Arcimboldo: an artist who is famous for his plant illustrations

Published on : 29 October 20213 min reading time
Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Arcimboldi or Arcimboldus is a painter who made a name for himself with his numerous paintings, predominantly of vegetation. He became known in the 1560s. His artistic style challenged the norms of painting at that time. And it was precisely this originality that pushed him to the top of the podium.

The story of Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Giuseppe Arcimboldo was born in Milan in 1527 into a family of painters. He was first trained by his father in the art of making stained glass and tapestries. He then moved to Prague and became the portraitist of the imperial family, where he painted classical portraits of its sovereign members. He also designed various costumes and sets. His fantastical paintings, especially the series of the four seasons, made a lasting mark on his time. He returned to Italy and died on 11 July 1593 at the age of 66.

The artworks of Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Giuseppe Arcimboldo was a Mannerist painter who made portraits of plants, animals or inanimate objects. The ones that made him most famous are the works in the Four Seasons series, which depict a portrait of someone made from vegetables and plants, each corresponding to a season. There is Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. But there are also other works with vegetable compositions such as Vertumne, one of the most well-known, L’Ortolano, La Primavera, Four Seasons in One Head and the Allegorical Portrait. In addition, the artworks are composed of the four elements: Air, Water, Fire and Earth. There are also pieces composed of objects such as The Librarian and The Cook. Furthermore, there are other classical portraits of the imperial family which have given him a certain notoriety..

The inspiration he gave to future artists

Giuseppe Arcimboldo truly revolutionised the art of his time. He also inspired numerous modern and contemporary artists. His art, which combined man with nature, inspired major artists such as Picasso, Bacon, Duchamp and Picabia. It was particularly in the 16th century that his artistic style reached the European continent. There are also artists of all eras who are inspired by him, such as Victor Brauner, who painted a portrait of Hitler with blades, daggers and swords, Tim Noble, Magritte, Bernard Pras are artists of the 20th century, … Giuseppe Arcimboldo has passed on a great legacy to future generations, which has enabled them to perceive art in a completely different light.

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