Niki de Saint Phalle was a French-American sculptor, painter and filmmaker. She was one of the few female artists widely known for monumental sculptures. She had no formal education in art, but throughout her career she collaborated with several well-known contemporary artists, writers and composers, such as Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, composer John Cage, and architect Mario Botta.
After a visit to Antoni Gaudí’s Parc Güell in Barcelona in 1955, Saint Phalle was inspired to use various materials, found objects, strong colors and mosaic-like fields, which later became essential elements in her own art production. She is perhaps best known for her so-called “Nana” figures; light-hearted, whimsical, colorful, large-scale sculptures of animals, monsters, and female figures. Le Grand Rossignol is a good example of this. The sculpture is one of