“I started this site in particular to widen the audience for artwork of an under-rated and little-known period. I love late medieval artwork, and I think a lot of other people will too if they just get to see it. Most of these paintings are in European churches, and very few of us will see them in real life. The pictures have been manipulated in order to make them suitable for this tarot deck, but they are based on the real thing.
Most of the images used are from 1300 – 1500AD, a fascinating period both in history and art. The extensive use of gold leaf at this time, as well as experimentation with perspective and use of light and shadow make for some very beautiful pictures. You can see the first beginnings of the Renaissance – striving for reality rather than the stylised representations typical of the earlier medieval period.
Much of the material I have used here is of a style and period known as International Gothic – although this term is a relatively modern one used to describe that which evolved into what we call the Renaissance. I’m no purist, however, so I’ve certainly stepped outside the confines of what academics define as International Gothic, if a picture is from the appropriate period and suits the deck.
The cutoff point for me is a stylistic one rather than an actual year – although I have only used work that is over 500 years old. I have avoided more modern (realistic) Renaissance painters even if their work was before 1500AD. That’s not to say High Renaissance Art wouldn’t make a beautiful tarot deck – just not THIS tarot deck. Also, I like to avoid images that are already familiar to people (such as the work of Bottecelli, Da Vinci and Michelangelo). Part of the joy I get from my collage work is gaining recognition for original artworks that are not widely known but deserve to be.
Golden Tarot has been collaged completely from artwork of the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance.
From a time of violence, pestilence and oppression came poignant images of gentle beauty and human frailty.
They speak to me of a truth that is timeless, and hope that flowers even in the darkest conditions. I hope that they also speak to you”.
Golden Tarot has been voted one of the Top Ten Tarot Decks of All Time in 2004, 2005 and 2006, 2007 and 2008 at Aecletic Tarot Forum.
The Golden Tarot Deck & Companion Book are published by US Games Systems.
Kat Black, artist/author of Golden Tarot