I cannot believe it’s taken me until 2021 to share my thoughts on the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg. This deck was first published back in 1992 and was among my first and earliest collection of tarot decks. I loved this deck so much. It’s one of those decks that summon up the perfect atmosphere when doing public tarot readings.
These are Russian Palekh miniature paintings done by Yury Shakov (July 15, 1937 – March 10, 1989). Palekh miniature painting is a form of folk lacquer art done with tempera paints and varnish. Shakov specialized in this particular medium and the artwork on the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg was his final commissioned work before he died. However, I also read that he didn’t finish this deck, and that another artist picked up where Shakov left off to complete these paintings.
In the Majors, you’ll find historical and cultural references. The Hierophant, for instance, features Saint Duke Vladimir holding a scepter and a Russian Orthodox cross.