Self Portrait

Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Giuseppe Arcimboldo - Self Portrait
The Italian master Giuseppe Arcimboldo worked as court painter to Maximillian II, Holy Roman Emperor, and subsequently to his son Rudolf II. Arcimboldo was invited to Rudolf’s court in Prague, where he took part in the preparations of various festivities. However, he earned his fame mainly for his paintings composed of different objects, fruits, etc. In this somewhat bizarre array of themes, the artist’s self−portrait is especially noteworthy. Whether or not this was a preparatory study for a like−themed painting remains unknown. This could have been a finished work that the artist had no intention of transposing into another medium. The drawing is striking both for its artistic qualities – the exquisite pen and brush strokes with which he rendered the hair, beard and an assortment of valuable clothing fabrics, all in a single colour. Particularly remarkable is the expression of the graceful face imbued with melancholy and an indefinite message. It is for this artistic merit that the drawing became one of the most famous works in the collections of the National Gallery in Prague.
measurements: height 230 mm
width 157 mm
in collections:
material: paper
technique: Pen and brush and blue watercolor
inventory number: K 58115
gallery collection: Collection of Prints and Drawings