ARCIMBOLDO, Giuseppe
(b. 1526, Milano, d. 1593, Milano)

Pairs of Allegories

1563 and 1566
Oil on wood or canvas
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Art Museum, Denver, Private collection

In correspondence to the Four Seasons was the series created three years later in 1566, the Four Elements. Through a paired arrangement of the qualities in the objects, warm-cold and damp-dry, the elements correspond to the seasons. Thus, the warm-dry summer corresponds to fire, the cold-damp winter to water, the warm-moist spring to air and the cold-dry autumn to earth. Thereby, through the arrangement of the heads, turned to the left or to the right, corresponding pairs face each other and form a unit. So, if desired, they could be arranged into a pair-grouping in which each head in one series would face its corresponding head in the other, as follows: Spring - Air, Summer - Fire, Autumn - Earth, Winter - Water.

This picture shows the pairs Earth (Private collection)- Autumn (Denver) as well as Winter (Vienna)- Water (Vienna).




© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.