Photographer's Note

Orlando and the little shepherd - Sacro Bosco - Bomarzo (VT)

The Sacred Wood, better known as the Park of Monsters for the presence of grotesque sculptures scattered in a surreal landscape, is the oldest sculpture park in the modern world.
It was designed by the architect Pirro Ligorio, famous for completing St. Peter's after Michelangelo's death, commissioned by Prince Pier Francesco Orsini, known as Vicino.
Orsini had the park "Sol to vent the heart" built and dedicated it to the memory of his beloved wife, Giulia Farnese, not to be confused with the more famous and dissolute concubine of Pope Alexander VI Borgia of the same name.
A gigantic figure, the largest statue in the park, is engaged in a savage fight with another, who appears unsuccessful, about to be quartered. The subject of this sculptural group has been the subject of much debate and numerous interpretations.

There you can read an inscription that enhances its monumentality, but does not help to understand its meaning:

SE RODI ALTIER GI FV DEL SVO COLOSSO
PVR DI QVEST'IL MIO BOSCO ANCHO SI GLORIA
E PER PIV NON POTER FO QVANT'IO POSSO

(If Rhodes boasted of the Colossus about him / Even my wood is proud of this / and not being able to more, I do what I can)
According to some interpretations it represents the struggle of two giants, identified as Hercules and Cacus.
In Bredekamp's opinion, the main figure represents Orlando intent on possessing a girl, specifically an Amazon as she is breastless.
In reality, as witnessed by a letter from Vicino Orsini to Giovanni Drouet, it depicts Orlando wandering naked, in the throes of madness due to his passion for Angelica, and who tears up a shepherd boy he had met on his way:
and the more he bares his arms,
the bar yes, which tears it up in two pieces;
in the way you see sometimes
make yourself of an aeron, make yourself of a chicken,

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 20063 W: 130 N: 42347] (222889)
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  • Date Taken: 2022-06-14
  • Exposure: 30
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  • Date Submitted: 2022-06-15 1:55
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Additional Photos by Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 20063 W: 130 N: 42347] (222889)
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