The Orsini Insanity
I finally completed my new series. Here is my statement about it...
In 1547, Prince Vicino Orsini commissioned work to begin on a park filled with twenty four natural bedrock-sculpted art pieces. Most of these are based on grotesque figures of mythological origin that were important during this time period. The park, currently considered by many to be the first theme park, was called Bosco Sacro. It is known today as “Monster Park”, located in Bomarzo, Italy. It eventually became dedicated to the loving memory of his wife, Giulia Farnese, who died in 1560 before the park was completed. The Prince commissioned Pirro Ligorio, well-known at the time for finishing St. Peter’s Basilica after Michelangelo died, to create these sculptures.
Legend has it that the heart-broken Prince had lost his sanity soon after his wife’s death, and changed the park’s creation to reflect his state of mind. This may have been his way of conveying his sense of anguish, or the confusion and dizziness of this experience within his head.
Inspired by Prince Orsini’s artistic vision, I have attempted here to present a modern adaptation of a dreamland journey through the course of his insanity. The distorted pieces contained within this series are composited versions of many of the original twenty four Ligorio works.
The story of the insanity begins with our hero, the proud figure of a man, Hercules, dreaming of the loss of his beloved wife. During the course of his dreams, the man barehanded slaughters Cacus. He must also avoid the echo and terrorizing scream of the Orc Mouth of Hell. Around this mouth of this orc are the words: “Abandon all thought, ye who enter here.” There are encounters with Jupiter and Neptune. The fortified elephant of Hannibal is found carrying the unconscious body of a legionnaire. He passes Cerberus, the three headed dog, guardian of hell; a winged Dragon; a clash between Pegasus and the winged Fury; and Ceres, the goddess patron of Rome.
Our hero’s journey ends consumed with the tortured images of women. The final vision is that of Glaucus, the fisherman who became Proteus, the Marine God, after eating a magical herb. Here, Proteus is dreamed swallowing the tortured eyes of his wife.
You can see the rest of this gallery on my website here. You can also buy the ebook version from my website here.. Enjoy!