The Gilded Tarot

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The Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti (Llewellyn)

RM 160.00


The Gilded Tarot is a digitally drawn and visually sumptous Rider-Waite style tarot from the talented Ciro Marchetti.

Mr. Marchetti is an internationally recognized artist with multiple awards in digital graphics; discussion of his work and technique has appeared in feature articles in numerous publications. His thirty plus years of work in the genres of digital graphics and pen-and-ink art has been influenced, in part, by artists such as Arthur Rackham, James Christenson, and Michael Parkes. Mr. Marchetti's artistic voice has a singular and unique expressive tonality and timbre that earmarks his artistry in all of its manisfestations. The images, while often representational, incorporate a Rube Goldberg fanciful quality that visually delights while providing contextual juxtaposition, lending subtle connotation to the otherwise denotative symbolism.

Perhaps as remarkable as the complexity and contrast in imagery and composition is Mr. Marchetti's color palette. Upon first examination of the seventy-eight card "Gilded Tarot" deck under natural light, one is immediately and profoundly struck by the tactile quality of the highly detailed artistry; the remarkable chiaroscuro present--typically reserved for criticism of oil paintings; and, most notably, the sheer richness of color and hue that evokes the stained glasswork of Chartres or John La Farge's stained glass artistry gracing Boston's Trinity Episcopal Church.

Whether practitioner or discerning collector, the "Gilded Tarot" is a rare find and distinguishes itself as a masterwork in the realm of Tarot deck artwork.


Artistically speaking, this deck has no rival. Ciro Marchetti is a rare talent and his work has garnered numerous awards over the years. He has a fantastical imagination coupled with a high level of technical accomplishment in his chosen media. His is computer art in the finest sense. His work shows all the benefits of working digitally but has none of the spliced or synthetic qualities apparent in the work of other computer artists. The sense of everything being too precise to be true is completely absent here. Rather, there is a natural spontanious quality, particularly in the human figures which makes you feel that they really do live and breathe. The deck follows the basic Rider - Waite format but not slavishly. Each card is fresh and original and there are many innovative touches. The Star and Moon cards are among my favourites. Each celestial body is seen through a giant mechanised magnifying glass. Also very striking is the design for the suit of pentacles - golden, enamel embossed and pentagonal rather than disk shaped. The back design is as beautiful as anything else on the front of the cards.

If you are tempted to invest in one of these decks, be warned - It doesn't come cheap!! Prices are published on the website. I'm sure there are many who will question the expense but seeing the quality of the finished product I know full well that the expense is justified. This is not just a personal opinion - As an artist I appreciate that this is not just a tarot deck but a set of 79 limited edition fine art prints produced to the highest archival standards. The materials used in production are of optimum quality as is the print process. This will account largely for the cost of the deck . The commercial issue when it arrives, with all due respect to the publisher will not begin to match the quality seen here nor could it realistically begin to do so within the price constraints of commercial printing. When you also consider the money spent on packaging and presentation, let alone the man hours spent in manufacturing each card individually you begin to understand the cost.

I do not begrudge one penny of what I've spent. The artwork alone justifies this for me personally. Also, I know that as a fine art limited edition by a reputable artist, the set will only increase in value over the years, particularly when the deck becomes available commercially. It is likely to become a bestseller, not only because of its unusual high standard but also because it is the first Rider style deck to employ high quality digital artwork.

The book contains detailed descriptions of the cards, accompanied by the elementary principles of tarot divination. There are blank journalling pages included in the Major Arcana section for your own observations. The interpretation is deeply spiritual in nature. Therefore, it is a very good deck for those endeavoring to explore the intuitive side of themselves.

This is not just a beautiful deck. It's both highly detailed and a well thought out reworking of the Rider format. I've no doubt it will become a classic and justifiably so. It should have a place in any serious collection.

The set includes 1 deck of Gilded tarot deck and 1 companion book by Barbara Moore.

Information from this page is populated from Aecletic.com.





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