The Tarot Garden is an artistic park situated in Gravicchio, near Pescia Fiorentina (a district of Capalbio city). The garden was created by the French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle, and exhibits statues inspired by the main figures of tarot cards.
In 1979, Niki de Saint Phalle - inspired both by Antonio Gaudì’s Parque Guell and by Bomarzo garden – started the construction of the Tarot garden. The making of the twenty-two impressive statues - made of both steel and concrete, and then covered in glass, mirrors and colorful ceramic - took over seventeen years and the help of several specialized workers and artists (Rico Weber, Sepp Imhof, Paul Wiedmer, Dok van Winsen, Pierre Marie ed Isabelle Le Jeune, Alan Davie, Marino Karella). The one, who contributed the most to the creation of the twenty-two pieces of art, is Jean Tinguely - Niki’s husband, who died in 1991 - making both the metallic structures of the statues and the inbuilt mechanical elements.
Many other artists contributed to the realization of the works of art; among them must be mentioned Ricardo Menon - Niki’s friend and personal assistant; the ceramist Venera Finocchiaro; Marco Zitelli, who realized the smallest sculptures, representing some of the Major Arcana (Temperance, the Lovers, the World, the Hermit, the Oracle, Death andthe Hanged Man, then duplicated in polyester by Robert, Gerard e Olivier Haligon).
The Tarot Garden was finished in the summer of 1996, and was entirely financed by the author herself. In 1997, Niki de Saint Phalle funded the Tarot Garden Foundation, whose aim is to preserve her whole artistic production. On May 15th 1998, the Tarot Garden was opened to the public.