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The Fire by Giuseppe Arcimboldo

    The Fire by Giuseppe Arcimboldo

    The Fire by Giuseppe Arcimboldo was created in 1566. The painting is in Kunsthistorisches Museum, Wien. The size of the work is 66,5 x 51 cm and is made as an oil on wood.

    Fire is formed from inanimate objects. Flint and steel form the nose and ear. Burning wood creates a crown of glowing hair. Arcimboldo uses guns to create the main part of the body. Fire has the most references to the Habsburg dynasty. The Order of the Golden Fleece hangs in front of the body, which is a reference to the most important knightly order of the time. The double headed eagle, a symbol of the Holy Roman Empire, sits proudly on the torso. The two large cannons refer to the strength of the Habsburg armies in their ongoing war with the Turks.

    The Artist: Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo was born in Milan. He was a conventional court painter of portraits for three Holy Roman Emperors in Vienna and Prague. He specialized in grotesque symbolical compositions of fruits, animals, landscapes, or various inanimate objects arranged into human forms. At a distance, his portraits looked like normal human portraits. However, individual objects in each portrait were actually overlapped together to make various anatomical shapes of a human. They were carefully constructed by his imagination… Read more

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