Friday, November 24, 2017

Monster Park, Or, What Were They Thinking In 1552?

So in 1552, the mercenary soldier Vicino Orsini was grieving for his dearly departed wife, Giuia Farnese, and decided to build a Mannerist park below his castle at Bomarzo to distract himself. He engaged the designer Pirro Ligorio and the sculptor Simone Moschino. What resulted became known as the "Park of Monsters," aka Gardens of Bomarzo. Its symbolism, themes, messages, whatever, apparently were fairly arcane even for 1552, and are now very thin vapor indeed, but Monster Park certainly contrasts nicely with the structure and orderliness and beauty of various nearby Renaissance gardens. In any case, it all dissipated and fell apart in the following centuries, until rediscovered by, among others, Salvador Dali, who made a film about it. (Really Thai'd things together for me). It is now a minor tourist destination, not far from Rome. Making sense of it is beyond the scope of this or any other work, but there is a nice Wikipedia article at The pix speak for themselves mostly, sort of.

Bomarzo, castle

Required reading; click to enlarge

"Welcome to Monster Park"

Leaning House

Us in the Leaning House; thank you, Clemson student


Hannibal's Elephants vs. Roman Legions

Signature piece

Rare view from inside

Dragon and lion

Again, in its setting

In England, this would be the Folly; here it is another in a park
of follies; neat place, nonetheless, especially if you're in the
right frame of mind...

1 comment:

Tawana said...

You guys find the most interesting and sometimes bizarre things on your travels.