Gastvortrag an der TU Dresden: Arcimboldo’s Invertible Heads

Vertumnus_Rudolf_II_Arcimboldo_GiuseppeThomas DaCosta Kaufmann

Frederick Marquand Professor an der Princeton University, Department of Art and Archaeology

Mittwoch, den 2. Dezember 2009, 18.30 Uhr

Vortragssaal der Sächsischen Landesbibliothek, Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (SLUB), Zellescher Weg 18

Among the most intriguing paintings by Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1526-1593) are his invertible heads. These pictures not only work as composite heads constituted out of the objects pertaining to subject represented, as in his series of Elements where Water is made up of sea creatures. They also can be turned upside down, and then read as paintings of still life – a bowl of vegetables, a vase of flowers, for example.

This lecture addresses the double-sided nature of Arcimboldo’s work, and explicates the multiple reasons for the origins of the invertibles. Among other things, it will explain their poetic aspects, and their play upon a hitherto unrecognized classical source. These features allow us to situate the production of these paintings much better in the cultural milieu in which they were made, the courts of the Emperors Maximilian II and Rudolf II.

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Bild: Arcimboldo, Giuseppe: Vertumnus – Rudolf II; ca. 1590; Skoklosters Slott; entnommen von:

Datum: Montag, 23. November 2009 21:57
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