Artist: Giacinto Gaudenzi
Publisher: Llewellyn (Lo Scarabeo)
Publication date: December 2002
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The Tarot of Durer is a Tarot deck inspired by the art of Albrecht Durer, a German engraver and painter who lived around 1500. He was considered one of the greatest Northern European artists of the period. This deck was not created by Durer, however. It was created by Giacinto Gaudenzi in Durer's style and as Gaudenzi believes Durer might have done had he created a Tarot deck. While Gaudenzi is not Durer, his tarot cards in this deck do remind me of the Durer works I've seen.
This is a standard Tarot deck in all ways, so it is very easy to read with if you are familiar with the Tarot. It does have a few unique features. Each of the cards of the major arcana have a Latin motto printed on them. This mottos are usually quite appropriate for the card. For example, the motto for the The Tower is "Stultum est timere, quod vitari non potest" ("It's foolish to fear that which cannot be avoided"). Don't worry, the booklet included with the deck provides the translation. Each suit is associated with an animal which appears on most of the cards in a suit, although sometimes not obviously. Cups features doves, pentacles eagles, wands lions, and swords foxes.
This deck comes with a tiny 64 page booklet. Only one-fifth of the booklet is in English (the other languages are Italian, Spanish, French, and German). This booklet provides background information on Durer and the deck on the cards as well as brief meaning for each of the cards and the already mentioned motto translations. Very brief descriptions of for layouts for divination are also included: the spread of the week, a general situation spread, a spread for a year, and a basic three card spread. As one might expect, it would be hard for the average beginner to use this deck with just this information.
The Tarot of Durer is a very pretty deck. It is one of the few decks where the illustrations for minor arcana interest me more than those of the major arcana. If you are an experienced reader, you will probably have little trouble using this deck. A total novice will need an introductory Tarot book -- just about any general one would do. If you see this deck in a store, it's definitely worth a look even if you don't believe you are in the market for another Tarot deck.
Reviewed by Randall