Medieval & Renaissance Tarot Decks
Medieval & Renaissance Tarot cards and decks, emulating or in an artistic style of medieval times or the Renaissance period.
The Arcus Arcanum Tarot is a more male-oriented deck, and has brightly coloured, scenic comic-book type artwork. It uses the typical suits of cups, wands, swords and disks.
Gioconda - Il Volto e L'Anima is an Italian Tarot deck of 22 cards. These unusual cards show aspects of Gioconda - Mona Lisa, in English - and reflect on the identity of the most famous work by Leonardo da Vinci.
A tarot in the style of 13th century Italian painter Giotto di Bondone, which seems unusually still and posed to my modern eye. But the Giotto Tarot is a workable deck, once you are familiar with its system.
The Golden Tarot is a sumptuous collage Tarot deck, skilfully blending medieval and Renaissance artwork into whole Tarot scenes. Long known as a digital deck, the Golden Tarot is now in print from US Games. The edition comes in a sturdy box with a companion book, and cards with gilt edges.
Golden Tarot of the Renaissance
The Golden Tarot of the Renaissance is based on the fifteenth-century French deck, the Charles VI (also known as the Estensi) of which only 17 cards remain. Lo Scarabeo's full set of 78 cards have been created in attractive watercolours and finished with a gold leaf background.
The figures and scenes in the Hudes Tarot cards are very medieval/Renaissance style, and maps, constellation charts, astrology and alchemy all make an appearance in this pretty but somewhat melancholy Tarot deck.
Le Macchine di Leonardo is a majors-only Tarot deck in Italian. The rectangular cards are non-standard, with inset images of Leonardo da Vinci's machines, inventions, and creations matched to the 22 Tarot cards.
The Medieval Cat Tarot is an elegant deck of aristocratic felines in Renaissance dress and style. The 78 cards have traditional roots but have been updated and simplified in symbolism, making it suitable for beginners and the more experienced reader.
The Medieval Chihuahua Tarot is a deck for the miniature canine fan. It features photographs of chihuahuas (mostly belonging to friends of the artist) collaged into a medieval tarot setting. All proceeds from the deck go to animal shelters.
Medieval Enchantment: Nigel Jackson Tarot
Based on Medieval/Renaissance symbolism and Pythagorean numerology, the Nigel Jackson Tarot looks polished and authentic. Bear in mind it associates Swords with Fire and Wands with Air, but it's a deck worth adding to any tarot collection. Reprinted by Llewellyn in 2004 as the Medieval Enchantment: Nigel Jackson Tarot.
The cards of the Medieval Scapini Tarot, by Luigi Scapini, are in the European Tarot style. It's a wonderful deck with a very authentic Middle Ages feel and look to the card artwork.
The Medieval Tarot is from the same author who illustrated the Bruegel Tarot and the Giotto Tarot, but this is a more generic deck of the Middle Ages in scene and costume.
The Modern Medieval Tarot is a mix of the contemporary and the Middle Ages, blended in a smooth photographic collage. Rather than aiming for historical accuracy, it's a surreal dream-like combination of eras.
The medieval English style artwork in the Old English Tarot has a has a wonderful soft, old-fashioned look. The majors are quite simple figures, while the minor arcana show the suit elements and a tiny scene at the base of the card.
The PsyCards are a set of 40 cards inspired by Carl Jung's works, with attractive medieval-style art. It has some correspondences with the major arcana of the tarot, but also has extra cards for simple readings. The cards are divided into groupings: Direction, Fundamentals, Symbols, Archetypes, Characters, and Happenings.
The Renaissance Tarot deck has gorgeous artwork with touches of gold. All twelve deities of Olympus and several other Greek and Roman gods and demigods are pictured in the major arcana. The minor arcana are pips illustrated with small scenes from Greek mythology.
Another tarot deck inspired by the Renaissance historical period, this Renaissance Tarot makes heavy use of gold paint and interesting embossed-looking art.
Also known as the Romeo and Juliet Tarot, the Shakespeare Tarot is a beautiful deck from artist Luigi Scapini where the cards are linked with scenes and characters from the Bard's plays. The minor arcana feature the pips, but also include colourful illustrations.
Based on Shakespeare's many and varied plays, the Shakespearian Tarot deck shows Romeo and Juliet as the Lovers, Hamlet as the Hanged Man and Lear the Hermit. Each card has a quote from a Shakespeare play which matches the image.
The Ship of Fools Tarot is a pen-and-ink tarot blending classical tarot symbolism with the illustrations and ideas of Das Narrenschiff (The Ship of Fools), a satiric medieval German poem warning against over 100 vices and follies.
The Silson Lenormand takes its inspiration from medieval illustrations, and imagines a Lenormand as old as the earliest surviving Tarot decks. It's designed in a deliberately rough, primitive style based on hand coloured woodcuts and manuscript illuminations from the 15th century. Available in two limited editions: coloured and uncoloured.
Tarocchi Omaggio a Federico II
Tarocchi Omaggio a Federico II is a limited edition Italian Tarot. It has 78 glossy, oversized cards that are nearly four times the size of usual Tarot cards and feature detailed medieval-style scenes.
The Tarots of the Renaissance cards are in an Italian Renaissance style, and was painted in what looks like watercolours. This Tarot deck is an interesting visual interpretation of a previous era.
The Touchstone Tarot is a character-driven deck, with 78 tarot scenes digitally composed from Renaissance and Baroque paintings of the Old Masters. The second deck from Kat Black, the creator of the Golden Tarot, it's now sadly out of print.