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Winter by Giuseppe Arcimboldo

    Winter by Giuseppe Arcimboldo

    Winter by Giuseppe Arcimboldo was created in 1563. The painting is in Kunsthistorische Museum Vienna. The size of the work is 67 x 51 cm and is made as an oil on wood.

    Winter is represented as an old man, whose skin is a gnarled trunk, with the abrasions and swellings of the wood representing the skin wrinkles of old age. The beard, thin and poorly groomed, is composed of small branches and roots; the mouth of two mushrooms. The eye is a black cleft in the log and the ear what remains of a broken branch; his hair is a tangle of branches, accompanied on the back by a series of small leaves. His bare figure is animated only by the colors of lemon and orange, hanging on a branch from the man’s chest, citrus being the only winter fruit in Italy.

    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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