Friday, March 16, 2007


Yesterday I went to an exhibition at the Sussex Barn at West Dean College. I saw a picture from the Edward James Collection of a figure by Arcimboldi. The figure was made up of fruit and vegetables and I was amazed to discover that Arcimboldi was a Milanese artist of the 16th century.

He painted animals, flowers, fruit, and objects composed to form a human likeness and his witty allegorical compositions foreshadowed the 20th-century Surrealist Art.
As I had never heard of him, I had to "google" him on my return home but unfortunately I had forgotten his name. "Milanese artist surrealist" found him quite easily.

One of Arcimboldi's pictures is shown on the Italian stamp above.


Anonymous said...

Surrealist art has been one of my interests for many years.

Public perception of it has long been dominated by Salvador Dali, certainly one of its most striking painters, currently the subject of an exhibition at the South Bank, and other artists tend to go unnoticed. His 3-D work is very remarkable.

I went to the Magritte centenary exhibition in Brussels, which was amazing.

Surrealist themes are very popular with advertisers.

Thank you for reminding us that one of the greatest collectors of this fascinating art form is on our doorstep.

As for Arcimboldi (or -o), his work never ceases to amuse and amaze me. It was clearly well ahead of his time, and is often classified as 'fantastic' or 'grotesque' art. Perhaps he deserves better!

Paul P.

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