Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Giuseppe Arcimboldo's Surreal Portraits

Vertumnus, 1590, oil on canvas by Giuseppe Arcimboldo
The Librarian, 1566, oil on canvas by Giuseppe Arcimboldo
The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. (one of my favorite museums) is having a show of 16 Giuseppe Arcimboldo portrait paintings. It opens on Sunday, September 19, 2010 and runs through January 9, 2011.
The show will travel to Milan, Italy after that. Guiseppe was born in Milan in 1527 and died there in 1593. "His portraits of human heads made up of vegetables, fruits, sea creatures and tree roots were greatly admired by his contemporaries and remain a source of fascination today" LINK.
These paintings are timeless. They are inventive, surreal, modern, masterfully painted and full of humor. Watch a video narrated by Isabella Rossellini on the National Gallery website.
On view together for the first time in the USA:

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