The Arcimboldo Effect

I asked my ten year old if he had seen pictures like this:

He had. I’m sure you have too. That painting is called Vertumnus, and it was created by Giuseppe Arcimboldo. He caused a bit of a stir with his portraits done in this style. I like them because they are sort of funny.

From Wikipedia:

Giuseppe Arcimboldo (Italian pronunciation: [dʒuˈzɛppe artʃimˈbɔldo]; also spelled Arcimboldi) (1527 – July 11, 1593) was an Italian painter best known for creating imaginative portrait heads made entirely of such objects as fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, and books – that is, he painted representations of these objects on the canvas arranged in such a way that the whole collection of objects formed a recognizable likeness of the portrait subject.

Here is a normal self portrait of his own face. I wonder if he ever gave himself the same treatment.

He didn’t just use vegetables. This one is called “The Librarian.”

The effect has inspired many other artists. Here is one by Octavio Ocampo.

The animated feature “The Tale of Desperaux” named the character “Boldo” after him:

And I love this “Alien” inspired portrait.

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