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Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Giuseppe Arcimboldo (also spelled Arcimboldi; 1527 – July 11, 1593) was an Italian painter best known for creating imaginative portrait heads made entirely of such objects as fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, and books. Tthat is, he painted representations of these objects on the canvas arranged in such a way that the whole collection of objects formed a recognisable likeness of the portrait subject.

In his youth he trained and worked with his father painting church walls.

In 1562 he became court portraitist to Maximilian II at the Habsburg court in Vienna, and later, to his son Rudolf II at the court in Prague. He was also the court decorator and costume designer. King Augustus of Saxony, who visited Vienna in 1570 and 1573, saw Arcimboldo’s work and commissioned a copy of his “The Four Seasons” which incorporates his own monarchic symbols.

The bizarre works of Arcimboldo, especially his multiple images, were rediscovered in the early 20th century by Surrealist artists like Salvador Dalí.

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