Estate (1563)

Arcimboldo, Giuseppe (1526-1593)

Estate (Summer)
1563
Oil on limewood, 67 x 50.8 cm
Kunsthistorisches MuseumVienna

Inscribed on the collar and shoulders: GIVSEPPE ARCIMBOLDO. F. 1563
On the back side: 1563 AESTAS

Arcimboldo had been imperial court painter in Vienna and Prague since 1562. As well as a portraitist, he was mainly renowned for his work as a producer and designer of courtly tournaments and wedding celebrations. In 1563, however, he created a series of paintings of the seasons, the uniqueness of which was the basis of the painter’s later fame. Made up of plant pieces and fruit, at no point does “Summer” show the surface of a natural face. The signature and date are subtly woven into the straw. (KHM)