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Arcimboldo utlized objects in his assemblage portraits that typically held some connection to the person's life. Art historian Sven Alfons was the first to conclude The Librarian was an eccentric depiction of Wolfgang Lazius, a humanist and historian who served Holy Roman Emperors of the House of Hapsburg. In this painting, the viewer sees a man facing to the left and comprised wholly of books seemingly arranged haphazardly. Cream leather-bound books with gold embellishments indiscriminately stacked, form the Librarian’s body and serve as a foundation for the peach flesh-toned books that comprise his face. An opened book with leather straps and thread page-markers reminds the viewer of hair. The Librarian’s upper arm is comprised of a large red leather volume with the spine visible. A large white leather volume with protruding loose papers act as page markers and serve as the Librarian’s hand. He stands partially concealed by a rich grey velvet textile, which makes the Librarian appear to wear a cloak.