Barbieri Tarot Review (All 78 Cards Revealed)

4.7/5 - (8 votes)

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THE BARBIERI TAROT REVIEW

The Barbieri Tarot is a vibrant, powerfully illustrated 78 card deck from Italian artist and master of the fantasy genre, Paolo Barbieri. Selections of his dark, fiery and detailed art have been chosen to fit the tarot archetypes.

Paolo Barbieri is an artist who specialises in cover-art for some of the most famous and prolific authors, with a focus on, but not limited to science fiction and fantasy writers. His fluid, almost seamless technique has been used in illustrations from myth and fantasy (including killer apes!), dragons and other mystical creatures, through to steampunk, alien landscapes, space travel, to traditional sword and sorcery.
Suffers from the usual problems associated with forcing an artist’s broad body of work into the framework of traditional tarot – if it has not been created specifically as a tarot image it lacks symbolism and narrative. This can make it quite difficult to read the cards if there are no familiar reference points to work with, merely a collection of (rather beautiful) portraits and unrelated images. More than half this deck is ‘portrait’ images of one form or another.

THE BARBIERI TAROT DECK DETAILS

This is a 78 card tarot deck, with 56 Minor Arcana and 22 Major Arcana. The Major Arcana follows A E Waite’s titles and ordering standard to the letter. The suits are Chalices, Pentacles, Swords, and Wands. The Court cards are Knaves, Knights, Queens, and Kings. The Major Arcana is indicated by Roman numerals only, no titles are used; while the Minor Arcana has Arabic numbers. The suits are indicated by a small symbol – a cup, coin, club, or sword at the base of the image. Court cards have an additional symbol at the top of the card – a helmet, horse head, or crown. Most of the Major Arcana images have been well chosen and have no need of a title, they are quite self-explanatory. However a couple are a little obscure – the sleeping dryad as The Hermit, and the somewhat forbidding mermaid as Temperance give no clue as to their designation.

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