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On Display

Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1526-1593)


Arcimboldo was born into a family of painters in Milan. There he encountered the art of Leonardo da Vinci whose interest in drawing directly from nature made a big impression on the young artist. In 1562 Arcimboldo was invited to work at the court of the Holy Roman Emperor. There he began to create portraits made up of plants, fruit, animals and other objects.

Arcimboldo produced a series of paintings based on the seasons, this version of Summer is made up of plums, pears, peaches, figs, pomegranates and a watermelon. These grotesque figures are ingenious but also disturbing and surreal. Salvador Dali credited Arcimboldo as the inspiration for his use of double images and optical illusion.

Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions 977mm x 730mm
Acquisition Number SOTAG : 1963/18
Credit Line Bequeathed in 1963 by Arthur Tilden Jeffress