Artists: Collaborative Deck
Co-ordinated by: Morena Poltronieri and Ernesto Fazzioli
Museo Dei Tarocchi – Hermatena
The Museo Dei Tarocchi – Hermatena presents several decks each year – some as collaborative projects, some from individuals. “LiteraTarot Europa” is a collaboration from European artists (mainly Italian) that was published in the spring of 2009. Twenty-two artists chose books from literature as the theme for their individual cards. This is a Majors only, limited edition deck (300 copies), done on good quality cardstock. It is presented in a book-like wrapper, with covering folded up from both ends so that the cards do not fall out. The wrapper is held together with ribbons secured to the front and back covers.
The artists, and the literary works that they based their cards on, are as follows:
* Note: The cover art was done by Jessica Angiulli.
0 – Matto (Fool): Maria Grazia Martina – Rosso Malpelo by Giovanni Verga
I – Bagatto (Magician): Tiziana Bertacci – L’immortale di Borges (The Immortal, by Luis Borges)
II – Papessa (High Priestess): Emma Campo – Teodora di Paolo Cesaretti (Teodora – the Rise of an Empress, by Paul Cesaretti)
III – Imperatrice (Empress): Morena Poltronieri – Diario di Etty Illesum (Diary of Etty Illesum, a writer from the Netherlands who died in Auschwitz, November 1943)
IV – Imperatore (Emperor): Angela Maltoni – Cuore di tenebra di Conrad (Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad)
V – Papa (Hierophant): Pasquale Barile – Elogio alla Follia de Erasmo da Rotterdam (Praise to Madness, by Erasmo of Rotterdam)
VI – Amanti (Lovers): Ernesto Fazioli – Cime Tempestose di Emily Bronte (Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte)
VII – Carro (Chariot): K. Frank Jensen – On the Road di Jack Kerouac (On The Road, by Jack Kerouac)
VIII – Giustizia (Justice): Gabriele Caroli – S.C.U.M. di Valerie Solanas (S.C.U.M. Manifesto, by Valerie Solanus)
VIIII – Ermeta (Hermit): Andrea Franzoni – Rivolta contro il mondo moderno di Julius Evola (Revolt Against The Modern World, by Julius Evola)
X – Ruota di Fortuna (Wheel of Fortune): Paolo Mattioli – Edipo Re di Sofocle (Edipo King of Sofocle, by Paolo Mattioli)
XI – Forza (Strength): Martino Barbeiri – Shitao di Francois Cheng (Shitao – The Taste of the World, a book of art by Francois Cheng)
XII – Appeso (Hanged One): Giovanni Pelosini – Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi
XIII – Morte (Death): Monia Perulli – Il Corvo di Edgar Allen Poe (The Raven, by Edgar Allen Poe)
XIV – Temperanza (Temperance): Adua Castellucci – Catalogo di Victor Brauner (Catalog by Victor Brauner)
XV – Diavolo (Devil): Maria Distefano – Moby Dick di Melville (Moby Dick, by Herman Melville)
XVI – Torre (Tower): Giuliana Cusino – Molto forte, incrediblimente vicino di Jonathon Safran Foer (Very Strong, Incredible Close, by Jonathon S. Foer)
XVII – Stelle (Stars): Octavia Monaco – Lo specchio e l’ombra di Giuseppe Barbieri (The Mirror and the Shadow, by Giuseppi Babierri)
XVIII – Luna (Moon): Rita Frazzoni – Favole italiane di Italo Calvino (Italian Fairy Tales, by Italo Calvino)
XIX – Sole (Sun): Silvia Tagliaferri – Sotto il sole giaguaro di Italo Calvino (Under the Jaguar Sun, by Italo Calvino)
XX – Giudizio (Judgement): Giovanni Monti – Il deserto dei Tartari di Buzzati (The Tartar Steppe, by Dino Buzzati)
XXI – Mondo (World): Ornella Lamberti – L’amore ai tempi del colera di Marquez (Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Marquez)
The cards are approximately 2 5/8” by 4 ¾”. The backs of the cards carry a ¼” white border. Surrounding the red and yellow (reversible) design that the Museo uses for many of their decks. The card faces show the card name, number, and book (in either Italian or English). The art styles used in this deck include paintings, pen and ink drawings, photography, collage or mosaic. The original artworks for this deck can be found in the Museo de Tarocchi in Riola, Italy.
My favorite card from this deck is Matto (The Fool), which is a colorful collage of postage stamps. L’immortale (The Magician) is a stunning card that shows you something new each time you look at it. I loved the colors in Papessa (The High Priestess) – done largely in orange and yellow, showing the face of a female with her eyes closed. Carro (The Chariot) goes modern, showing two individuals in a car, with a male figure standing in front of it, looking out at the reader. Ruota di Fortuna (The Wheel of Fortune) shows a male and female figure seated on top of the wheel, with a lovely Gekko-like figure hanging on to the wheel and watching them. I found Morte (Death) to be interesting in that it included two Rune graphics: a large graphic of what appears to be a piece of stone, and a much smaller graphic on the wrist of the individual holding the stone.
For pricing on the deck, and to see card scans, please visit Arnell Ando’s site (LiteraTarot Europa) . Arnell is the U.S. representative for this deck.
This deck will appeal to those interested in art, to deck collectors, and to those interested in Majors’s only decks. While each card has been done by a different artist, it is still a deck that can be used for reading. I do hope that the curators of the Museo de Tarocchi continue this tradition of producing decks on a yearly basis. It gives artists a chance to be known, and the Tarot public a chance to view (and work with!) some very creative decks.
© April 2009