Giuseppe Arcimboldo 1527-1593
I almost forgot about this painter! I found him again by accident looking at one on his painting titled The Librarian. I thought the painting was contemporary, to my surprise it was done in 1566!
Giuseppe Arcimboldo was a Renaissance painter. In his youth he worked on the stained glass windows and frescoes of the Cathedral of Milan and later became a portraitist at the court of Vienna and Prague. Even though he was very much appreciated during his time he was forgotten after his death and was rediscovered in the 19th century and got the attention of the Surrealists in the beginning of the 20th century.
I found his paintings disturbing, beautiful and funny at the same time! If you look closely you will see a lettuce, a flower or a carrot, painted with a lot details, and if you go back a couple of feet a portrait will appear! Some are comical, others are really scary, like the judge with a face made of fish and roasted chicken!
He is the painter of the ego: “I am a gardener, I am a judge, I am a librarian and I take myself very seriously!” He represents human beings full of greed and pride and in a way a little pathetic, represented cleverly with dead animals and fruit that will quickly spoil, reminding us of our mortality.
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