Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Italian, 1526–1593 Spring, 1573 oil on canvas, 76 x 63.5 cm Musée du Louvre, Paris, Département des Peintures © Réunion des Musées Nationaux/Art Resource, NY


September 19, 2010 to January 9, 2011 – National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Sixteen examples of the fantastic composite heads painted by Giuseppe Arcimboldo will be featured in this exhibition, their first appearance in the United States. Bizarre yet scientifically accurate, the unusual heads are composed of plants, animals, and objects. Additional works, including drawings by Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Dürer, small bronzes, illustrated books and manuscripts, and ceramics, will provide a context for Arcimboldo’s inventions, revealing his debt to established traditions of physiognomic and nature studies

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