The Smithsonian Magazine’s coverage of a resurgence of interest in Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s fancifully fruited portraits gives me a chance to mention one of my favorite movies, Just Visiting, starring the lovely Jean Reno. Juxtapositions of fine art and pop culture make each especially memorable; when Reno’s character, the noble knight Thibault, is poisoned at his engagement banquet by a witch’s potion, he begins to hallucinate. His future bride and her royal parents morph into Arcimboldo-inspired creatures and, in an agony of terror and surprise, he kills his princess bride-to-be on the spot. Of course, that’s only the beginning of the story (but you already know that, right?). That Thibalt’s poison-enabled visions should resemble the amusing paintings of an Italian Renaissance master endears the film to me even more. I hope you will take some time to learn more about this brilliant artist and see the tiny portion of his legacy utilised so nicely in Just Visiting.
If any of you can think of other examples of fine art appearing a pop culture context, please let me know in the comments.