Arcimboldo (1527-1593)



Giuseppe Arcimboldo is a favorite artist to many.  When I was in Paris in 1996, I got a book on him.  He’s beloved  and considered a forerunner by the Surrealists.  Like Bosch, he’s one of those whose visionary eccentricity crossed a line and went into the beyond.

He was a friend of plants, animals and a student of the natural world.  His work seems to be one version of the breaking down of barriers between the human and natural worlds.

His primary “method of operation” was to create faces out of an assemblage of plants, fruit, animals or objects.  Often, the body (or upper body) was also thus “constructed.” These have much in common with collages and puzzles in ways.  I’m reminded of seeing faces and forms in clouds or in tangled treetops.

Once, he painted a librarian whose form was made out of books.

He did more “mainstream” and “normal” art but he’s remembered for his unique busts and heads.

He’s one of the amazing ones!  I’m still trying to figure his work out.  I wish I could get to the current exhibit in Washington D.C.  If you’re around there or visiting there in the next few weeks, check it out.

the current Exhibition:
more information:

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