Oil on board
“Flora” is a portrait of the Roman Goddess of flowering plants, fruit, and spring. Typically for Arcimboldo, she is composed of whole flowers, buds, petals, leaves, and stems. However, it stands out from its predecessors due to the artist’s subtlety and delicacy of technique, adhering more to traditional understandings of beauty rather than the grotesque.
Born: 1527, Milan, Italy
Died: 11 July 1593, Milan, Italy
Arcimboldo was a painter best known for creating imaginative portrait heads made from objects such as fruit, vegetables, fish, books, and flowers. However, he was also a conventional painter of portraits, including three Holy Roman Emperors, religious subjects, and exotic animals. Arcimboldo’s still-life portraits were intended as curiosities, whimsical in nature produced to amuse the court.