like the Bosch Tarots, Golden Tarot of the Tsar, and Visconti Tarot) created the 56 remaining minor arcana cards. Despite the two artists and the ten-year gap, the illustrative style is maintained consistently at a high level.

Leonardo's art was remarkable at the time for its carefully drawn sense of perspective and realism. He was a keenly observant artist and scientist, and drawings of the human body are incredibly well proportioned and lifelike (so much so that they helped doctors to better understand muscle arrangements and bone structure). The card art for the Leonardo da Vinci has been created in the spirit of Leonardo's illustrations and paintings, sometimes directly copying his works, but mostly using them as a source.

Colours are muted olives, khaki, mud brown, greyish blues, reminiscent of Leonardo's sketches. The drawings are spare and super-sharp, almost hyper-real and have a static, posed feel, even in action cards. People's facial features, musculature, and folds of clothing are all very well defined. These cards are very human- people are young, old, infants, naked, fully or partially clothed in either period costume or togas, and always the centre focus of the card. (Unfortunately, the range of human expression and emotion is also very small - most people look dour or impassive and are rarely smiling, even on the Sun card!)

The majors feature Leonardo's masterpieces or scenes inspired by such. They also have the title of the card in Italian script written backwards in the background of the card, just as Leonardo made notes in his own journal. The minor arcana cards are illustrated scenes appropriate to the period, but they also have a pip-like layout of the suit elements in the top right of the card.

These cards can easily be used for reversals. The image on the back of the cards is the woman from the Queen of Wands, cleverly placed so it is upright from both ends. Reversal meanings are also given for the cards in the WB, though they are typically short for Lo Scarabeo. For example, the majors have: "I. Magician. Willingness. Skill. Diplomacy. Autonomy. Negative: Lie. Social Climbing. Tricks." The minors have even less text, eg: "Wands - 3. Ambush. Conspiracy. Hidden danger. Enemy plotting unseen." The meanings are printed in Italian, Spanish, French and German as well as English.

An art tarot in the truest sense, this is an essential addition to the collection of lovers of the Renaissance and fine art and suitable for the experienced reader.

Combine shipping is possible.

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