“The works of the great Florentine painter, Alessandro Filipepi, known as ‘Botticelli’ (1445-1510), inspired this magnificent deck, which allegorically describes all kinds of human feelings: material desires, fears, passions, and spiritual tensions. The painter himself went through various existential moments during his life that profoundly affected his art, suggesting characters and situations to him which, portrayed individually in 78 figures, represent a microcosm still relevant today.” – From the Little White Book of the Golden Botticelli Tarot
With rich colors, poignant expressions and vivid scenery, Atanas Alexandrov Atanassov—artist for the DaVinci Tarot and the divine Golden Tarot of Klimt—captures the pathos so often present in Botticelli’s paintings.
For added luster, the team at Lo Scarabeo incorporated golden embossment in the Botticelli, much like the gorgeous Golden Tarot of Klimt. However, unlike the Klimt deck, the gilt touches here are heavy handed.
Instead of just highlighting flowers, cups, books, garment threads, and suit symbols in gold, for example, the same extensive, intricate pattern is overlaid on each card background. This means that instead of blue or cloudy skies, we’re presented with a busy gold pattern, instead—sometimes covering ¾ of the card.
This is unfortunate, because it takes away from Atanassov’s exquisite artwork, not adds to it. In fact, it’s downright distracting—especially so for those wanting to use the Botticelli Tarot for contemplation or divination.
Measuring approximately 2 ½ x 4 ¾ inches, the cards feature an attractive black border framing Atanassov’s imagery, with a handsome reversible motif on the backings. The Little White Book provides solid, common interpretations for each card, but, sadly, fails to list the Botticelli paintings by name.
If you adore the gilt embossed decks from Lo Scarabeo, you’ll no doubt love the Botticelli Tarot—especially as a collectible art deck. However, some may find the background filigree too pervasive for meditation and contemplation. If the touches were more understated as in the Golden Tarot of Klimt, the Botticelli deck would outshine that excellent deck. However, in this case, the gilding is too much of a good thing for me.