The Pictorial Key Tarot is a modernisation of the Rider-Waite Tarot images, very similar in symbolism to the original but not quite a clone. Created in a computer-generated style, the 78 cards are detailed and reasonably lifelike, but have a slightly perfect, plastic look.
The title of this deck does, of course, refer to Arthur E. Waite's accompanying book to the Waite-Smith tarot, as it was published with Pamela Colman Smith's illustrations in 1911. I suppose that Lo Scarabeo will classify it in their "occult tarot' category. The Pictorial Key Tarot' is another unsuccessful - almost painful - attempt to recreate the Waite-Smith Tarot. The designer, in this case I suppose, that Lo Scarabeo means the illustrator' but I am not sure, by name of Davide Corsi, working under the supervision of Lo Scarabeo's editorial team' as the booklet states, has made a deck populated with characters, which give associations to the wax figures exhibited in Madame Tussaud's wax-museum and similar places. Stiff, impersonal figures with dead eyes. Zombies or the living dead, as we can find them popping up in horror films. The most remarkable are the glaring and staring dead eyes. To illustrate this I have enlarged a few of them to be compared with the real thing, Colman Smith's faces from 1909/10. Is The Pictorial Key Tarot' really the result of Lo Scarabeo's supervision? A highly evolved representation of the Pictorial Key', the booklet additionally states. As so often is the case, the text in the booklet is mediocre and unnecessary. I wonder what ideas Lo Scarabeo had for manufacturing this deck? A mass media tarot producer shall, of course, have decks to offer for all sorts of tastes, including bad and maybe it was meant as a competitor to US Games horrible Radiant Tarot'? I really did not expect Lo Scarabeo to use their valuable time to send a deck like this on the market. They have so many exciting projects waiting, so why this one? Pictorial Key - The Emperor Pictorial Key - Comparison.