The Handmade Art of Tarot Cards

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In a dusty, crowded shop in Milan, Italy, artist Osvaldo Menegazzi toils, as he has for decades, designing intricate decks of tarot cards. Every card a handmade work of art, Mengazzi draws and paints each one, starting with Death.

Even the location of his shop has meaning, as the origins of tarot are thought to be Milanese with the oldest surviving cards dating to the mid-15th century. For Menegazzi, whether you believe in the power of the cards or not, they speak.

The process, Menegazzi shares, isn’t always in his control. The images on his cards are often inspired by history, and ideas can appear without warning.Sometimes he finds himself stopping and sketching during a walk through the streets of Milan, or even while dining at a restaurant.

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But most of the work takes place in his shop, where he has a studio space full of paints, brushes, cardstock and discarded designs.Since Menegazzi researches every theme, some decks take up to a year to develop and print.

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