Sunday, June 14, 2009

One of My Favorites: Guiseppe Arcimboldo

The Four Seasons
Guiseppe Arcimboldo, 1527 -1593, Mannerist artist.
I found the work of this artist while in my college art history class. I think many people have seen these works, but they never cease to amaze me. Especially when considering the years he was alive - this was not the typical art being produced.
Arcimboldo was born in Milan Italy to a father who was a stained glass artist for the church. At 22 Guiseppe took over his fathers position and produced stained glass for two cathedrals in Milan.
After this he became a court artist for Kings and Emperors in Vienna and Prague. While working under royalty, he not only painted his Mannerist work, or his "composite heads", but he was a stage and costume designer for the royal pageants and parades. He left a 150 page red leather bound sketch book to the Emperor..I will have to find some of his line drawings to post.
Guiseppe was a very famous artist during his day, but after his death was quickly forgotten. Not many of his works remain - most rotted away in a moldy closet for 300 years before being discovered.
The series of seasons above are some of his most well known paintings. I think they are fun and crazy and absolutely beautiful! Some royalty actually posed for him.

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