Monday, August 29, 2011

David Palladini

from Eye Magazine, 1968

It's hard to miss the work of illustrator David Palladini if you're interested in art from the late 1960s & '70s. His beautiful renditions of the Zodiac from 1969 and especially his famous 1970 Aquarian Tarot are everywhere! I'm drawn to his graceful lines and selective use of color; he somehow manages to achieve the perfect blend of simple and ornate, not unlike predecessors Mucha and Beardsley, whose Art Nouveau styles are heavy influences. Often his imagery is referenced back even further, with an eye toward the Medieval and Renaissance and with a style that could easily be a study on paper for stained glass windows.

One of my favorite artists to turn to when I feel stuck, his magical images often help me remember that as long as one is truthful to what speaks inside, there is always originality to emerge and a new voice to be heard.
Looking back leads to looking forward!

“Inspiration is the essence of art. It consists of several meanings – spiritus, Latin for spirit or soul; and inspirae, to breathe in. To breathe in nature and beauty until the spirit fills you up. Just as air is necessary for life, inspiration is necessary for the artist to live.” - David Palladini

Images from A Medical History of Henry VIII found here;
Zodiac images found here;
Aquarian Tarot & Eye Magazine scans from my own collection;
Extended biography found here.


  1. OMG SARA!!! I had these Tarot cards and always wondered who illustrated them!! I got them when I was 19 at a book store in DC. A couple years ago I found out that you are not supposed to get tarot cards for yourself, they must be gifted, so now they live with a dear friend in upstate New York. THANK YOU for posting these! I've missed them!

  2. Awww, that's so cool! I wish my deck were one of the older editions that have the snake on the cardbacks...!! He's so amazing!

  3. Beautiful post,totally love his work..thanks

  4. Hi again Sara,
    Thanks for the comment on the Hapshash post,absolutely adore your blog too,everything on here is right up my street as they say,glad that you found me so that i could find your own artwork is gorgeous, have you ever thought about maybe turning some of the prints into textile designs ?

  5. Yes!! And thanks so much for the nice comment about my art! I would love love - l o v e - to turn some of them into textile designs. I did get one of the feather designs printed up in repeating patterns on one yard of fabric, but I'm definitely interested in learning about other ways to do it... I think it would be so much fun to do a lot more designs like that!

  6. Yeah i think your art would work really well on textiles, it would open up more possibilties and ways for you to explore it too,i'm in Europe so i don't really know of many textile printers in the states except maybe spoonflower (is that the place you tried already ?)

  7. Yeah, spoonflower is what I used to get the one piece printed and it turned out pretty nicely... I should try it again for sure with some others - such a good tool! Aside from that I'll just keep on making things and trying to learn... so glad to have blogs like yours out there for the best possible visual inspiration! xx

  8. I'll look forward to seeing how you get on with that, i'm a fashion designer,a lot of my stuff is very 60s/70s influenced so i'm always interested in seeing new textile designs and i'm sure lots of others would too..maybe you could try getting some more samples/swatches made and then put them up on your Etsy store front,you might get some commissions,if you only made to order it would cut down on your costs and at least you would be paid upfront per order's just an idea but you never know x

  9. see Palladini's new book here: