From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bomarzo is a town and comune of the province of Viterbo (Lazio, central Italy), in the lower valley of the Tiber. It is located 14.5 km ENE of Viterbo and 68 km NNW of Rome.
Its current name is a derivation of Polymartium, first mentioned in the Historia Langobardorum by Paulus Diaconus. The etymology "polis martium", city of Mars, suggests a Roman origin. However, archeological evidence for a Roman city has not been found so far.
It was a historical fiefdom of the Orsini family, whose castle is at the edge of the densely-built town, until it was sold to Ippolito Lante Montefeltro della Rovere in 1645. Lante was elevated to the title of Duke of Bomarzo.
Bomarzo's main attraction is a garden, usually referred to as the Bosco Sacro (Sacred grove) or, locally, Bosco dei Mostri ("Monsters' Grove"), named after the many larger-than-life sculptures, some sculpted in the bedrock, which populate this predominantly barren landscape.
It is the work of Pier Francesco Orsini, called Vicino (1528–1588), a condottiero or mercenary and a patron of the arts, was greatly devoted to his wife Giulia Farnese, daughter of Galeazzo Farnese, Duke of Latera, (not to be confused with Giulia Farnese) and when she died, he created the gardens. The design has been attributed to Pirro Ligorio, a well known architect and antiquarian of the time.
The park of Bomarzo was intended not to please, but to astonish, and like many Mannerist works of art, its symbolism is arcane; for example, one large sculpture is of one of Hannibal's war elephants, which mangles a Roman legionary, and another is a statue of Ceres lounging on the bare ground, with a vase of "fruits of the earth" perched on her head.
The many monstrous statues appear to be unconnected to any rational plan and appear to have been strewn almost randomly about the area, sol per sfogare il Core ("just to set the heart free") as one inscription on an obelisk says.
Enigmatic verses in Italian by Annibale Caro, Bitussi and Cristoforo Madruzzo, some of them now eroded, were inscribed onto stone beside the sculptures.
The reason for the layout and design of the garden is largely unknown: perhaps they were meant as a foil to the perfect symmetry and layout of the great Renaissance gardens nearby at Villa Farnese at Caprarola and Villa Lante at Bagnaia. Next to a formal exedra is a tilting building, the so-called Casa Storta or Twisted House.
A small octagonal temple was added about twenty years later to honor Orsini's wife, Giulia Farnese.
During the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth, the garden became overgrown and neglected but in the 1970s a program of restoration was implemented by the Bettini family, and today the garden, which remains private property, is a major tourist attraction. It is unfortunate that in recent years, a number of the stone sculptures have had fences put around them. Whilst this may deter visitors from climbing on them, it has the effect of making them more remote from their natural setting.
The surreal nature of the Parco dei Mostri appealed to Jean Cocteau and the great surrealist Salvador Dalí, who discussed it at great length. The poet André Pieyre de Mandiargues wrote an essay devoted to Bomarzo. Niki de Saint Phalle was inspired by Bomarzo when she created her Tarot Garden in Tuscany. The story behind Bomarzo and the life of Pier Francesco Orsini are the subject of a novel by the Argentinian writer Manuel Mujica Láinez (1910–1984), Bomarzo (1962). Mujica Láinez himself wrote a libretto based on his novel, which was set to music by Alberto Ginastera (1967). The opera Bomarzo premièred in Washington in 1967 but in Argentina it was banned by the military dictatorship. The Dutch magic-surrealist painter Carel Willink used several of the park's statue groups in his paintings, e.g. The Eternal Cry and Balance of Forces.
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Sergiom (45810) 2011-12-16 5:02
L'arbuste porte fièrement ses couleurs d'automne et guide le regard vers cette construction derrière, ce qui donne une belle profondeur à l'image. La lumière en diagonale fait bien ressortir les couleurs.
snunney (73000) 2011-12-16 6:29
The beautifully lit autumn foliage makes a superb frame for the dominating castle perched on top of the hill. Excellent technical presentation.
saxo042 (33984) 2011-12-16 6:35
A very pleasant picture with a fine collection of different colours. Interesting note and an attractive view.
Guenther (10909) 2011-12-16 6:39
bella immagine autunnale, buona resa dei colori caldi nonstante le difficili condizioni di luce...
Buon fine sttimana
lakshmip1949 (19110) 2011-12-16 6:45
I like the way the light is glittering on the building giving it a nice golden color. Beautiful autumn scene with many colors. great sharp image.
DjoleEric (0) 2011-12-16 10:42
Excellent work with nice view of the architecture.
Excellent choice of vertical format.
bracasha75 (24481) 2011-12-16 11:34
One great winter picture with some great sun rays
mesutilgim (73148) 2011-12-16 11:42
Wonderfull autumny capture with perfect layout and amazing autumny colors.
TFS and have a nice weekend
mauro61 (52545) 2011-12-16 12:54
immagine ben illuminata dalla luce calda del sole.
Mi piace il contrasto tra il grande albero rossiccio e il blocco di edifici a monte,
Clementi (52514) 2011-12-16 13:34
bella cattura del palazzo di Bomarzo, bellissimi i colori autunnali.
emka (64464) 2011-12-16 14:24
The castle is in beautiful light but this autumn trees makes the show here. Exfellent presentation of the interesting place.
Have a nice weekend
Sonata11 (31299) 2011-12-16 19:32
A very interesting and effective shot. Silvio, you chosen fantastic POV with great management of light, colors, sharpness, clarity. I like this picture. Beautiful comp and framework as well. I love it. Thanks for sharing.
I cordially greet,
JFS (32453) 2011-12-17 0:24
Bella natura e bella archittettura. Composizione ricca di elementi. Mi piace molto.
Buon fine de settimana!
dkmurphys (42697) 2011-12-17 6:01
A very beautiful composition from that impressive place. I like the elements of your image, well seen.
Have a nice afternoon.
siamesa (27461) 2011-12-18 9:54
Boa tarde Silvio
Amazing composition. The warm colors are really beautifuls.This tree is the star.TFS
adores (30965) 2011-12-18 17:54
A really nice composition in layers - stones, trees, buildings, sky. I like your pov and colours are great, as well as the sun light reflecting on the buildings.
pierrefonds (51144) 2011-12-31 5:08
The trees are framing well the buildings. The point of view is showing the details and colors of the architecture of the builsings. The afternoon light has a good effect on the colors. Have a nice day.
baddori (19133) 2012-08-17 23:06
I due mesi di travaglio (nasceva mio nipote).
La nota è stupenda, la parola "meraviglia" viene definita madre delle più scatenanti passioni, (in tema con una ricerca lettura di ieri.
Gli alberi , il grottesco.
Da passarci una vita.
Grazie per foto , nota e condivisione.