The Arthur Rackham Oracle Cards

Arthur Rackham Oracle 01 Card Set

The Arthur Rackham Oracle Cards is a self-published deck by Doug Thornsjo through his company, Duck Soup Productions. It’s one of several in his Playroom Oracles series. The oracle deck is conceived by Thornsjo using public domain prints of Arthur Rackham’s illustrations.

Arthur Rackham was an English illustrator with an artistic style that is now considered iconic of the late Victorian and Edwardian eras. Rackham drew with pen and ink (my personal favorite in terms of media for tarot art), watercolor, and–as was common for many Western book illustrators of the time– blended European traditions with Japanese wood block art. You see this same influence in the illustrations of Pamela Colman Smith (who illustrated the RWS deck by A. E. Waite).

Most of Rackham’s art appeared in illustrated fairytale books, from Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm (1900, republished 1909), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1908), and Peer Gynt (1936), which were three books that Thornsjo took most of the imagery for this oracle deck from.

This oracle deck is easily one of my favorites in its execution. I love the keywords, the italicized captions, the layout design for the cards, the selected Rackham illustrations, and the balanced levels of intelligence and creative artistry.

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