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Guiseppe Arcimboldo

by S R Gurney 2 years ago in fantasy
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The Birth of a King: Part 1

Guiseppe Arcimboldo
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash


Giuseppe Arcimboldo, (born c. 1527, Milan [Italy]—died 1593, Milan). An Italian Mannerist painter whose grotesque compositions of fruits, vegetables, animals, books, and other objects were arranged to resemble human portraits.

This is a direct quote from Arcimboldo’s Google homepage – a little underwhelming perhaps. For his contributions to surrealism endowed Dali and others with the ambition to explore further. And what greater contribution can one have than to inspire?

The following story: Giuseppe is by and large a creative extension of the four paintings which amalgamate to his complete work entitled: Four Seasons - which incites this story so because of its characteristics to represent humanistic portraits.

Within this book, the reader will explore the lives of four princes whom feature as humanistic envelopments of each of Arcimboldo’s four seasons paintings.

Guiseppe is the prince of Sumaria – Giovanni is the prince of Winaria – Angelo is the prince of Autaria – Luca is a prince of Sprie.

Whom all live among their own seasonal-kin – separated by the limits of each other’s dominion.

This is where our tale begins.

Sumarian Leek

“What is it that makes a king father?” spoke the voice of a small boyish Sumarian.

Giuseppe lifted the boy by the waist of his roots and sat him upon his knees. “A king, my son, is someone who leads with his heart towards the image of the causes of his peoples’ mood – whilst retaining the intentions of his own pursuit.”

His young sparkling eyes shimmered in the reflection of his father’s image, embracing the essences of their Sumarian kin, the voice of which plied his ears with his father’s soothing tones awash with the melody and rhythm of poignancy.

“What is it that he pursuits father?” again the boy persisted with the sprite of an exploratory inquisitiveness.

Giuseppe ruffled the leaves and flowers that shaped his boys head and whispered gently from one ear to the next. “O’ my son of tomorrows breath, you are your fathers’ boy. I am but delighted of your energy, and your minds expressive prowl.” A moment sank between the beating of their sharing memory. “A king must pursuit what he knows to be true, and only so much as he is likely to know from the account of his believing followers – who’s heart desires individually nonetheless. And so, once he is told of which to perceive, the king knows he must draw from within the ultimate conscience to speak fourth the coming comeuppances and consequences of his truths decree. He must know what he chooses, is an act to incite the freedom to live, with purpose and with peace.”

Giuseppe lifted his boy off-knee with his soft hands onto the terse ground, and he ran laughing at the sight of his mother approaching from the edges of the forest row. He met with her and she swung, using his momentum, to lift and spin with him in her arms.

In her sweet voice, she spoke eloquently “Come now, we must join the townsfolk and rejoice in the celebrations of fortuitousness, as the sun shines upon us so, to dally us among the frame of heated remedy – in the careful palms of natural growth. Come, come. The festivities are surely to have begun.”

Giuseppe rose firmly to his feet, and placed a soft kiss upon the forehead of his wife and then his son and expressed with excitement “Well, what are we waiting for?”

The sun bore shines of pastel blues and red hues which coveted the grass-ways and trees with the warmth of light, which melted into far-away mountains and valleys. Smallish white clouds of fluff hung neatly in the pale sky and the sound of calm water passed them by, running alongside their route.

Giuseppe and his wife strolled either side of their young boy, and made their way to the evenings engagement with an aptitude for celebration and experience.

They arrived at the rolling grasses of their homeland; Soome. Which had been prepared to feature long tables of fine wood and hosted many families and guests. All of whom were drinking and eating and laughing as all celebrators should. The sky held lofting kites which hung in the air and were shaped to reflect the Sumarian heritage to which they all owed.

Hanging like images from above, there were eggplants, corns, peppers, tomatoes, okras and just about anything which gave Sumaria it’s keen sense of identity.

Following were flashes in the sky which shone illuminous streams of colour with multi-coloured vibrancies, filling the townsfolk with pride and sound. They roared and cheered as each light-path passing their optics, which gave them all a shared and resplendent appreciation for their life and their home. Some even cried at the sights of their loved ones laughing which gave immense value to the merriment and desire for togetherness.

Once the atmosphere had mellowed to a stable hum, the mayor of Soome, took to a podium at the centre of the commotion and began speaking with praise and delight. “My dear Soomer and Sumarian alike – what a day to be among such pleasant faces and families. You are all treasured guests and friends to Summer’s crown. Raise a glass my fair ones! Reach for the stars that will sparkle soon enough – for tonight we drink for the purpose of being together – as one collective. We are blessed. It is always during these peaceful times of life’s reflection that I indebt a communal sense of thankfulness, and would especially like to show support to those that have sought to spend their days making each moment of this truly magnificent year, true. Please, please. I do not wish to burden your time celebrating any further than I have already. I do ask that we remember how fortunate we all are to have such opportunity to live – and we have everything to grateful for!” There is a tear that wells in his eyes. “Love live the glory of our Samaria!”


A breeze follows the hearths cool and builds at the base of Giovanni’s deeply rooted tower, which stems from hard ground in shard-like fashions. The towers texture is coarse and dark-brown and emits no positivity of itself from sight nor actuality.

The weight of his dominion spreads only to the limits of Winaria – and this is where Giovanni’s attentions obsess. It is snowing heavily, even for Winaria, and so the sun very rarely appears, and even if it should, it does so for very few of the waking hours.

His eyes crust open, and the aching sound of wood parallels the sound of ice and snow beating at the viewing portal – which looks over his grounds. “Ugh. Confound me another moment upon the impracticalities of this harshland – where I can live no other life of happiness and warmth – and where I am to recede unto the breaths of frozen air which my people do sow. Not another day, please almighty Solaria – grant me one day among the smiles of life. Of which I am yet to know of from the peoples of Winaria.” Giovanni climbs from his cold frame and reaches slowly to his viewing portal – where it is possible to see the outer limits of Winaria change to the neighbouring season.

There are few that wholeheartedly follow Giovanni, and those whom do, happen to be of the most uncultured and inconsiderate kind. Giovanni elevates to lose his short-temper “D’acquisto, d’acquisto! Come now, I must have send a message I need delivered to the fiendish prince of Autaria; Angelo. You must tell him to meet with me at the edge of where Autaria and Winaria meet. Tell him I will be there to greet him in person – as this happening shall make for the history books of Solaria – as no prince of another land has ever been called upon before. Now hurry, be off with you, go!”

D’acquisto hisses a confirmatory “yes, mi’lord” before leaving Giovanni’s frozen chamber and scuttling down the towers winding stairs. Leaving the base of the tower Giovanni watched D’acquisto with intent as he crossed the blizzardy weather, and out of sight.

Once D’acquisto was out of Giovanni’s sight, having sifted through the visibility of Winaria’s fogyish snow-fall. He began to make his way too, down his icicle-laden stairway. He reached half-way to the bottom of the tower, where he vacated the way and into a chamber considerable of his daily dwellings. He scuffed his rooted feet the entirety of the way – crafting a cacophony of scratching shudder inducing sounds.

He set to the centre of the room, which had a blueish fire-in-a-cauldron. He then rummaged to the side of the room, which hosted pinching’s of sage, pine needles, heathers, pansies, aconites and dogwood. He placed a small amount of each onto his palm – so that none were mixing. One-by-one he added them to the firing cauldron – enchanting the blue flames with the incantations of an ancient Winarian ritual.

It is here Giovanni stared into the licking flames at which showed him of his purpose to overcome all other seasons and become the king of Solaria. He flung himself away from the cauldron whizzing and laughing at his fortuitous visions, repeating the phrase “Solaria is mine, all mine.”

Touch of Frost

The sound of Autaria crunches like cracking plates underneath the feet, and plays tricks with the softly swooping winds which carry lofting leaf and thought abound. A typical day here is a confusing combination of windy and warm, where the light from the sun seems to hang all day, in the palms of an orangey-blue sky. It must be influential as there is a distinct slowness about the peoples of Autaria, as if they are eternally awaiting their unrest.

Angelo, excused from duty, permitted himself with the follies of leaf-kicking which raises them at the pressure of his rooted toes. Angelo laughs and swirls at the fall of fallen leaves, before he is interrupted by an unfamiliar sound, which is being composed by D’acquisto’s dragging oaken feet.

D’acquisto spoke with a foreign twang from an Autarians typical flow “Angelo. There you are. I have travelled all night to find you. I am servant to The Great Giovanni. I cannot say much more than this. He has requested your presence at the edge where Autaria meets Winaria. Where the fall of snow meets the melting dapples of Autaria – please, you must accompany me at once. There is no time to lose. The fate of Solaria is at stake.”

There is a moment of silence that befalls them, as the leaves around them fall lightly.

Angelo stares deeply into D’acquistos eyes and speaks clearly, “I must admit that I have often dreamed of the day I might be requested upon by those whom live beyond the borders of Autaria, and so I might make myself abundantly useful or effective in my capacity. I cannot promise that I can be of use or help to your kind or Giovanni. Alas, I would be poor of my kinds nature to allow the fate of Solaria to suffer at my apprehension to one that is not of my kind. For are we not all one, of ourselves and each other. Lead me to him D’acquisto, and let it be known that I Angelo of Autaria would not stoop to allow such petty shrouding of border effect my convictions to aid and provide.”

The two shared no more words, and D’acquisto turned on himself, before dredging back to whence he had travelled – with Angelo in tow.

Following another day’s travel, D’acquisto and Angelo arrived at the edge of Autaria where its limits of golden brown leaves stack to the snow that builds at the limit of seasonal territory. Angelo shivers in the breath of Winarian wind that encroaches the border. He stands with his toes at the edge of his land and speaks confidently “Well then D’acquisto? Where is The Great Giovanni? Surely, he is still amid his towering dwellings of cold sparsity and this is a practical joke nonetheless, to make me see the world through his bitterly darkened eyes.” A moment danced as time goes through the permissible tension of mystery, radiating their conditions.

The airs battled with each other between Autarian warmth and Winarian frost – a copiousness which elevated their first engagement – from one prince to another. D’acquisto spoke jadedly “He is coming.”

Giovanni, interrupting D’acquisto’s attempts to perform a regal introduction, dredged towards them.

Angelo spoke “Oh, do please hurry cold prince, I have many problems to attend without the curiosity of your conundrum, so tell me this instance. Why have you called me here? On the edge of Autarian soil, and the breach of your wintered lands – where nothing smiles and everything shivers to the freeze of your frosty rule. I do say Giovanni; this land is too almost exactly what I expected. A suffocating white prison.”

Angelo seemed poised to continue before being struck from behind by D’acquisto, whom without restriction knocked Angelo unconscious instantly.

Giovanni knelt beside Angelo and investigated his Autarian features with admiration and an insatiable jealousy. He seemed to be amidst the obsession of envy – at which he rose shaking his head.

He regained sensibility – “D’acquisto, take him to the freezing depths of the towers dungeon, and once there make sure to keep his living condition stable, but nonetheless uncomfortable – I need him to be weak, but ultimately alive. Once you are done you must, go to Sprie and commit the same calling. Should Luca not leave due to sprightliness make sure to dour his mind into submission. I must have all of the princes alive for the transformation to work.”

The light of day began to draw in immediately as D’acquisto grabbed Angelo by his ankles, and dragged him towards the towers dungeon.


About the author

S R Gurney


Graduate. Author. Director.

Inspirer to noone.

Compulsive Hypochondriac.

Elusive Dreamer.

Thought Hallucinator.

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