Giuseppe Arcimboldo is an innovator of his era, who lifted the curtain of time and looked into the future, anticipating the emergence of surrealism.
The formation of Arcimboldo as an artist is associated, among other things, with the works of Gaudenzio Ferrari and Leonardo da Vinci. Giuseppe Arcimboldo lived and worked in Italy in the 16th century, and was in the service of the Habsburgs as a court painter. To this day, the public, art critics and specialists are struggling with the incomprehensible mysteries of his painting. Only 14 works of the master have survived to this day. As in the days of the artist, all works amaze the audience with their innovative designs and bizarre shapes.
In 1565, Giuseppe Arcimboldo painted the painting “The Librarian”. The viewer, looking at this canvas, first sees a pile of books laid out in a bizarre way. But, gradually you understand that this is a person who simply dissolves in his work. It is believed that each profession leaves an indelible imprint on a person’s character and appearance. But this person not only absorbed the features of the profession, but also became an integral part of it, part of the library – the books he followed and looked after. Perhaps the books of various shapes and colors that make up it were read by him and accepted by him so that they swallowed him whole.
It can also be assumed that this is just a portrait-caricature, a metamorphosis, which the author created playfully. But it was these metamorphoses in the 20th century that gave life to such trends in art as surrealism, symbolism, avant-garde and many others – they gave a source of inspiration to many artists, in particular, Salvador Dali and Max Ernst.
Year of painting: no data.
Dimensions of the painting: 97 x 71 cm.
Writing technique: oil.
Style: mannerism, late Renaissance.
Gallery: Skokloster Castle, Sigtun, Sweden.