Giuseppe Arcimboldo (Italian: [dʒuˈzɛppe artʃimˈbɔldo]; also spelled Arcimboldi) (1526 or 1527 – 11 July 1593) was an Italian painter best known for creating imaginative portrait heads made certainly of objects such as fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish and books.
These works form a certain category from his other productions. He was a tolerable court painter of portraits for three Holy Roman Emperors in Vienna and Prague, also producing religious subjects and, among further things, a series of coloured drawings of exotic animals in the imperial menagerie. He specialized in grotesque symbolical compositions of fruits, animals, landscapes, or various inanimate objects settled into human forms.
The still-life portraits were suitably partly expected as whimsical curiosities to amuse the court, but critics have speculated as to how seriously they engaged taking into account Renaissance Neo-Platonism or other intellectual currents of the day.
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