The Librarian – Triumph of Abstract Art in the 16th Century

3 Sep

If someone told me that this is an Expressionistic painting, I’d think it’s interesting, but not unusual. However, this painting was painted in 1566, at the peak of Renaissance, and knowing that, I think the painting The Librarian is extraordinary.

1570. Giuseppe Arcimboldo - Librarian

Giuseppe Arcimboldo is famous for creating numerous portraits made entirely of objects such as fruit, vegetables, roots, leafs, flowers, fish and most interestingly – books. Painting The Librarian is the one that caught my attention the most, out of all Arcimboldo’s paintings, because he created it by assembling books and with that succeeded in making an allegory.

Arcimboldo’s other works, such as his religious themed paintings, have now fallen into oblivion, due to the great interest that his other paintings caused. It was the individuality of these other paintings that made them popular so much. What Arcimboldo had painted in the sixteen century would be stunning and interesting even in the twentieth century. If you compare his work with the society, mentality and also other art at the time, it’s easy to see why his work, so daring and unconventional, remained popular throughout the centuries. The Librarian is described as a ‘triumph of Abstract art in the 16th century’. It is also described as both a celebration and satirical mocking of librarians and scholarship. This painting is an allegory too for it stands as a parody of materialistic book collectors who are more interested in acquiring books than reading them and valuing them for their content. In Renaissance the worth of an aristocrat man was valued by the amount of books he had read, or rather, had in his library, and Arcimboldo is mocking this conventional delusion of his time; the size of someone’s library mustn’t determine its value or knowledge, only possessing books is not enough, and real knowledge and wisdom can not be bought with money. This is exactly what is interesting about Arcimboldo’s paintings and what draws people towards his art, even Syd Barrett was inspired by his ‘vegetable man’ series of paintings, as I have written previously.

Books of Reader

Still, Art critics debate whether his paintings are whimsical and allegorical or a product of a deranged mind. I find his paintings highly individual, interesting, original, whimsical, allegorical, slightly bizarre and fascinating.

Advertisements

5 Responses to “The Librarian – Triumph of Abstract Art in the 16th Century”

  1. Claudia Suzan Carley 3rd September 2014 at 1:08 pm #

    Fascinating post!

    Like

    • Byron's muse 7th September 2014 at 3:18 pm #

      Thank you!

      Like

      • Claudia Suzan Carley 7th September 2014 at 9:11 pm #

        I like this post so much I’d like to reblog it on my own site, castlesandcoffeehouses.com. That’s if I can figure out how to do it, and if it’s all right with you!

        Like

  2. Byron's muse 9th September 2014 at 2:35 pm #

    I’d be delighted if you do reblog it! (as long as it’s clear who the author is)

    Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Arcimboldo – A Genius of Mannerism | Byron's muse - 6th June 2015

    […] to be a popular subject, both for me and my readers – I’ve written about his painting The Librarian and about the connection between his painting and Syd Barrett’s Vegetable […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: