Rudolf II of Habsburg as Vertumnus (detail).

With the spring here starting to show its reluctant face it’s an apt moment to find a handful of Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s paintings at the Google Art Project. Vertumnus is the perennial favourite, Arcimboldo’s portrait of his patron, Rudolf II of Hapsburg, as the Roman god of the seasons. I’ve always thought this portrait flattered Rudolf more than those which faithfully depict his homely features. We’re told the Emperor was very pleased with his fruity likeness.


Rudolf II of Habsburg as Vertumnus (1590).


Summer (1563).


Four Seasons in One Head (c. 1590).

Previously on { feuilleton }
Arcimboldo’s Four Elements