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SPRING - Giuseppe Arcimboldo style

Giuseppe Arcimboldo (5 April 1526 – 11 July 1593) was a successful court painter charged with recording the likenesses of three Holy Roman Emperors in Vienna and Prague. He also painted religious scenes, vanity pieces, and a series of coloured drawings of exotic animals in the Imperial menagerie.

BUT his name has been immortalised in his fantastically beautiful and grotesque arrangements of fruits, animals, landscapes, or various inanimate objects moulded into human forms, like this luscious, ebullient and witty depiction of Spring.

Some contemporary critics believed he was insane, but Arcimboldo had a perceptive understanding of his time - and knew how to feed the jaded appetite of the Court. Like Leonardo's lion, these bizarre portraits were meant to be curiosities, whimsies to amuse, but later critics have suggested that they deftly attuned with Renaissance Neo-Platonism and the intellectual interests of Arcimboldo's time.

Whatever your opinion on his intentions, Arcimboldo's 'Spring' is joyous.


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