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Vertumnus - Emperor Rudolph 2, Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Giuseppe Arcimboldo (Italian); also spelled Arcimboldi) (1526 or 1527 – July 11, 1593) was an Italian painter best known for creating imaginative portrait heads made entirely of objects such as fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, and books.

These works form a distinct category from his other productions. He was a conventional court painter of portraits for three Holy Roman emperors in Vienna and Prague, also producing religious subjects and, among other 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 arranged into human forms.[1] The still-life portraits were clearly partly intended as whimsical curiosities to amuse the court, but critics have speculated as to how seriously they engaged with Renaissance Neo-Platonism or other intellectual currents of the day.

 

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