The Medieval Scapini Tarot Deck – Luigi Scapini


Name: Medieval Scapini Tarot
Creators: Luigi Scapini
Publisher: Thorsons
Deck Type: Tarot Deck
Cards: 78

After recreating the missing cards from the 15th century Tarocchi decks to form the U.S. Games’ reproduction of the Visconti-Sforza Tarot, Luigi Scapini was apparently inspired to create his own version of the Tarot in a similar genre. The resulting Medieval Scapini Tarot appears to be a very interesting blend of 15th century imagery and contemporary artwork. The dark, gold-and-bronze colors and realistic representations of the Visconti Sforza Tarot appear to juxtapose in stark, yet pleasant, contrast with the vivid colors and near-caricature additions of the artist. It is interesting to note that Scapini admits that, while painting the images for this deck, he had no knowledge of the “standard” interpretations of the individual cards. As such, a person who reads within a given system (such as the Rider-Waite-Smith), he or she is likely to have some initial difficulty in maintaining those interpretations with the symbols of this deck. Nonetheless, Scapini manages to maintain a degree of consistency throughout the deck and, with a little patience, such divergence seems to be easily overcome. Indeed, the fact that symbolic artwork is present anywhere within the Minor Arcana may be deemed a considerable improvement over the inspiring Visconti-Sforza cards. Printed on strong, plastic coated board, these cards are somewhat longer than many decks, which make it slightly harder to shuffle. However, when considered in contrast with the very large and difficult to handle Visconti-Sforza deck, the Scapini Tarot again stands in a place of considerable advantage. The accompanying LWB is, for this deck, indispensable. Once the historic and artistic inspirations of these cards are understood, they then become infinitely easier for the new reader to utilize. Interesting details (such as the artist’s cameo appearance as, among other things, a severed head in the Death card) yield considerable insights that will aid the reader in interpreting this unique deck. In all, it is well-written and provides the artist’s version of each card’s meanings as well as a brief description of the Celtic Cross spread. In sum, the Medieval Scapini Tarot is a fascinating deck that will stretch the interpretive repertoire of any reader. Based on a historic Tarot, these cards are ideal for someone who desires the feel of antiquity combined with modern utility.

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