The painting sits on a 76 by 64 cm canvas and is painted in the Mannerism or Later Renaissance style. It is featured in the allegorical painting genre.
Specifics of the painting
The painting takes the form of a young woman composed entirely of flowers and vegetables. It features bright green leaves and colorful flowers. The painting only features the woman’s side profile. Her face is composed of fresh-toned white blossoms that liven her complexion and skin. Guiseppe used roses to create flushed cheeks. Her ear is also created using a single orange flower to distinguish it from the rest of her face and neck. Giuseppe used various spring blossoms to shape her hair. The blossoms are chosen carefully to distinguish between her hair, face, and dress. He also uses bright shades to display the glory of the spring blossoms and dark ones for the winter flatness.
Her dress is made from green vegetables, including small strawberry stems and large dandelion leaves. The dress’ ruff is composed of white flowers with yellow centers. The ruff separates her face from her dress. Flowers and leaves also surround the woman in a darker background. Giuseppe Arcimboldo uses spring and winter flowers in his paintings. He did this to create a distinction in his painting and flaunt the lines of nature. The differences in the blossoms also helped him create unique pieces with different elements at each level. The young woman in the painting appears to be smiling. Some critics suggest that the use of flowers to depict a woman represents the natural beauty of female creations. It also appreciates that nature is predominantly female.
Giuseppe Arcimboldo is renowned for his compositions featuring vegetable and flowers. The creative assembled vegetables and flowers to create human faces. Spring is just one of his many compositions featuring this theme. Spring is one of the paintings in his Four Seasons collection. This collection features a suite of compositions were created especially for Emperor Maximilian II. The emperor commissioned Guiseppe to create multiple paintings to send to the emperor’s family and friends. Other paintings in the Four Seasons Collection similar to Spring are; Flora (1589), Autumn (1573), and Rudolf II of Habsburg as Vertumnus (1590).
The painting is currently located at the Lourve, in Paris, France. It is worth mentioning that Spring is the opening piece to the Four Seasons Collection. All the pieces of the collection are also located at the Louvre.