The Fascinating Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s Portraits Made out Of Fruits, Vegetables and Fish, 1563-1591
“Vertumnus – Rudolf II,” depicts Rudolph II (1552-1612), Holy Roman Emperor from 1576, as Vertumnus, the ancient Roman god of seasons who presided over gardens and orchards. 1590.
Giuseppe Arcimboldo was an Italian painter best known for creating imaginative portrait heads made entirely of such objects as fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, and books – that is, he painted representations of these objects on the canvas arranged in such a way that the whole collection of objects formed a recognizable likeness of the portrait subject.
These works form a distinct category from his other productions. He was a conventional court painter of portraits for three Holy Roman Emperors in Vienna and Prague, also producing religious subjects and, among other things, a series of coloured drawings of exotic animals in the imperial menagerie.
“Spring,” from the Four Seasons series. 1573.
“Summer,” from the Four Seasons series. 1563.
“Autumn,” from the Four Seasons series. 1573.
“Winter,” from the Four Seasons series. 1563.
“Earth,” one of the four images in the Elements series. 1570.
“Fire,” one of the four images in the Elements series. 1566.
“Water,” one of the four images in the Elements series. 1566.
“Air,” one of the four images in the Elements series. 1566.
“The Vegetable Gardener.” 1590.
“The Cook.” When viewed upside down, the suckling pigs resemble the head of the cook. 1570.
“Reversible Head with Basket of Fruit.”
“The Librarian.” 1566.
“The Four Seasons in One Head.” 1590.
The Jurist, 1566.
The Waiter, 1574.