Having been inspired by visiting Antoni Gaudi's Parque Guell in Barcelona, and this inspiration having been reinforced by a visit to the garden of Bomarzo, Niki de Saint Phalle began the construction of the Giardino dei Tarocchi in 1979, on a half hectare piece of land covered with Mediterranean scrub on the hill of Garavicchio near Capalbio in the Maremma area.
In this garden, Niki de Saint Phalle identified with the magical and spiritual dream of her life, so she went on to create 22 massive figures in steel and cement, covered by glass, mirrors and coloured ceramics, working on them for the following 17 years. She was assisted by a team of famous names of the contemporary art world and most of all by her husband, Jean Tinguely, who died in 1991 and who created the metal structures for the enormous sculptures and who integrated some of them with his mechanic, semi-moving assemblages made of mechanical iron elements.
Completed only in the summer of 1996, the creation of the Garden meant a huge amount of work; in 1997 Niki de Saint Phalle created the Giardino dei Tarocchi Foundation whose aim is to conserve and maintain this work of art. On 15th May 1998, the Giardino dei Tarocchi was opened to the public.