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Grounded: History, Materiality and Myth at the Sacro Bosco of Bomarzo

Allington-Wood, Thalia; (2019) Grounded: History, Materiality and Myth at the Sacro Bosco of Bomarzo. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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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.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Grounded: History, Materiality and Myth at the Sacro Bosco of Bomarzo
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request. - Some third party copyright material has been removed from this e-thesis.
Keywords: sculpture, Renaissance, early modern, reception, materiality, historiography, stone
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History of Art
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10078561
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