August 18, 2020

POSTED BY

Jose Fresan

CATEGORY

Pamela Colman Smith: The Illustrator Behind The Tarot Cards

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The creation of the most famous Tarot deck is always credited to two men: A. E. Waite, the occultist and William Rider, the publisher, but it was a woman who developed the beautiful and unique illustrations that identify the cards. Pamela Colman Smith was born in Middlesex, England on February …

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The creation of the most famous Tarot deck is always credited to two men: A. E. Waite, the occultist and William Rider, the publisher, but it was a woman who developed the beautiful and unique illustrations that identify the cards.

Pamela Colman Smith was born in Middlesex, England on February 16, 1878, to American parents. Thought out her life she travelled in between Jamaica, New York and London. As an artist in London, she surrounded herself with the likes of Edy and Gordon Craig, Bram Stoker, Jack Yeats, Henry Irving, J.M. Barrie, Arthur M. Ransome, Archibald Russell, and Alfred Marcus Ward. She created diverse pieces of art for plays, posters, publications, etc.

Pixie, as she was usually called by her friends, joined the Order of the Golden Dawn at the age of 31. Her life ling interest in the occult had led her to join the Order and there she met Arthur E. Waite, who put her in charge of illustrator the most famous Tarot Card deck: The Rider-Waite-Smith Card.

With the occultist guidance of Waite, she created the illustrations for the 78 cards, major and minor arcana included. Her beautiful use of colour and composition has made The Rider-Waite-Smith Card Set the most visually striking and also the most practical in terms of actually reading the cards. Her attention to detail shows a great sense of passion towards the tarot and its symbology.

Pixie’s contribute to the tradition of Tarot card reading is unmeasurable, since the art of tarot reading is based on a symbolic visual language that was brought to life by her and her collaboration with Waite.

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency