Giardino dei Tarocchi, part two

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This time in the fabulous Giardino dei Tarocchi (Garden of Tarot) we will take a closer look at the Empress. She looms like a giant sphinx at the top of the hill, brooding secrets and enclosing unexpected spaces.

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The Empress of the Tarot deck of cards is associated with mothering, fertility and abundance. Comfort, pleasure and sensuality. Health, nature and power.

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She is queen of heaven, the great goddess, and nurturing mother. Do an image search to see how the Empress has been portrayed through the centuries. Niki de Saint Phalle’s version may seem to differ from tradition at a first glance, but the more you look, the more associations and characteristics you find.

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Inside her starry blue veil a staircase leads up to a more classic Empress figure, holding a sceptre and a shield with the heraldic eagle of the Holy Roman Empire.

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Around a window an army of Venuses are being born out of their shells.

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A door opens and we are invited in to meet the blue cat and some other strange animals.

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Inside the large room the walls and ceiling are completely covered in mirror glass mosaics. It is like entering a huge kaleidoscope. Slowly your eyes adjust and you distinguish furniture, a dining table and fixed benches around the walls.

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The kitchen reveals actual prosaic use of this house. I was thinking maybe school classes were allowed to heat food here if they had travelled far. Or?

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But no. It turned out this was Niki de Saint Phalle’s home during the build of the garden. What an extraordinary place to call home!

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Downstairs a bathroom, and upstairs maybe a bedroom?

The work on this garden was begun in 1978 and it opened to the public in 1998. Did she live here the whole time? For twenty years? I don’t know. But walking around her creation, this beautiful, batty and magnificent garden, you feel how much she loved this place.

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Go to Giardino dei Tarocchi, part 1.

2 comments on “Giardino dei Tarocchi, part two

  1. bländad says:

    Vilket arbete – ett helt livsverk! Mycket pill och ingen brist på idéer.
    Och så färger förstås!

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