Trojan Horse (Arcimboldesque)  

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Trojan Horse (1700) by Arcimboldo, in the collection of National Portrait Gallery (Sweden)
Trojan Horse (1700) by Arcimboldo, in the collection of National Portrait Gallery (Sweden)

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Trojan Horse[1] is a painting by what is believed to be a follower of Giuseppe Arcimboldo. The work is located in Sweden's National Portrait Gallery and it stems from the collection of K. Gerhard.

It is depicted in color Les Tentations de Bosch ou L'éternel retour on page 111.

The Trojan Horse, that eternal symbol of deceit, was an innocent-looking wooden effigy filled with armed and waiting Greeks. When the Milanese painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo addressed himself to this idea, he carried it a step further: omitting wood, he composed his horse entirely of the writhing bodies of soldiers. Its eyes are two dark heads, its mane a row of flaming torches.Horizon (U.S. magazine), 1960)[2]

The image was first brought online by Il Giornale Nuovo in 2005[3], who scanned it from FMR.

The aforementioned book Les Tentations de Bosch ou L'éternel retour notes the painting's bibliography as Legrand, 1955; Connaissance, 1957; Arcimboldo, 1987; Brion, 1991; Davezac, 1991; Marandel, 1991 and Nomé, 1991. See Giuseppe_Arcimboldo#Historiography. This bibliography is suspect because Brion died in 1984 so he could not have written on Arcimboldo in 1991. Also, Gripsholm is misspelled as Grinsholm.

A blog by the name of Queridobestiario (dear bestiary) has the following details:

Trojan Horse, c. 1700
Oil on Canvas, 77 x 94 cm
Statens Porträttgalleri
Gripsholm Castle, Mariefred, Sweden
Within the context of the painting of "caprice", considered by Zuccaro as "things eclectic and fantastic", the theme of the Trojan Horse is a late production which made fortune throughout Europe, and has even become popular, especially in the version made "à l'Arcimboldo", to whom the painting has been often erroneously attributed. In this case, the Trojan horse, and according to legend, takes shape through an accumulation of characters, which, in a wheeled base, represent (using the contours reminiscent of a circus) the legs, back, neck, tail and nose of the animal . Those around the curve of the neck carry flaming torches, the flames forming the horse's mane, while recalling the fact that the city of Troy was burnt after this clever subterfuge. At the bottom right we see a boat of fire, and ready to sink. The formation of images, portraits and animals through the careful accumulation of human characters finds a remarkable parallelism, for example, in Herod, from an anonymous author, and belonging to the Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum in Innsbruck.
The Statens porträttgalleri (National Portrait Gallery of Sweden) opened at the palace of Gripsholm in 1823. Presumably the first national portrait gallery in the world, it drew on a tradition of Gripsholm being a palace with a large collection of portraits that had been more or less publicly available since at least the 1720s.[4]


Grh. 3952 / D. 50.923 Prov.: Col. K. Gerhard

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Trojan Horse (Arcimboldesque)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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