Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1526-1583) is a mysterious
and curious character in art history. After being
acclaimed by the aristocracy during his life (he was
born into Milanese nobility himself) he was largely
forgotten after his death – until the twentieth
century, when the Surrealists and other artists
rediscovered him. Some regarded him as a
forefather of modern art, because his
anthropomorphic paintings, attributing human facial
characteristics to compositions of fruits or fish,
marked a rupture with representational imagery.
The anthropomorphic paintings from his series titled
'Seasons' and 'Elements' are the most intriguing.
Take his painting 'Summer': it features a cucumber
for a nose, a peach for a cheek, cherries for lips,
and a pear for a chin. A hat has been fashioned
from a wonderful arrangement of leaves and berries,
and a blouse is formed from woven reeds.
Along with such gems, this solo show displays
some 40 paintings, drawings, illustrated works and
tapestries. It also traces Arcimboldo's trajectory as
an artist, beginning with his arrival at the court of
Hamburg in 1562 under the reign of Ferdinand I,
where he came to paint the royal court. From stately
royalty to flights of wild imagination, his art is worth
a new gaze.

September 15, 2007 through January 13, 2008
19 rue de Vaugirard
75006 Paris
T. +33 (0)1 45 44 12 90