Imagine being one of the artists creating work after the Renaissance period. How would you top the pinnacle of art and illumination of human history? This is what Giuseppe Arcimboldo faced when he was born in 1526. His solution, and that of his peers, also known as the Mannerists, was to turn slightly away from the focus on nature. After all, grand masters like Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Caravaggio, among other incredible masters, had learned to manipulate nature’s aspects of perception and emotion to near perfection. So Mannerists turned their focus on the art of their predecessors as inspiration, and bent the rules of these masters to enhance the art itself, using it as the subject instead of nature but maintaining man’s relation to nature it’s prevailing subject matter. Arcimboldo’s work would inspire countless artists during his lifetime and beyond, artists such as Dali, Fukuda, Orosz and Švankmajer. And now, hopefully, you as well.

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