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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


 

Palladini’s Aquarian Tarot

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For the past two months I’ve been busy drawing a new set of Tarot designs. More about these later, but sporadic research has naturally led to me to look at a few earlier sets, although my Trumps have mostly been following Pamela Colman Smith’s illustrations for the Waite deck. Tarot designs have really proliferated in the past few years (Is there a Lego Tarot? Yes, of course there is), so much so that many previous designs which would once have been notable are now swamped by mediocre decks.

David Palladini’s Aquarian Tarot first appeared in 1970 when the occult revival was getting into its stride. Palladini had contributed to the Linweave Tarot in 1967 along with three other artists, something you can read more about at the excellent Sweet Jane’s Pop Boutique. I’m sure I must have seen the Aquarian Tarot in the past but probably dismissed it for being too modish and not occult enough; for a long time Aleister Crowley’s Thoth deck was the only one I’d look at. Palladini’s art is a lot more familiar now that his fabulous poster for Nosferatu the Vampyre looks down on me every day, and I’ve grown to enjoy his combination of Art Nouveau and Deco motifs so much that I wouldn’t mind a pack of these cards. The Aeclectic site reviews the deck, and has a few more examples of the designs. They also review the New Palladini Tarot which the artist produced in 1996. Given the choice I’d still go for the earlier set.

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Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Le Tarot de Philippe Lemaire
Tarotism and Fergus Hall
Giger’s Tarot
The Occult Explosion
Palladini’s Zodiac
The Major Arcana by Jak Flash
The art of Pamela Colman Smith, 1878–1951
The Major Arcana

 


 

Posted in {art}, {design}, {illustrators}, {occult}.

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4 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by John

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    I first saw Palladini’s Aquarian Tarot in 1980 at a friend’s house and acquired my own copy shortly after. I became a fan of his artwork as a result and was tickled to find that he illustrated Stephen King’s “The Eyes of the Dragon,” in a similarly opulent fashion. I agree with you that his New Tarot isn’t as stellar as the Aquarian, but it was exciting to see new work by him. As ever, you’ve given me new stuff read about too (I didn’t know that Palladini had worked on a previous Tarot project), so I’m grateful for your article. I also look forward to (hopefully) seeing your cards. That will be very exciting, I’m sure.

  2. #2 posted by Steve Burnett

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    Aquarian was the first deck I ever bought, still have it. Also, looking forward to your new work.

  3. #3 posted by John

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    Thanks, I’m hoping they’ll be finished by the end of July.

  4. #4 posted by Sweet Jane

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    The Aquarian tarot are incredibly beautiful, I wouldn’t mind a pack of those myself… I must get around to scanning the rest of the Linweave deck one of these days and also the original box that they came in, the cover design is great! Looking forward to seeing your new set of Tarot designs and also “thank you” for the kind words.

 


 

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