Renaissance Art & Golden Tarot


The Female Pope vs. The High Priestess

My deck is intended to be a Renaissance-style deck with modern readability, and this card was one where the historical and modern interpretations required a bit of juggling. Surprisingly, it ended up being one of my personal favourites when I finally finished with it.

I'm not a christian, so perhaps that's why I can be fascinated by the Pope Joan idea without seeing it at odds in any way with more pre-christian female authority figures.

I ended up going for a figure that's clearly papal, but includes a madonna figure and non-christian female sybolism (a cat, for example). I hope people can see whichever they prefer in it (female pope or high priestess).

It's one of the few cards from the to-be-published version that I've got on my site:

Hopefully the new cards will all appear on the site very shortly, although they won't be very big thanks to commercial piracy of the original (grrrrr.)



I've seen your cards before and I'm very impressed. They're an odd blend of neo-Renaissance style and modern sensibility, executed at a highly professional level. Your familiarity with and mastery of the pictorial vocabulary of gothic and Renaissance art is especially noteworthy.

Are you perhaps a professional commercial artist, working in some phase of computer graphics? Somewhere, maybe not on this thread but perhaps on one of the "creating your own" forums, I'd like to learn more about the specific techniques you used to put your pictures together. Is there any of what musicians call "sampling" going on here?


Renaissance Images, Modern Interpretation

Hi Dave,

Thanks for your kind words about Golden Tarot.

You think my blending of Renaissance pics with modern design is "odd" though? Bummer! I was aiming for it to be inconspicuous and subtle ;)

You're right that we should start another thread about technique, which I'm more than happy to discuss:

Perhaps this is an appropriate spot keep a thread for any other comments about Renaissance vs Modern images & symbolism? I'm guessing I'll have to face quite a few such questions once the deck's out there.


I do believe this is a very appropriate place to discuss Renaissance symbolism, for the essence of Tarot symbolism and iconography lies, at least to my mind, precisely in this important topic.

To make it clear for thread ease-of-reference, it would be useful to maybe have different threads for different symbols discussed (of course cross-references will occur).

I'm very much looking forward to such discussions, and hope many participate.