Artists: Arcimboldo


I recently studied the portraits/still life paintings of Guiseppe Arcimbolodo with a Year 4 class, for the first time.  I can’t believe I haven’t done so before.  Children are captivated by his portraits consisting of fruit, vegetables, flowers and various other objects. They are particularly thrilled by the fact that a seemingly standard still life painting can be turned up side down to reveal a characterful face!

His work is also perfect for linking with various subject areas, the most obvious being the science topics ‘Plants’ and ‘Healthy Eating’.  In this case, I was teaching Spanish fruit and veg vocabulary to Year 4 children and so they created these portraits/still lifes using pencil and watercolour and then went on to label them in Spanish.  Unfortunately, for our purposes, Arcimboldo was Italian, although he did influence surrealist painters such as the Spanish Salvador Dali!