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

Reversible Head with Basket of Fruit

c. 1590
Oil on wood, 56 x 42 cm
French & Company, New York

This composite head, turned upside down, becomes a basket of fruit. When seen as a still-life this depiction of a fruit basket is an important early representative of this genre. It antedates the famous Basket of Fruit by Caravaggio, who might very well have known it. It also anticipates paintings of fruit still-life by Fede Galizia and Ambrogio Figino.

The painting emerged on the market at an auction in Sweden in 1999. It comes probably from the collections of Rudolf II in Prague, because many works of art were stolen thence by Swedish troops during the sack of the Hradèany in 1648.




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