Humanities and Arts

‘Impressions so alien’: the afterlives of the Sacro Bosco at Bomarzo

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The history of a garden is a narrative constructed on the basis of factual evidence, but also shaped by shifting ideological pressures and historical circumstances over the long durée of its existence. The study of the reception or afterlife of a particular garden allows us to see how it changed over time, was reformulated by its visitors, and how these changes have influenced its subsequent interpretations.1 Despite this widely shared understanding, the afterlife of the Sacro Bosco at Bomarzo has received little critical attention, though its complex historiography was inseparably tied to political and social shifts in twentieth-century Italy.