Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

May/June 2016 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article

Review of the Michelangelo Tarot Deck

This article was written by Barbara Moore on December 14, 2012
posted under Michelangelo Tarot

Summary

The Michelangelo Tarot makes spectacular use of Michelangelo's techniques and body of work to create a stunning deck faithful to the Rider-Waite-Smith model. It is a beautiful and readable deck for anyone who loves the works of this artistic master.

In-Depth Review

Michelangelo's style is complex and philosophical. It is intellectual and celebrates the "idea" of whatever is portrayed, like gesture drawings that spontaneously capture the truth or essence of something. What I mean by that is that the work focuses on the moment between immobility and movement, illuminating a spiritual energy that is purely essence and is not yet spent by the actual gesture. It is in this moment that the energy is captured in stone (or paint) and is exhilaratingly palpable. Unlike a gesture drawing, Michelangelo's work is extremely polished and sophisticatedly finished.

Guido Zibordi strove to capture Michelangelo's style by using recognizable images from the Master's body of work as well as by utilizing his methods. Tarot is a dance of the balancing of opposing forces, much like Michelangelo's work. Guido does an excellent job of capturing the feel and style of Michelangelo's art. In this deck, there is a nice use of recognizable images. Some are clearly copies, for example the Oracle of Delphi for Justice. Others are more of an inspiration than a copy, such as the use of the Lybian Oracle for the High Priestess and his sculpture, the Pieta, as Death.

While this is a typical Lo Scarabeo art deck (which means very lovely images and high quality art), it is a little atypical in that it is a nice Rider-Waite-Smith style deck. It is not a clone but anyone familiar with the RWS images will easily recognize which card is which. The images are clear and usually, but not always, show a single figure. For example, the 6 of Wands shows a man holding six wands. One wand is topped with a laurel wreath, representing victory, and his feet have wings, reminiscent of Nike, also representing victory. The only caveat I'll include is that many of the women in the deck are strangely muscular.

The court cards have familiar emblems, such as salamanders on the Wands. The Queen of Wands has her sunflower and her familiar cat is etched onto her throne. The kings have astrological symbols: Leo for Wands, Taurus for Pentacles, and Pisces for Cups. I could not see one on the King of Swords, although he does have butterflies on his crown.

Because of Guidos application of Michelangelo's capturing the moment in between, there is a yearning in the Lovers that is usually absent from most decks. I love the Chariot, which is filled with determination and movement in a card that is usually filled with immobility. The Moon intrigues me, showing a woman clutching a crescent moon. A sleek black dog is sniffing the butt of a sleek white dog. The white dog appears to be sniffing the woman's butt. A very strange butt-sniffing circle. I will leave it to you to work out the symbolism of that one. 

Deck Attributes

Name of deck: Michelangelo Tarot

Publisher: Lo Scarabeo

ISBN: 9780738733623

Creator's name: Guido Zibordi Marchesi

Artist's name: Guido Zibordi Marchesi (and Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni)

Name of accompanying booklet: Michelangelo Tarot

Number of pages of booklet: Booklet is 63 pages; 14 in English

Author of booklet: Guido Zibordi Marchesi

Available in a boxed kit?: No

Reading Uses: General

Artistic Style: In the style of Michelangelo

Tarot, Divination Deck, Other: Tarot

Does it follow Rider-Waite-Smith Standard?: Yes

Does it have extra cards?: No 


Sensitive people have gotten a bum rap. We live in a world that doesn't embrace the values of sensitivity, so we get told that we are weak, unusual, touchy, and hard to please. The sad truth is that we hear these messages in many ways throughout our lives. Even if it is from a well-meaning teacher or parent who tries to "toughen us up," the crux... read this article
Remaining Magickal in the Midst of Chaos
Sacred Space, Tarot, and Your Magical Practice
The Magical Use of Prayer Beads
The Future of Money Magic: What Do We Put Under the Candle When Our Currency Goes Digital?
Understanding the Moon Signs of Others

Most recent posts:
The Words on the Wheel of Fortune
One thing many students of tarot find fascinating is learning what some of the mysterious symbols on the cards mean. During the Renaissance, when...

Are You a Sensitive Empath?
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Dr. Kyra Mesich, author of the new Strength of Sensitivity. I've dedicated my holistic psychology...

The Cards as Living Entities
In just a few months (August, to be precise), Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Tarot by the knowledgeable experienced, and delightful writer Anthony...




The Madness of Mercury The Madness of Mercury
By: Connie di Marco
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
Journey of Souls Journey of Souls
Case Studies of Life Between Lives

By: Michael Newton
Price: $17.99 US,  $20.95 CAN
Easy Tarot Easy Tarot
Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All!

By: Josephine Ellershaw, Ciro Marchetti
Price: $19.95 US,  $21.95 CAN
Wicca Wicca
A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

By: Scott Cunningham
Price: $14.95 US,  $16.95 CAN
The Memory Jar The Memory Jar
By: Elissa Janine Hoole
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN