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Arcimboldo Giuseppe

Written by Brett Nelson

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Posted on February 20 2020

While the name 'Arcimboldo Giuseppe' may not roll off the tongues of many modern people, many of these very same people are familiar with his very distinctive work. Many people in museums are drawn to his truly unforgettable portraits. Arcimboldo Giuseppe is famous for portraits in which the subjects appear to be fashioned out of otherwise very lifelike fruits and vegetables, as if someone sculpted a face out of fruits and vegetables and then painted the result. People may stare at these paintings when they're on display without paying much attention to the artist, but Arcimboldo Giuseppe had a much more varied professional life. He was influenced by the Mannerism school of art techniques, and managed to live through the height of Mannerisms's fame. Arcimboldo Giuseppe was very much blessed with good timing in more ways than one.

Arcimboldo Giuseppe managed to experiment with a wide range of art styles and crafts, largely due to the fairly diverse array of jobs he was able to hold throughout his life. Arcimboldo Giuseppe was born into an artistic family in Milan in the year 1527. He started his career as an artist by doing stained glass window designs in 1549. Arcimboldo Giuseppe helped paint the Cathedral of Monza's frescoes in 1556, which helped him develop his painting techniques further. Starting in 1562, Arcimboldo Giuseppe was a court portraitist, court costume designer, and court decorator under Ferdinand I and Maximilian II. To a certain extent, he was also responsible for putting together their celebrations. Arcimboldo Giuseppe got the opportunity to actively participate in the highest circles of his society in more ways than one. He died in 1593 at the age of sixty-six.

A good portion of Arcimboldo Giuseppe's artwork was religious in nature, but most of that work is extremely obscure today. His fruit and vegetable portraits, on the other hand, have become iconic. The dawn of the Surrealist art movement in the twentieth century helped renew the public's interest in Arcimboldo Giuseppe's work, particularly his unique fruit and vegetable portraits. Some of his most famous paintings have certain optical illusion effects, which have become very popular in modern times, and have helped keep his work in the public consciousness of today. The fact that he was able to accomplish special effects like that without any of the technological tools of a modern person is just another indicator of Arcimboldo Giuseppe's talent.

In some ways, the revival signifies the way that the cultural context surrounding Arcimboldo Giuseppe's work has changed. Many people during the Renaissance were exploring the natural world in all of its complexities, which helped lead to the dawn of the Enlightenment. As such, Arcimboldo Giuseppe's original audience would have been comfortable with his unique exploration of the human form and the natural world. In his own lifetime, Arcimboldo Giuseppe had celebratory manuscripts and poetry written about him and his work. Arcimboldo Giuseppe seems to have been a well-liked and respected individual in his own time, and he has achieved the sort of immortality through his work that few artists have been able to approach.

Today, a great deal of modern art involves deconstructing basic visual principles. Many artists want to create works of art that are edgy or shocking in some way or another. Arcimboldo Giuseppe's fruit and vegetable portraits are right at home in a cultural environment like that. Many beautiful paintings from his time period seem like relics from another time that serve to remind people of an earlier era. These paintings by Arcimboldo Giuseppe have managed to genuinely appeal to both Renaissance people and modern people.

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