The other day I ate the first ripe tomato from my garden. I picked it off the plant, took it into my kitchen, and within five minutes it was gobbled up with a piece of whole wheat toast. Delicious!! When you eat a homegrown tomato like that, you realize just how tasteless and crappy the tomatoes are from the grocery store or, heaven forbid, the supermarket. Horrors! I don’t know what those supermarket tomatoes are supposed to be, but they are a sin against nature.
My vegetable plantings don’t exist in the form of well-tended rows over acres of land. (Acres? What are those?) Like most people who live in urban areas, my vegetables hold their own in limited square-footage and free standing buckets. But the plants don’t mind. Give them good soil, sun, water, organic fertilizer, and they will dutifully grow and yield luscious fruit.
In celebration of my sweet and juicy first tomato, I couldn’t resist posting a work from the 16th century painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo. Born in Milan in 1527 to a wealthy family, Arcimboldo’s career started out on the usual route of the times; securing jobs in the royal courts of Vienna and Prague doing the traditional work of painting portraits, designing costumes, palace decorations, stained glass, and tapestries. But Arcimboldo’s personal imagination didn’t begin to soar until he created strange and unique paintings of human heads in the form of fruits, vegetables, and plants.
A reflection of the season’s abundance, here is Arcimboldo’s Summer. I love this painting! Totally weird, but totally awesome:
It comes as no surprise that Arcimboldo’s bizarre heads were admired centuries later by the Surrealists, such as Salvador Dali, who saw in his work the earliest expressions of the grotesque beauty and peculiar visions they would explore further.
ArtinthePicture has a more complete gallery of Arcimboldo’s heads. Check it out!