While his 16th-century contemporaries focused on classical portraiture, the artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1526–1593) replaced features with fruit and vegetables, fish and books. A nose could be made out of a pear, lips composed of cherries, and grapes fitted as flowing locks. These composite portraits, fanciful and sometimes surreal, are today renowned. And they’ve been a continuing influence on artists who came after Arcimboldo (the couturier Jean Paul Gaultier, for instance, has made a number of corsets in the composite style). This exhibition—which includes the artist’s stained-glass windows for the Milan Cathedral, as well as his pen and blue wash drawings from the Uffizi gallery—also presents the work of 130 artists who’ve been guided, consciously or unconsciously, by the fertile imagination of Arcimboldo. —E.C.
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