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Title: Grounded : history, materiality and myth at the Sacro Bosco of Bomarzo
Author: Allington-Wood, Thalia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7970 7067
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis considers the relationship between history, materiality and myth in the Sacro Bosco of Bomarzo (c.1550-1580), a site that encompasses roughly three hectares of woodland filled with carved peperino sculptures of monsters and marvels. Frequently framed as an outlier, Bomarzo's position within studies of Italian Renaissance garden design has always been uncomfortable. This thesis provides a detailed consideration of the Sacro Bosco's long history through the lens of art history and the site's beholders, both within the sixteenth century and in key moments of its subsequent reception. In doing so this thesis opens up the study of Bomarzo to questions and concerns beyond that of attribution, iconography and patronage. Instead, interpretative frames grounded in the interests and concerns of the site's intended visitors, from antiquarianism and popular forms of literature to natural history and geologic disasters, situate the Sacro Bosco in the complex social and cultural matrix from which it was produced and in which it was received. In particular, a case is made for the central role of the immediate physical surroundings--the area's history, geology and topography--when seeking to understand the space. It is a site that should be seen as engaging with regional concerns. In focussing on the site's afterlife, moreover, this thesis is interested in how canons have been formed within Garden and Landscape Studies and Renaissance Art History, and how the past is reinterpreted at different moments according to shifting political agendas, and social and cultural horizons.
Supervisor: Loh, M. ; Wright, A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available