Giuseppe Arcimboldo makes us ask: which way is up?

This still life painting features a bowl full of vegetables placed on a table. But is this painting really what you think it is? Click or tap on the buttons below to flip the canvas, and see what the artist, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, really wanted you to see!

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After you flip Giuseppe Arcimboldo's painting, make sure to scroll down below the picture for more info on the artist.


Painting by Giuseppe Arcimboldo

This painting is titled "The Vegetable Gardener," circa 1587. Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527-1593) was an Italian-born painter who worked throughout Europe during his lifetime. He worked as a royal painter in Vienna, serving for 25 years for the Imperial Court, working as the royal artist for 3 generations of emperors and kings. His title was that of "Court Portrait Painter," responsible for making paintings of the royalty, to record their images for history. However, he chose to do his job in an unusual manner ... making paintings that weren't always what they seemed. Some art critics wonder whether Arcimboldo's paintings were the product of a deranged mind, but a majority of art scholars believe that he was consciously playing into the Renaissance fascination with riddles, puzzles, and the bizarre, and was simply catering to his patrons, making art that engaged and humored them.

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