Arcimboldo “Fruit Face”

Fruit+FaceGiuseppe Arcimboldo was an Italian artist from the 1500s who spent years working as an official court painter. He developed a style of composing portraits from fruits, vegetables, etc., which was uniquely his own. There’s a great book about him called “Fruit Face” which is what I used to introduce this lesson.

1. Find lots of large, colorful images of all kinds of fruits and vegetables from either magazines or stock photos online. I found that has lots to choose from and are not too expensive.

2. Make color prints or color copies of all the images and distribute to the students, along with a scissors, glue stick and black construction paper. Show them how they can “build” a face by layering smaller, feature-like pieces on top of larger shapes. Careful cutting (removing all the background) will help make their face look nice and neat.

3. Lastly, the students will glue down all the shapes, starting with the background. Encourage lots of detail with clothes, accessories, etc.

3 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    There’s a children’s book with awesome illustrations of Guiseppe-style people called “On Market Street” by Arnold Lobel, highly recommend for a visual for this lesson.

    Also, for a more student-interest geared lesson, allow them a planning day on which they get to decide what type of object they want to use for their face collage to make it be a sort of metaphorical self portrait(i.e. sports equipment, junk foods, video game paraphanalia, etc)

  2. carlylennox

    I love this idea and can’t wait to try it out! Look for a book called How Are You Peeling? It’s by a photographer who scoured markets looking for unusually shaped fruit and veg to bring to life in his pictures.

  3. Teresa

    Thanks Cathy – great help for lesson I want to do tomorrow on Archimboldo!
    Teresa (in London)

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