Artist Research – Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527-1593) was an Italian painter who is most well known for his unique portraits formed from fruits, animals and other objects. I was suggested to look at his work when I considered constructing characters for my narrative story out of buildings or cityscapes.

Though they are slightly disturbing at first glance, the detail and skill of composition is quite astonishing, especially since Archimboldo was decades ahead of his time with such surreal concepts. My favourite piece changes constantly as I notice more details, and have an appreciation for both the more abstract compositions, as well as those which look fairly realistic from far away.

I’m keen to try out creating a portrait this way and will attempt to do so using structures from my own photographs from around Europe. This could be well done digitally, however, I believe a more painterly or drawn approach would add to the surrealism of the piece.

Giuseppe Arcimboldo – The Complete Works (2002) Available at: (Accessed: 9 January 2017).

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