I think it really might be the most beautiful deck in the world. Ever time I look through it I'm simply astonished by its delicacy and grace. I also love the mix of simplicity in presentation and incredible detail.
I can understand why this deck isn't more popular. It's "non-traditional". To begin with it is a "Tarocchino", a deck that has the 2-5 pips removed. Also, being a deck from Bologna, the "Popes" are different than the more common tarot decks. Instead of a Popess, Empress, Emperor, and Pope, we have a Bearded Emperor, Emperor, Seated Pope, and Standing Pope.
Other subjects are non-traditional as well.
The Bateleur is a street performer; The Lovers is shown with just Cupid, or "Love"; The Chariot has a seated Venus; "The Hermit" here is the older subject of "Time"; rather than a Hanged Man, we have a very scary Traitor; The Devil has no minions; "The Tower" goes by it's old subject of The Lightening; a rag picker searches (with lantern!) under The Star; Diana is The Moon; Apollo The Sun; Atlas The World; and finally, instead of "Judgement" we have the older subject of "The Angel".
For me, these unusual subjects have a very natural feeling to them. I really like the "classical" feel of this deck. I like the elegance and nobility of the characters. Somehow, I feel less distracted when looking at the subjects than I do with any other deck that comes to mind.
Yet, the deck is very detailed. Every card is so lovingly crafted, there is an abundance of detail to savor. This is true for the pips as well.
There is so much to explore in this deck, I think it's very worthy of a good discussion. I've placed the entire deck here for you to view:
This is the version by Dal Negro, http://www.dalnegro.com/catalogc.do?idc ... 4=&idp=100 which I highly recommend. It is available from Tarot Garden,House of Tarot, and Alida
Please join me in exploring the iconography of this treasure. What do you like? How do your thoughts when viewing these images differ from when viewing more traditional tarots? What details do you find interesting? What do you think of some of the choices Mitelli made?