Famous all over the world for his portraits—an illustrated composite of plants, fruit, and animals combined to create the illusion of a human form— Arcimboldo still remains, paradoxically, a painter shrouded in mystery. This important monograph reveals the eclecticism of one of the most fertile and lively minds of the Mannerist period, placing him in the cultural context in which he lived and worked. Admired during his life, Arcimboldo fell into oblivion after his death in 1593. His original, eccentric works have been little understood—rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century by the Surrealists, who considered him a precursor of Modern art. His work has enjoyed a particular revival of interest again over the last twenty years. In addition to the artist’s anamorphic portraits, this volume includes an important selection of Arcimboldo’s paintings (many previously unpublished), tapestries, drawings, and illustrations created throughout his life, from his training in Lombardy to his time at the Hapsburg court. This volume will enable readers to discover and appreciate the scope of the great Arcimboldo’s extraordinary work. Exhibition Schedule:Musée du Luxembourg, ParisSeptember 15, 2007–January 13, 2008Kunsthistorisches Museum, WienFebruary 11, 2008 to June 1, 2008.
Sylvia Ferino is the Curator of the Italian Painting of the Renaissance department at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Wien and a collaborator at the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris.