1. Magazine
  2. Art & Design
  • 1
  • 2
Prev Next
Fire & Fantasy

Fire & Fantasy

September 8, 2017

Heavy Music Artwork 6th installation: Fire & Fantasy is centred around the concept of fantasy, imagination and escapism. No other...

Read more
Avant-Garde

Avant-Garde

May 26, 2017

Heavy Music Artwork launches world’s first and only metal and rock art magazine - Issue 5 pre-sell: Avant-GardeFeaturing: Ulver, Sun O)))...

Read more
Legacy

Legacy

March 10, 2017

The aging process affects pretty much everything in one way or another; but it may also lead to things being...

Read more
Human

Human

January 20, 2017

The third issue of Heavy Music Artwork is an introspective outlook on music and art. Rock and metal have a...

Read more
Folklore

Folklore

October 20, 2016

The second installment of Heavy Music Artwork is dedicated to Folk Art. Often referred to as ‘folklore’, it depicts the...

Read more
Dark Nouveau

Dark Nouveau

July 20, 2016

The first issue is finally out and we feel inspired, happy and accomplished that we; the metal community; have a...

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
Prev Next
Sam Shearon

Sam Shearon

September 19, 2017

Sam Shearon talks with Heavy Music Artwork Sam Shearon Aka ‘Mister-Sam’...

Read more
Maciej Kamuda

Maciej Kamuda

July 5, 2017

The art of being yourself Most of all I'm self-taught. I...

Read more
Cosimo Miorelli

Cosimo Miorelli

July 1, 2017

Man at work Like most people, I always drew as a...

Read more
Rainer Kalwitz

Rainer Kalwitz

June 28, 2017

Phantastic Realism I had studied graphic arts at the university of...

Read more
Lukasz Wodynski

Lukasz Wodynski

June 20, 2017

Living beings I graduated The School Of Fine Arts in my...

Read more
Max Martelli

Max Martelli

June 14, 2017

Passion for Science Fiction Ever since I was young I was...

Read more
Christian Sloan Hall

Christian Sloan Hall

June 8, 2017

The power of perseverance I was born in Santa Monica, California...

Read more
Mike D from Killswitch Engage

Mike D from Killswitch Engage

May 31, 2017

DarkIcon studio profile All of Killswitch Engage's album artwork and tour...

Read more

Columns

  • 1
  • 2
Prev Next
Top 10 Films that changed my life by Luca Aldisio of Heartache

Top 10 Films that changed my life by Luca Aldisio of Heartache

November 6, 2017

Progressive rock, metal, atmosphere and skill are fused with almost pop music flavoured melodies in what becomes the perfect marriage of inspiration and history of the great progressive and rock...

Top 10 albums that changed my life by David Miranda of Nostoc

Top 10 albums that changed my life by David Miranda of Nostoc

October 30, 2017

Costa Rican band Nostoc was founded in 2010 by Freddy L. and Ariel J. They were looking to create groovy music that would be groundbreaking and unique. They soon found...

Top 10 Albums by Tonight We Stand

Top 10 Albums by Tonight We Stand

October 23, 2017

"Tonight We Stand is a 5-piece melodic-metalcore act from Venice, Italy. Each member of the band comes from different musical influences, ranging from Avenged Sevenfold to Trivium. In this way...

Top 10's by Black Charm of Obscura Amentia

Top 10's by Black Charm of Obscura Amentia

October 16, 2017

The Italian studio-band is formed with the initial intention to create Black Metal songs, tending to be Raw and Atmospheric but with a latent tendency to melancholy and to the...

Top 10’s by Gustavo Acosta of Feanor

Top 10’s by Gustavo Acosta of Feanor

October 9, 2017

FEANOR was formed in early July 1996, debuting live at the Marquee on November 26, 1998. After numerous concerts in Argentina, the band entered to the studio for the recording...

Top 10 Albums that changed my life by Drew Zaragoza of Sinicle

Top 10 Albums that changed my life by Drew Zaragoza of Sinicle

August 25, 2017

Drew Zaragoza is the front man for LA Power Trio Sinicle. He has led the band for over a decade. Los Angeles power trio Sinicle combine the groove of Heavy...

Top 10 Bands that inspired my music by Drew Rizzo of Midnite Hellion

Top 10 Bands that inspired my music by Drew Rizzo of Midnite Hellion

August 22, 2017

Drew Rizzo is the drummer and founder of Trenton, NJ’s own MIDNITE HELLION, a US Heavy Metal band formed in 2011.  He eats, breathes, and sleeps Heavy Metal, and here’s...

Metastazis & Au Dessus: End of Chapter (Les Acteurs de l'Ombre)

Metastazis & Au Dessus: End of Chapter (Les Acteurs de l'Ombre)

July 21, 2017

There were no specific directions, the band gave me total freedom to provide my interpretation of the title. I interpreted 'End of a chapter' as plain death. And I wanted...

Robert Schober aka Roboshobo & Ghost: Cirice (Universal)

Robert Schober aka Roboshobo & Ghost: Cirice (Universal)

July 14, 2017

‘Cirice’ concept was inspirited by Brian De Palma film ‘Carrie’. The idea originated with Papa himself. He wanted to set the video in a school and do a talent show...

Napalm Death & Frode Sylthe: Apex Predator, Easy Meat (Century Media)

Napalm Death & Frode Sylthe: Apex Predator, Easy Meat (Century Media)

July 7, 2017

The band have been very much involved in the process of making this album artwork. And they tend to have a lot of ideas in which direction it all should...

Giuseppe Arcimboldo

The Librarian by Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Today is the anniversary of the birth of the Mannerist painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527-1593), so this week’s picture is one of his ingenious “composite heads”, the so-called Librarian. The picture of a man composed entirely from books and the paraphernalia of reading, the work is traditionally said to represent Wolfgang Lazius, the librarian of Arcimboldo’s Habsburg patron, Maximilian II. Its date is uncertain but the work was probably painted some time between 1562 and 1570. It originally hung in the Kunstkammer of Maximilian, then that of his son Rudolf II, in their castle in Prague, and subsequently passed to their decsendants. Many of Arcimboldo’s works were destroyed when Prague was sacked by a Swedish army in 1648, but The Librarian survived, taken as the booty of war. It is still in Sweden today and can be seen at the museum of Skokloster Slott, near Stockholm. [Check location of SS; is it near Stockholm?

Partly because so much of his work was lost during the sack of Prague, Arcimboldo’s reputation fell into obscurity until the twentieth century. He was rediscovered in the 1930s, when painters including Salvador Dali and museum directors such as Alfred Barr, influential founder of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, saw in his work a fascinating prefiguration of the self-consciously irrational fantasies of Surrealism. Subsequent scholarship has demonstrated, however, that Arcimboldo was anything but a proto-Surrealist, and has shown the links between his work and the often arcane symbolic cast of thought of late Renaissance humanists.

Arcimboldo’s fantasies were preeminent examples of human skill, almost outrageously clever demonstrations of the ingenuity of man designed to entertain with their extravagant wit and artifice. They spring from the same culture that enjoyed the intricate mise-en-scenes cunningly created from shells in the gardens and grottoes of princely Renaissance patrons. They may partly have been inspired by the sculptural creations of late Renaissance courtly cuisine which graced the banqueting tables of the sixteenth century – they certainly resemble existing descriptions of the extravagant sculptural creations of Renaissance chefs, known for arranging fruit and fish and other delicacies into cunning representations of mythical and other figures.

The meaning of Arcimboldo’s works was inseparable from the context for which they were designed. The Kunstkammer of the Habsburg rulers in Prague was a suite of rooms containing the royal collections of art and other objects - in effect a prototype of the modern musuem, although its principles of organisation were somewhat different. The collection built up by Maximilian II and his son Rudolf II contained not only pictures and sculptures but also all kinds of natural “wonders” and curiosities, such as shells from the Indies and horns of the narwhal, bought and sold at the time as unicorn’s horns. A repository of miracles of nature as well as the most ingenious works of man, the Kunstkammer was in toto a demonstration of the Holy Roman Emperor’s mastery of all facets of the known world, the visible embodiment of his all-encompassing power and wisdom.

A complimentary intention almost certainly lurks behind the painting reproduced on this page. It is an appropriately bookish portrait of the Emperor’s librarian, and might be said to represent an extreme, fantastical extension of the well established Renaissance tradition of depicting an individual surrounded by the particular attributes of his profession, or the visible symbols of his role in life. Here those attributes have assumed a life of their own, actually coalescing to form the portrait of the individual in question. His hair is shaped by the open pages of a book; his nose by a book’s spine; his eyes by spectacles; and his beard and moustache by the bunched tails of several pine martens – commonly used by Renaissance librarians to wipe the dust from ancient vellum manuscripts.

The compliment to Maximilian concealed within the wit of the picture presumably takes the form of a comment on the marvellously compendious nature of the book collection that formed part of his Kunstkammer. But perhaps there is another dimension to the picture’s meaning too. The late Renaissance, which saw an unprecedented expansion of human enquiry coupled with a huge publishing boom, marks that period in human history when it became clear that no single individual could master the sum of human knowledge – when libraries, rather than single individuals, came to be seen as the only true embodiments of human wisdom. Arcimboldo’s portrait seems to me to allude to this. In an earlier period, the ideal scholar was represented by a particular human being: St Jerome, say, or Erasmus. Now scholarship has gone beyond any one personality and mutated to the form of the ideal library instead – a depersonalisation of knowledge, or a reification of it, which this strange and slightly unsettling painting seems perfectly to encapsulate.

Date: 11-07-2004 
Owning Institution: Skokloster Slott 
Publication: Sunday Telegraph “In The Picture” 
Subject: Renaissance

AndrewGrahamDixon.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial - Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

Newsletter