The Librarian

The Librarian
Inventory
Collection Number: 
17414
Building: 
Current Location: 
Children's Area
Floor: 
2nd
Object Description
Artist Dates: 
1527-1593
Artist Nationality: 
Italian
Accession Date: 
2021
Object Type: 
Details: 
Guiseppe Arcimboldo, born in Milan in 1527, was an Italian portraitist whose artistic interpretations were clearly ahead of his time. Hundreds of years before surrealism changed the course of art history, Arcimboldo painted bizarre, otherworldly portraits for Austrian nobility. Utilizing objects such as fruit, vegetables, flowers, fish, and books, he painted representations on canvas arranged in such a way that the whole collection of objects formed a recognizable likeness of the subject.
Framed: 
Yes
 - Plexi
Length: 
18.75 inches
Width: 
1.5 inches
Height: 
24.75 inches
Description: 

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.

Reproduce the Work in Library publications/publicity, including film or videotape: 
Yes
Make slides or videotapes for educational use: 
Yes
Permit the general public to photograph the work : 
Yes