When most people think of Art Nouveau they think of art by Alphonse Mucha, the Czech illustrator who popularized the Art Nouveau movement in the late 1800s. The style is known for it’s elegant and flowing nature-inspired details with both organic and geometric elements.
It’s one of my favorite eras of art I think, the Golden Era, and it just so happens that this style makes for beautiful tarot cards, in large part due to the often-present border elements in the compositions. Here are a few decks in the Art Nouveau style.
If you’re looking for other tarot decks, I have another post on those.
Golden Art Nouveau Tarot
Box: Standard playing card box (top tuck) but it has gorgeous gold foil details.
Cards: 78 cards. Standard stock with gold foil details. I wavered between a 3.5-4 stars on this one. I don’t love how the faces are illustrated as much as I do in other decks (I’m picky about that) but it does have that shiny gold foiling…
Guidebook: There’s a small black and white guidebook, the first 20 pages of which are in English. The other 40-something pages are in Italian, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Each card gets 6-7 lines but interpretations are well described for only getting a few sentences each.
Concept / artwork: This deck is produced by Lo Scarabeo with artwork by Guilia F. Massaglia. The artwork is a little different than what I imagine when I think “art nouveau” and isn’t my favorite deck, but is certainly “inspired by” art nouveau and I do really like the gold foil and how each suite get’s it’s own signifying border design. Art-wise I’d say my top three in this deck (art-wise) are the Strength card (seen on the front of the box), the Hermit, and the Queen of Wands. I have to be in a certain mood to use this deck though..
Box: This deck includes a beautiful hard box with top lid (kind of unusual).
Cards: A full 78-card deck with gloss-finish cards.
Guidebook: Small but perfect-bound 126-page guidebook. The first half of the book is in English (second half in a few other languages) and there are some cute spread ideas based on seasons, flowers etc. Full color. Each card gets a good half-page and “key ideas” section.
Concept / artwork: This deck is produced by Lo Scarabeo and the artwork is a tribute to Mucha, done by Guilia F. Massaglia and Barbara Nosenzo. I think they’ve done a nice job, especially with the colors. The more time I spend with this one, I like it more and more, especially for single-card draws when setting morning intentions. I have long been a fan of Alphonse Mucha and am happy to have this one in my collection! My personal faves in this one, art-wise, are The High Priestess, The Wheel, The Star, The 3 and 9 of cups, 7 and 9 of Discs, and 2 of Swords.
Tarot Art Nouveau: Mini
Box: Standard top tuck box. I like the lavender color.
Cards: 78 cards sized 1 3/4 x 3 1/8 inches (or 4.5 x 8 cm). A “tall” mini card! I LOVE ME A MINI DECK!
Guidebook: Despite this being a mini deck it actually does have a teeny guidebook! Some mini decks don’t have a booklet at all so this is nice. And though each card only gets a phrase or keyword or two, it does pack in several languages. Example: “Ace of Wands: moment of recollection, prelude to creativity.”
Concept / artwork: This deck is produced by Lo Scarabeo and the artwork is by Antonella Castelli. I think it’s super classic Art Nouveau, especially with the muted washes of color and different borders on each one. I think this little deck is packed with a lot of stunning cards, the following being my favorites art-wise: The Wheel, The Moon, The Tower, Ace of Chalices, Knave of Chalices, The Tower, and Death (It’s a blue goddess that reminds me of Sarai! Where my Strange the Dreamer fans at?).
I have my eye on…
The Ethereal Visions Illuminated Tarot Deck. This looks stunning and I actually did order this for myself for Christmas, but I’m waiting to open it until then (yes, this is taking quite a bit of discipline). I’ll report back here once I’ve formed an opinion of it at a later date.