Arcimboldo- 1573 or 2009?

Usually I try to not post things that are um, over 400 years old considering we are a contemporary art publication. However, I was looking at Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s works this morning and was marveling at how fresh they seem, even today. It’s like that childhood tendency to make vegetable heads taken to a bizarre and grotesque extreme. Be sure to check out “The Admiral” portrait after the jump- made entirely of unknowing fish! In fact I think this kind of playful/derangement continues to be  a source of inspiration and lines of exploration for artists even today. What do you guys think?





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  • For sure, Aurel Schmidt, for one is definately drawing on Arcimboldo. These also have a link between man and nature, a natural identity, and people are interested in that kind of identity.

  • Yeah, she definitely does, with the playfully/grotesque portraits…Im thinking of the ones of cigarettes for teeth and stuff- if Arcimboldo had beer cans around then he probably would’ve used them.

    Thanks for your thoughtful response!

  • PS the other artist I was thinking of was Frank Magnotta!

  • pedro freenandes

    yeah. even designers, like sarah illenberger. arcimboldo, huge inspiration. i remember myself gazing at the art history book.

  • No problem 🙂 I read this website all the time.

  • Pedro- wow, you’re so right! I just checked out her website, I wasn’t familiar with her stuff before. Check back on the blog I just may have to make a post of it shortly!

  • PS Bill- well I’m glad to hear your thoughts!