October 19, 2014


by Anne Leader and Douglas Dow

On this day in 1593, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, the Milanese painter best known for his portraits made of still life objects, died in his hometown. Arcimboldo trained with his father Biagio, with whom he worked in Milan Cathedral. Giuseppe was paid through 1558 for supplying paintings, designs for an altar canopy, and stained-glass window designs for the Milanese DuomoIn 1562 he was appointed court portraitist to Emperor Ferdinand I in Vienna, and later, to Maximilian II and his son Rudolf II at Prague.

Though primarily known for his fantastic heads composed of still life objects, Arcimboldo in fact painted numerous conventional religious subjects and traditional portraits. However, it is his human heads made up of flowers, vegetables, fruit, animals, sea creatures and tree roots that continue to fascinate and amuse viewers today, just as they did in the Renaissance. Some of these “portraits” read as a still life when turned upside down. The heads are allegorical representations of abstract concepts—the Seasons or the Elements, for example—that are composed of items closely associated with the ideas that they personify. Summer is a portrait made from the grains, fruits, and vegetables that are plentiful during that season. Water is built up in a configuration of creatures, shells, and corals found in the ocean, just as Air is composed of birds who make the sky their home. Arcimboldo spent almost all of his professional life working for the Habsburgs in Vienna and Prague, and his paintings are usually understood as glorifications of imperial rule. Widely admired in their own time, Arcimboldo’s works were also celebrated in the twentieth century by the Surrealists.

References: Thomas Dacosta Kaufmann. “Arcimboldo, Giuseppe.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T003904>; Helen Langdon. “Arcimboldo, Giuseppe.” The Oxford Companion to Western Art. Ed. Hugh Brigstocke. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/opr/t118/e96>; Elena Pavoledo. “Arcimboldi, Giuseppe.” Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani. <http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/giuseppe-arcimboldi_(Dizionario-Biografico)/>.

Vertumnus, c. 1590, oil on panel, Skoklosters Slott, Bålsta (Stockholm)

The Vegetable Gardener, 1587-90, oil on wood, Museo Civico “Ala Ponzone,” Cremona

The Librarian, c. 1566, oil on canvas, Skoklosters Slott, Bålsta (Stockholm)

Maximilian II, His Wife and Three Children, 1563, oil on canvas, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Reversible Head with Basket of Fruit, c. 1590, oil on wood, French & Company, New York

Scenes from the Life of St John the Baptist: Naming of the Baptist, 1545, fresco, San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, Milan

(via fuckyeahrenaissanceart)

October 17, 2014


I had this book when I was small, and it left a big impression on me with its strange, even disturbing photos. It’s Zero Mostel, a great comedian/actor—but to me he was just a large, possibly crazy man wearing what appeared to be some kind of diaper. Occasionally over the years I tried to figure out what book I was remembering, with no success, and then finally found it at my parents’ house: it’s Sesame Street Book of Opposites (1974). Just look at these pictures. That’s how you do “awake,” you maniac? Do you usually wake up with a rictus grin and your hands in those strange positions? You’re upsetting the children!

October 17, 2014

(Source: mugenstyle, via countryandtown)

October 17, 2014

(Source: theotherceleste, via countryandtown)

October 15, 2014



All those little lines are jokes! ALL THE JOKES! (at least the ones I noticed)

Last year Jeremy Bowers, Danny DeBelius, Christopher Groskopf, Aly Hurt and I made a very silly interactive graphic exhaustively tabulating the running jokes in Arrested Development, along with their connections:


And wouldn’t you know it, someone just put in a book — giving me an excuse to put in on tumblr. So if you’d like to see how many times GOB says “I’ve made a huge mistake,” check out the graphic.

I’ve made a huge mistake. And my mistake is not seeing this infographic until now. -Kate

October 14, 2014

(via typographie)

October 11, 2014

Abandoned Mill in Sorrento, Italy


Abandoned Mill in Sorrento, Italy

(via italian-landscapes)

October 9, 2014


Santa Maria Extra Muros (St. Mary out of the Walls), Millesimo, Liguria, Italy

The churches built out of the medieval Italian cities and towns were often called "Extra Muros" or "Extra Moenia", late Latin for “Out of the (City’s) Walls”.

Google Maps

October 9, 2014
"Is Ebola the ISIS of biological agents? Is Ebola the Boko Haram of AIDS? Is Ebola the al-Shabaab of dengue fever? Some say Ebola is the Milosevic of West Nile virus. Others say Ebola is the Ku Klux Klan of paper cuts. It’s obvious that Ebola is the MH370 of MH17. But at some point the question must be asked whether Ebola isn’t also the Narendra Modi of sleeping sickness. And I don’t mean to offend anyone’s sensitivities, but there’s more and more reason to believe that Ebola is the Sani Abacha of having some trouble peeing. At first there was, understandably, the suspicion that Ebola was the Hitler of apartheid, but now it has become abundantly clear that Ebola is actually the George W. Bush of being forced to listen to someone’s podcast. Folks, this thing is serious. The World Health Organization calls it the Putin of Stalin. In layperson’s terms, that’s like saying it’s the Stalin of U2. Now we are seeing the idea thrown around that it could be the Black Hand of the Black Death, not to mention the Red Peril of the Red Plague. If you don’t want to go that far, you have to at least admit that Ebola is the Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb of Stage IV brain cancer. At this point, it’s very possible that Ebola could become airborne and turn into the Tea Party of extreme climate events. Throughout the country of Africa, Ebola is the Abu Ghraib of think pieces. Look, I’m not the politically correct type, so I’m just going to put this out there: Ebola is the neo-Nazism of niggling knee injuries. The kind of threat it poses to the American way of life essentially makes it the North Korea of peanut allergies. I’m not going to lie to you, and I don’t care what color you are, you could be red, green, blue, purple, whatever; you need to understand that Ebola (the Obama of Osama, but don’t quote me) is literally the “Some of my best friends are black” of #NotAllMen. But the burning question no one has raised yet is whether Ebola is the Newsweek of halitosis. We’ll go to the phones in a moment and get your take on this. But first let me open the discussion up to our panel and ask whether Ebola is merely the Fox News of explosive incontinence, or whether the situation is much worse than that and Ebola is, in fact, the CNN of CNN."

Ebola: What It Is - Teju Cole (via ayjay)

(via ayjay)

October 8, 2014


Collectors’ Weekly has some pretty amazing (ly horrible) 70s homemade knitwear in their piece about the “yarn explosion” of that decade.

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