Pictorial Key Tarot - Davide Corsi
“The deck designed by Davide Corsi, under the supervision of Lo Scarabeo editorial team is the most recent and highly evolved representation of the Pictorial Key. Even though it is ostensibly simple and essential, the images, realized with modern painting techniques, are brimming with real and relevant symbolism, ideas, and intuitions that can be applied to various existential levels: ethical, meditative, divinatory and metaphysical.” – From the L(ittle) W(hite) B(ook) to the Pictorial Key Tarot











From the Italian artist who illustrated the Tarot of the Elves emerges a vibrant CGI deck firmly planted in Rider-Waite-Smith imagery—the Pictorial Key Tarot. Gleaming metal and pockmarked stone, smooth marble and rough-hewn wood interplay with luxurious fabrics, star-studded skies, rippling waters and billowy clouds, but at the center remains the familiar RWS cast of characters and symbols.

At first blush, the Pictorial Key Tarot resembles another black-bordered CGI deck: the Gilded Tarot. However, there are several differences between the two decks. In the Pictorial Key Tarot, no card names or suits grace the borders, only Roman numerals for the Major Arcana, numbers and suit symbols for the Minor Arcana, and emblems for the Court cards (i.e. a helmet for Knaves, horse head for Knights, and crowns for the Kings and Queens).

The Pictorial Key Tarot takes less interpretive risks than the Gilded Tarot with its conformity to RWS imagery, and thus lacks the unnecessary frills, filigrees and random planetary placement of the Gilded Tarot. Yet, stark it is not because although the Pictorial Key deck stays faithful to the RWS, there is enough fresh artistry to make this an interesting and appealing deck even to veteran Tarotists (for example, there is a menacing sea monster in the foreground of the Moon card rather than the traditional benign crustacean).

Absolute Tarot beginners may have trouble with the Pictorial Key Tarot only because there are no names on the cards. However, in conjunction with a solid beginner book like Learning the Tarot by Joan Bunning or the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Tarot by Mark McElroy this would make a fine deck for those starting their Tarot journey.

Although some of the faces appear slightly mannequin-like upon closer inspection, there is enough detail and character in the imagery to paint a well-rounded intuitive picture despite this drawback. There is full frontal nudity in the Lovers and The Star, so if you’re uncomfortable with anatomically correct renderings or if you read for children, you may want to consider those elements.

The cards measure approximately 4 ¾ x 2 ½ inches with an attractive rose-cross emblem on back that is reversible. In addition to the deck-only version, you can order the Pictorial Key Tarot Deluxe which comes with a tan velvet  bag embroidered with red oroborus motif and satin tassels.

Personally, I’m enjoying working with the Pictorial Key Tarot and have had great success with it for spiritual contemplation. I find it familiar, comforting and clear—a wonderful deck for obtaining lucid insights and encouraging personal growth.

Below are 12 images from the Pictorial Key Tarot. To see comparison images of the Gilded Tarot versus the Pictorial Key Tarot, click here.




































































































Pictorial Key Tarot, artwork by Davide Corsi © 2007 Lo Scarabeo, Italy . All rights reserved.

Related Reviews
The Back in Time Tarot Book - Janet Boyer
The Fairy Tale Tarot - Lisa Hunt
Legacy of the Divine Tarot - Ciro Marchetti
Silver Era Tarot - Aunia Kahn
Shadowscapes Tarot - Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
ShadowFox Tarot - Richard and Jennifer ShadowFox
Twilight Realm A Tarot of Faery - Beth Wilder
Otherworld Tarot - Alison Williams and Sarah Nowell
Morgan's Tarot - Morgan Robbins and Darshan Chorpash
Shining Angels Tarot – Giuditta Dembech and Federico Penco
Heart Tarot - Maria Distefano
Imperial Dragon Oracle (Majors Only) - Andy Baggott and Peter Pracownik
Hallmark Tarot - Darla Hallmark
Hezicos Tarot - Mary Griffin
The Vampires Tarot of the Eternal Night - Davide Corsi
Tarot of the Animal Lords - Angelo Giannini
Tarot of the Sweet Twilight - Cristina Benintende
The Transparent Tarot - Emily Carding
Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set (Smith Waite Centennial Tarot)
Paulina Tarot - Paulina Cassidy
Mythical Goddess Tarot - Sage Holloway and Katherine Skaggs
Affirmations for the Everyday Goddess Deck (Majors Only) - Pamela Wells
Quantum Tarot - Kay Stopforth and Chris Butler
Tell-Me Tarot - Arik Eyal and Nir Cassuto
Trump L’oeil: Tarot of Portmeirion - Craig Conley
Pirate Tarot - Lucas and Carrie Amodio; Liz "Galindorf" Harper
Faerie Tarot - Nathalie Hertz
The Truth-Seeker's Tarot - David Fontana
Undersea Tarot - Frank Fradella
Deviant Moon Tarot - Patrick Valenza
The Alchemical Tarot Renewed - Robert M. Place
Pearls of Wisdom Tarot - Roxi Sim and Caeli Fullbrite
Phantasmagoric Theater Tarot - Graham Cameron
Tarot of the Angels - Arturo Picca & Giordano Berti
Circle of Life Tarot - Maria Distefano
Tarot of the Pirates - Bepi Vigna, Michele Benevento, & Arturro Picca
Lo Scarabeo Tarot - Mark McElroy and Anna Lazzarini
Fantastical Creatures Tarot - Lisa Hunt and D.J. Conway
Sorcerers Tarot - Antonella Castelli
Jean Noblet Tarot - Jean-Claude Flornoy
Vanessa Tarot - Lynyrd Narciso
Mystic Faerie Tarot - Linda Ravenscroft and Barbara Moore
UFO Tarot - Arturo Picca
Arthurian Tarot (2007 Version) - Caitlín and John Matthews
Sharman-Caselli Tarot - Juliet Sharman-Burke and Giovanni Caselli
Ancient Tarot of Lombardy - Ferdinando Gumppenberg (1810)
Ramses: Tarot of Eternity - Giordano Berti and Severino Baraldi
Tarot of the III Millenium - Iassen Ghiuselev
Egyptian Tarots Mini (Lo Scarabeo)
Spirit of Flowers Tarot -  Laura Tuan and Antonella Castelli
Lover's Path Tarot - Kris Waldherr
Hudes Tarot - Susan Hudes
Hermetic Tarot - Godfrey Dowson
Forest Folklore Tarot - Kessia Beverley-Smith
Napo Tarot - Betty Lopez and Napo
Easy Tarot Kit (Gilded Tarot) - Josephine Ellershaw
Crystal Tarot - Elisabetta Trevisan
Universal Fantasy Tarot - Paolo Martinello
Fantastical Tarot - Nathalie Hertz
Fenestra Tarot - Chatriya Hemharnvibul
Tarot of the Saints - Robert M. Place
Halloween Tarot - Kipling West
The Instant Tarot Reader (Zerner/Farber Deck) - Monte Farber and Amy Zerner
Tarot Discovery Kit (Zerner/Farber Deck) - Monte Farber and Amy Zerner
Medieval Enchantment - The NIgel Jackson Tarot
Victorian Romantic Tarot – Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov
Tarot of Oz - David Sexton
Maria Shaw's Tarot Kit for Teens - Maria Shaw
Tarot of the Dead - Monica Knighton
Tarot of Prague - Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov
Tarot of the Spirit World – Robert De Angelis
My Tarot: Colour Your Own Deck - Juliet Sharman-Burke
Llewellyn Tarot - Anna-Marie Ferguson
World Spirit Tarot - Lauren O'Leary and Jessica Godino
Baroque Bohemian Cats' Tarot - Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov
Animals Divine Tarot - Lisa Hunt
WorldTree Tarot - Ann Cass
Tarot of Reflections – Francesco Ciampi and Pietro Alligo
Tarot of Metamorphosis – M. Filadoro and L. Di Giammarino
Fairytale Tarot - Karen Mahony, Alex Ukolov, and Irena Triskova
Transformational Tarot - Arnell Ando
Da Vinci Tarot - Mark McElroy, Iassen Ghuiselev, and Atanas Atanassov
Rohrig Tarot - Carl-W. Rohrig
True Love Tarot - Amy Zerner and Monte Farber
Babylonian Tarot - Sandra Tabatha Cicero
Pagan Tarot - Gina Pace
Golden Tarot of Klimt - A.A. Atanassov
Bright Idea Deck - Mark McElroy
Archeon Tarot - Timothy Lantz
Housewives Tarot - Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum
Epicurean Tarot Recipe Cards - Corrine Kenner
Tarot of Dreams - Ciro Marchetti and Lee Bursten
Revelations Tarot - Zach Wong
Tarot of the Four Elements - Isha Lerner and Amy Ericksen
DruidCraft Tarot - Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm; Will Worthington
Gilded Tarot - Ciro Marchetti
Oracle Tarot - Lucy Cavendish
Golden Tarot - Kat Black
Tarot de Paris - J. Philip Thomas
Quest Tarot - Joseph Ernest Martin
Beginner's Guide to Tarot - Juliet Sharman-Burke and Giovanni Caselli
Wild Mercy: Tarot Inspired Musings - Elizabeth Cunningham
In the Cards: Love - Mariah Fredericks
Easy Tarot Kit - Josephine Ellershaw
Learning Tarot Spreads - Joan Bunning
The Everything Tarot Book (2nd Edition) - Skye Alexander
Tarot Discovery Kit - Amy Zerner and Monte Farber
The Instant Tarot Reader - Monte Farber and Amy Zerner
Llewellyn's 2007 Tarot Reader
21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card - Mary K. Greer
Absolute Beginner's Guide to Tarot - Mark McElroy
Maria Shaw's Tarot Kit for Teens - Maria Shaw
Tarot Tells the Tale - James Ricklef
Tarot Journaling - Corrine Kenner
Everyday Tarot: A Choice Centered Approach - Gail Fairfield
The Encyclopedia of Tarot Volume IV - Stuart Kaplan and Jean Huets
The 2-Hour Tarot Tutor - Wilma Carroll
Seeker: The Tarot Unveiled - Rachel Pollack
Llewellyn's 2006 Tarot Reader
Tarot Workbook - Juliet Sharman-Burke
Tarot for Life - Prospero
Tarot Tips - Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone
What's in the Cards For You? - Mark McElroy
Power Tarot: More Than 100 Spreads - Trish Magregor and Phyllis Vega
What Tarot Can Do For You: Your Future in the Cards - Barbara Moore

Content copyright © by Janet Boyer. All rights reserved. This review was written by Janet Boyer. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission.