December 19, 2017

Arcimboldo. The Floras and Spring

The Museum of Fine Arts of Bilbao latest exhibition

The Museum of Fine Arts of Bilbao presents until Feb. 5th the exhibition “Arcimboldo. The Floras and Spring”, dedicated to the mannerist painter. The exhibition displays 14 of his works, between which stand out Flora (1589) and Flora meretrix (1590), displayed publicly for the first time in 2014. This is the first time that all of Arcimboldo’s paintings preserved in Spanish collections are displayed together, coming from many different museums and private collections.

Arcimboldo’s style stood out because of his peculiar way of painting portraits, made up of flowers, small animals and other natural elements, creating an optical illusion. This technic, called teste composte or composed heads, had a
great metaphorical component, and became the main distinguishing feature of his work.

Alongside this 14 works, the audience can enjoy other paintings with floral themes from the museum’s archives and various contemporary treatises on artistic and botanical iconography, aiming to provide context to the displayed pieces.

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