Tarot Marco Benedetti: Visconti Homage Deck
Twenty-five years ago, Marco Benedetti painted a heavenly homage to the Visconti-Sforza deck in tempera on gold leaf. A few years ago, he offered his deck to the public on Gamecrafter, and as a custom printed gold-leaf deck. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of his original deck, he is offering both the original deck and an updated 25th anniversary edition on Gamecrafter. Both decks come with additional cards, so you really get two decks in one. Let’s compare the two versions.
The biggest update: names and numbers are removed from the trumps and court cards. This allows more space for a slightly enlarged image. The black border is a tiny bit thicker, making for better contrast. The updated cards have more presence and more visual impact.
Batons are redesigned to feel more medieval. The red and gold make a nice contrast with the other suits.
Having just a little more space makes a big difference to the swords. The hilts have been redesigned to feel more balanced.
In the original deck, several trump cards are very TdM-ish: Strength, Devil, Tower, Star, Moon, and Sun. If you order the original deck from Gamecrafter, you get these six cards from the later version of the deck in addition to the original TdM cards. If you order the 25th anniversary deck, you get the TdM type cards listed above plus six cards in Bolognese style: Emperor, Strength, Death, Star, Moon and Sun. Ninety cards in all, allowing you to switch them out and customize your deck.
Shown here are the three Moon cards: TdM-style with dogs and crayfish, the Bolognese astronomers, and Benedetti’s rendition of the Moon as Artemis.
Both versions of the deck are the same size (2.75 x 4.75 inches) with plain dark red backs (like the original Visconti-Sforza deck) and housed in a dark red tuck box.
I’ve been reading with the older version of the deck for nearly two years. I find the newer design so striking that I’m looking forward to switching.
Gamecrafter – original deck
Gamecrafter – 25th anniversary deck
See all of Marco Benedetti’s decks on his Facebook page
Email Benedetti to arrange for a gold leaf deck in a choice of two sizes: tarot @ Marcobenedetti.it
My 2019 review of the Gamecrafter and the custom printed gold version of Benedetti’s deck