The Art Nouveau movement arose in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a time when Europe was experiencing relative peace after decades of conflict. Gazing back at this period of optimism, we have named it la Belle Epoque, the Beautiful Era. Chief among its beauties was Art Nouveau (New Art), a graceful decorative movement that spread like tendrils of a flowering vine throughout Europe and on to America. Translated to tarot, Art Nouveau brings sensual beauty to these timeless messages, allowing them to speak directly to the heart1.
The gold-foil details of this outstanding deck perfectly complement the elegant designs and gracefully curved lines of the classic art nouveau style. Artist Giulia F. Massaglia captures the essence of the Rider-Waite-Smith symbolism and makes it truly sacred with her immaculate illustrations. Whether you're reading for yourself, for friends, or for clients, this deck provides all the insights and wisdom of a traditional tarot with the addition of a stunning visual presentation. These cards add a glorious touch of sparkle and shine to your tarot practice2.
You can guess from the name, this deck is in an Art Nouveau style with iconic curvy design elements. It brings together a pretty flamboyant art movement with traditional Tarot imagery and pulls it off perfectly! The suits and cards all follow the traditional Rider-Waite deck, with very similar imagery and symbolism. This means that if you are confident with the Rider-Waite deck, you will be able to read these cards with ease3.
The deck comes in a beautiful box with the Temperance card on the front and the Strength card on the back. Like most Tarot decks out there, the Golden Art Nouveau Tarot deck comes with a guidebook in the box. It contains instructions on how to use the cards and a brief description of each card. The descriptions are beautifully written and highlight the energy of each card3.
Now, let’s talk about the cards! They have beautiful and updated images of classic archetypes from Rider-Waite’s tradition that follows the art nouveau style. The gold that we see on the box follows its way throughout the deck bringing light and life to the Tarot cards. The details on the cards are delicate and intricate and each card has a white border. The imagery is super elegant and you can get lost in the beauty of the deck3!
Each card is a part matte image and part golden leaf that usually fills the empty space in the background. It looks nice, rich, and shiny. It has a tendency of flaking, so don’t be surprised to have sparkly fingers after shuffling them! The backs of the cards have a mirrored picture of a tree, art nouveau design elements, and a picture of a crescent moon and sun in the center3.
The Golden Art Nouveau Tarot deck sticks with the traditional imagery throughout the deck but brings fresh energy into the characterizations on the cards. We can really see this on the Major Arcana cards. If we take a look at the Fool, we can see an almost identical card to the Rider-Waite deck. However, the updated colors, the gold, and the Art Nouveau border really bring fresh life into the depiction of the card3.
The Sun card is all about optimism and happiness and the creators of the Golden Art Nouveau deck have really managed to put this energy into the card! The child appears to be bursting with excitement, with the sun watching on. Again, the Minor Arcana follows the traditional Rider-Waite but brings fresh energy and color into the cards. The gold leaf that follows through the deck is not forgotten about in the Minor Arcana, and the cards are truly wonderful to read with. Take a look at the Ace of Swords, a card all about fresh energy and clarity. The gold leaf magnifies its meaning and you really sense what the card is telling you3.
It utilizes decorative borders as a way to further differentiate the five suits, and the set of borders seem to adhere to an artistic interpretation of the suit’s representative element. Also, in a market that is more and more geared to an international consumer, the trumps are all unnamed, using a simple Roman numeral at both top and bottom, and the suit cards are all labeled with an Arabic number (or royalty symbol for the courts) at the top with the suit illustration at the bottom. As a fan of Lo Scarabeo’s output for years, I must admit that even as a fan of language in general, I do not miss the five titles on the top or side of every card, no matter what cards they are. As someone who appreciates art and as a reader, I must commend the artists and publishers on these decisions4.
The Golden Art Nouveau Tarot displays a much more relaxed approach, which I appreciate. This deck is far more a synthesis of the styles of Mucha and Massaglia…with a dash of Pixie thrown in. The Golden Art Nouveau Tarot is a Rider-Waite-Smith deck with all those implications. If you are a fan of both the Rider-Waite-Smith deck and Art Nouveau, this may be your new favorite deck. The artwork is generally gorgeous. The artwork, in some cases, seems a bit more rushed, and that may stem from a much more straightforward approach to restyling a deck of cards that already exists and is very familiar to most tarot enthusiasts, but the characters—and especially their clothes, which have a pleasantly theatrical peasantry about them—still have the beautiful weight and fleshy quality for which Massaglia has a true talent. The Court cards, in particular, are full of life and character, and this aspect may be where The Golden Art Nouveau Tarot is superior, which can rely heavily on appropriating Mucha’s imagery rather than giving the courts a true personality of their own4.
Do believe in sudden positive shifts with Golden Art Nouveau Tarot. Things can change instantly for the betterment of you.
- Offbeat InternetTreasuresTabletop Gaming. Golden Art Nouveau Tarot Card. December 14, 2022. https://www.jumpjet.info/Offbeat-Internet/More/Table/Decks/Golden_Art_Nouveau_Tarot_LWB.pdf
- Golden Art Nouveau Tarot : Massaglia, Giulia F.: Amazon.de: Bücher. December 14, 2022. https://www.amazon.de/Golden-Nouveau-Tarot-Giulia-Massaglia/dp/0738763462
- Golden Art Nouveau Tarot Deck Review: Stunning and Flamboyant. A Little Spark of Joy. June 13, 2022. https://www.alittlesparkofjoy.com/golden-art-nouveau-tarot-review/
- Tarots Mucha and Golden Art Nouveau: A Comparison and Review. The Tarot King of Mississippi. July 14, 2020. https://tarotkingofms.wordpress.com/2020/03/22/tarots-mucha-and-golden-art-nouveau-a-comparison-and-review/