Art History

Giuseppe Arcimboldo – Brings the Seasons to Life

Giuseppe Arcimboldo was an Italian court painter during the 16th century. He was known for his portraits, both traditional and in the surrealist style. His more imaginative pieces, involving the use of objects like fruit, vegetables, etc. to create the heads are what he is best known for. Following in his father’s footsteps by becoming an artist, Giuseppe found a way to create a unique style that was his alone.

At a distance, his still life portraits appear to be normal portraits, but as you look closer you begin to see that the faces are made up of other objects. Some of his most notable pieces n this collection are names after each of the seasons and are built using typical foliage associated with each. In The Librarian, the person’s visage is created using the spines and pages of books. Some people were offended by these works, claiming that they were mocking, but he insisted they were simply a combination of life and nature.

When Giuseppe retired, he was still a popular artist among the Italian court. His paintings were studied and esteemed by other artists worldwide. He is now known as a Mannerist, whose works can currently be seen in museums in most of Europe, including Italy and Sweden. He even has some of his work on display in the Louvre in Paris. Until you are able to get to one of these museums to see his amazing works in person, feel free to browse our Giuseppe Arcimboldo gallery and order a fantastic reproduction of one of his innovative pieces for your own home.

About the Author

Amanda graduated from the University of Kansas, where she studied English literature and got a masters degree in library sciences. She enjoys reading, cooking and playing with her nephews. Her best friend is her little dog Brady.