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Fruit and Vegetable Portraits (Giuseppe Arcimboldo)

Fruit and Vegetable Portraits (Giuseppe Arcimboldo)
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Students will create fruit and vegetable portraits inspired by the work of artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo.

By Lacramioara Matei [Lacramioara is a teacher at the Cambridge International school of Bucharest in Romania.]


Students will learn that complex forms can be created using simple items.
Teachers can tie this lesson into one that introduces students to artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo.

What You Need:

  • Paper
  • Crayons or markers (pastels or paint could also be used)
  • Images of fruits and vegetables (find a book, or is a good source of images online)
  • Optional: real fruits and vegetables

What You Do:

  1. Introduce your students to the artwork of Giuseppe Arcimboldo. (Wikipedia is a good source of information: or see the book list below.
  2. Tell students that they will be drawing portraits, only instead of drawing eyes, lips and noses, they will be drawing vegetables and fruits as the features on the faces.
  3. Encourage students to study images of fruits and vegetables, or if possible, bring real fruits and vegetables to class and have students study those. Tak about shape and color.
  4. Students will then will choose what fruits and vegetables to use in their drawings.
  5. Students begin to compose their portraits, first with an outline of the head (using pencil).
  6. Students then add features to the face by drawing fruits and vegetables in place of eyes, nose, mouth, ears and even hair.
  7. Pencil crayons, markers, crayons, pastels or paint can be used to complete the portraits.
  8. When complete, the drawings should be displayed in front of the class for everybody to admire.
Fruit and Vegetable Portraits
Fruit and Vegetable Portraits


About Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Written by Andrea Mulder-Slater, KinderArt®

Type of Work: Painting, Sculpture, Poetry
Born: 1530
Died: 1593
Nationality: Italian
Style/Movement: Mannerism
Best Known For: Portraits of heads made up of a variety of objects, from fruit and leaves to flowers and vegetables.
Important Works: Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring (each painted in 1573; each located in the Louvre, Paris)

Giuseppe Arcimboldo - Winter


Giuseppe Arcimboldo - Summer


Giuseppe Arcimboldo - Spring


Giuseppe Arcimboldo - Autumn


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