XIII Tarot by Nekro

Written by  on November 24, 2015 

The XIII Tarot is very literally a dark deck; illustrated in greys and blacks with highlights in red. The artwork on the major arcana is a little gothic and a little Giger-esque, while the minor arcana have simple arranged pips without scenes.
There is an ongoing trend among tarot publishers for creating decks that showcase the works of artists. They range from such well-known painters as Gustav Klimt, Alphonse Mucha, and Salvador Dali to well-known fantasy artists and illustrators such as Nicoletta Ceccoli, Anne Stokes, Joseph Vargo, and now Spanish and digital artist Nekro.
Nekro has a consistent body of work so there is a better sense of continuity with these images then in many other showcase decks. Nekro’s works are generally monochromatic photo compositions highlighted with splashes of colour – in the case of the VIII Tarot – shades of gray with flashes of blood red. Readers of fantasy novels may be familiar with many of Nekro’s, illustrations – a hybrid of Steampunk meets Bram Stoker’s Dracula (the movie) – a style both Gothic and Baroque with an undercurrent of biomechanics. Nekro’s artworks are heavily detailed and close inspection of his images revealed just how finely and elaborately embellished each image is. Use of desaturated colour gives his works a slightly sinister air and an aura of gloom and mystery.
This is a 78 card deck with 22 Major Arcana and 22 Minor Arcana – only the Major Arcana and the Court cards are fully illustrated. The Minor Arcana are pip cards – Cups are depicted as hourglasses, Swords as curved daggers, Wands are crow’s skulls, and Pentacles are depicted as keys. Each card Has an elaborate frame with the suit symbol in the corners. The title of each card (in small white print) is given in four languages – Spanish in the top left-hand corner, English top right, French lower left corner, and German bottom right. The Major Arcana have Roman numerals framed at the centre-top, as well as their titles in each corner. The Major Arcana have no renamed cards, and the Court cards are titled Page, Knight, Queen, and King. The image on the back, a feline or perhaps Dragon surrounded by Rococo curlicues, is not reversible.

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