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Level: Junior, Middle School
Grades: Gr. 3 - 8 | Age: 8 - 14 yrs | Written by: Lacramioara Matei
[Lacramioara is a teacher at the Cambridge International school of Bucharest in Romania.]

Students will create works of art inspired by artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo - a man who used images of fruits and vegetables to create art.


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:
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.

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)

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Recommended Books/Products:

Hello, Fruit Face!: The Paintings of Giuseppe Arcimboldo
by Claudia Strand
Giuseppe Arcimboldo, a sixteenth-century Italian artist, is remembered for his arrangements of such items as flowers, fruits, vegetables, animals, or books into strange but recognizable portraits of people. This short, large-format book features large-scale reproductions of a dozen works by the artist, accompanied by information about his life, his style of painting, and descriptions and discussions of the paintings themselves. (Booklist)

Sticker Art Shapes: Arcimboldo: With More Than 70 Reusable Stickers
by Louise Cognard
Part of the Sticker Art Shapes series, this book offers children a chance to get to know six of Arcimboldo's paintings on a truly interactive level. Young readers see a finished painting on one page, and on the opposite page, they recreate it with reusable stickers. Arcimboldo’s lively portraits, made of painted fruits, vegetables, and flowers, provide children with a unique understanding of composition, color, and style.

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