The Tarot Garden in Tuscany: A Remarkable Sculpture Garden in Italy by Sheri B Doyle
For almost 20 years Niki de Saint Phalle was consumed with the idea of building a sculpture garden based on the Tarot. In 1978, on land her brothers donated from their farms in Tuscany, Italy, Niki began to build the masterpiece she had dreamed of for so long. Using the Egyptian style of molding and creating ceramics, usually right on the sculptures, then combining them with mirror and glass, her vision came to life.
Now in the hills of Tuscany, her massive sculptures rise out of the trees reflecting the Tuscan sun at The Tarot Garden. Early in her adulthood Niki was deeply moved by Gaudi’s work while visiting Spain. His inspiration is obvious in each of her otherworldly depictions of the symbolic figures present in Tarot card decks. The figures are a mixture of bright colors, unusual shapes and creative designs.
One of the biggest sculptures is The Empress, home to Niki de saint Phalle for seven years as she worked with professional artists and locals to realize her dream. Standing inside it is hard to imagine how one woman could be so incredibly creative. After spending many hours there, constantly in awe, I was so grateful that despite her battles with rheumatoid arthritis and other health issues, she persevered and left a garden full of wonder for the world to see.
The Tarot Garden is open yearly from April to October.
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