March 22, 2004

Arcimboldo’s Elements

There follow details from four of Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s famous ‘composed heads’, specifically his paintings personifying the four classical elements: water, air, fire and earth. Click on the details to open the full images, bearing in mind that these are all quite large (> 500Kb).

Detail from 'Water', by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, oil on linden wood, 1566, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

Arcimboldo painted the original Elements for his patron, the Emperor Maximilian II, in 1566. Of these, only Water and Fire are known to have survived: the Air and Earth pictures shown here are later reworkings of the same themes.

Detail from 'Air', by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, oil on canvas, after 1566, Private Collection, Basel.

These images are 200dpi scans from my copy of the monograph on Arcimboldo by Roland Barthes, Achille Bonito Oliva and Corinna Ferrari, published by Franco Maria Ricci in 1980.

Detail from 'Fire', by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, oil on linden wood, 1566, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

For more about Arcimboldo, see the displays at Olga’s Gallery, for instance, or at the Web Gallery of Art. Also, check out Mr Rusher’s fine outline of the painter’s life & work, to which he was generous enough to append a kind word about the Giornale Nuovo: my belated thanks for that, Jack.

Detail from 'Earth', by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, oil on panel, after 1566, Private Collection, Vienna.

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Posted by misteraitch at March 22, 2004 11:44 AM | TrackBack
Comments

So you can'resist buying books from Franco Maria Ricci's editions ;-)
Besides the beautiful book about Serafini, did you happen to buy also the one about ERTE' ?

Posted by: SignorMori on March 22, 2004 11:28 PM

Well, sometimes I can resist buying them, seeing as they are so expensive... but they are very beautiful books. I don't have their book on Ert: maybe next time I visit one of their stores... Besides the Serafini, the only other FMR volume I ever bought was the one on Alberto Martini, but I gave that one away a few years ago.

Posted by: misteraitch on March 23, 2004 09:09 AM

Do you think this is where Paradjanov got the idea for his collages or he arrived to it separately?

Posted by: Tatyana on March 29, 2004 02:47 PM

i fucking love her

Posted by: gary on May 14, 2004 01:23 PM

WHAT DID ARCIMBOLDO PAINT ON PLEASE COZ WERE DOIN A SKOOL PROJECT ABD WE CNT FIND THE INFO ANYWHERE

Posted by: STICHES AND BRAIN on May 17, 2004 12:11 PM

WHAT DID ARCIMBOLDO PAINT ON PLEASE COZ WERE DOIN A SKOOL PROJECT ABD WE CNT FIND THE INFO ANYWHERE

Posted by: STICHES AND BRAIN on May 17, 2004 12:13 PM

Sometimes he painted on wood panels, other times on canvas.

Posted by: misteraitch on May 17, 2004 12:58 PM

i dun like the paintings so much. i liked the ones that shows the pictures of animals made out by animals BUT not the one the ones that shows human faces made out of animals or trees. it let my creeps out of me.

Posted by: siti munawarah on January 26, 2005 08:09 AM

What did Arcimboldo fancy? Like, what did he like to do besides art?

Posted by: erin on December 9, 2006 11:18 PM

Greater than Picasso Matisse etc etc etc etc
Arcimboldo was way ahead of his time...

Posted by: Sherlock on March 29, 2007 07:28 PM
Comments are now closed