Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s “Summer”

arcimboldo02Presently in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, this painting of “Summer” is from Arcimboldo’s original Four Seasons, painted in 1563. This is the only version with both the artist’s name and the date “woven” into the collar and shoulder of the figure. Filled with visual puns (love the ear of corn as “ear” and that artichoke with its “heart” bursting forth from summer’s chest, the cherry lips and pickle nose, for starters), Arcimboldo’s amusing take on summer’s bounty is still fresh and fascinating some 451 years since it was first painted.

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