Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Art on This Day

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Giuseppe Arcimboldo was an Italian painter best known for creating imaginative portrait heads made entirely of objects such as fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, and books.
At a distance, his portraits looked like normal portraits however, each portrait were actually made of individual objects overlapping together to make various anatomical shapes of a human.
The paintings were carefully constructed by his imagination with each object related by characterization. In the portrait now represented by several copies called The Librarian, Arcimboldo used objects that signified the book culture at that time, such as the curtain that created individual study rooms in a library. The animal tails, which became the beard of the portrait, were used as dusters. By using everyday objects, the portraits were decoration and still-life paintings at the same time. His works showed not only nature and human beings, but also how closely they were related.