During the Renaissance, this portrait of Wolfgang Lazius, a famous scientist who was attached to the Hapsburg court, must have provoked great merriment within those circles. Arcimboldo created a portrait out of stacked books. Wolfgang Lazius' torso is made of books at different angles and his hair by an open book. As far as is known, it is the only portrait by Arcimboldo which is not composed of elements derived from nature.
Art becomes reality with these statues: These somewhat bizarre fantasy representations of the human head look like comic book style constructions of good heroes and evil demons. They are amusing as a montage of vegetation, sea life, and book pages seeming overtaking the poor science fiction type person inside. They have a sort of monster style or sci-fi edge to them which any collector of the unusual and surreal would find amusing. What would they say if they could come alive? More details on Arcimboldo - Statue - The Librarian (1566):
Arcimboldo was an Italian painter, mostly known for creating imaginative portrait heads made entirely of such objects as fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, and books.
Initially, like his father, the Renaissance painter worked as a painter on Milan Cathedral. This changed in 1562, when the Emperor of Hapsburg, Ferdinand I, summoned him to the royal court in Prague.
For nearly all of the rest of his life, he remained in the service of this court, not only as a painter, but also as an architect, a designer of bizarre settings and costumes, and an organizer of major festivities. His work was much appreciated both for its sense of craftsmanship as well as its artistic value, and its eccentric, if sometimes comical aspects, may have made a welcome change to the day-to-day harsh political reality.
Arcimboldo owes his present-day fame to his artistic discovery of the composite head. He painted his first version of The Four Seasons, portraits composed of flowers, fruit, twigs and leaves on the canvas, arranged in such a way that the whole collection of objects formed a recognizable likeness of the portrait subject.