Queen Califia’s Magical Circle, Part III

Queen Califia’s Magical Circle is the only American sculpture garden, and the last major international project created by Niki de Saint Phalle.

In part II, I told you I’d be focusing on de Saint Phalle’s shades of blue. Under the giant eagle that supports Queen Califia, there’s a domed temple adorned with celestial symbols in gorgeous blue tiles….





I almost had to tone these photos down, the blues were so vivid.





In addition, there are these plaques from another sculpture garden by de Saint Phalle, the Tarot Garden in Tuscany.


A mosaic bench outside the dome.


The artist worked on this creation right up until her death in 2002, at age 71. She developed severe lung problems after years of inhaling fumes from the polystyrene that she used. De Saint Phalle also had rheumatoid arthritis, which made it hard for her to walk. A move to San Diego helped with the lung problems, but de Saint Phalle died of emphysema on May 21.


On our way out, we walked outside the garden where I took one last shot of Califia. De Saint Phalle began work on Queen Califia in 2000. After her death, completion was supervised by Niki’s granddaughter, Bloum Cardenas, and her assistants.

Great weekend, everyone!


About pearlsandprose

Photography. With a little life thrown in.
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10 Responses to Queen Califia’s Magical Circle, Part III

  1. Susan says:

    What a contribution to the world of art she left as her legacy !

  2. Caroline says:

    Those blues are magical.

  3. anroworld says:

    Fantastic! Happy weekend!

  4. What a great post again again about her work. The blue is just magnificant how you captures it. Did I tell you that i live on a street called Califia.

  5. Mrs. Spock says:

    Simply WOW. This photo-essay was a tour de force by Ms. Pearl, as well as by Niki de Saint Phalle. Congratulations to BOTH women!

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