As a small child, it was this quality which made the image stand out. I was too scared to turn the page and look at it directly - instead I would peer nervously into the half-opened book for a second, before slamming it shut in terror. It seemed genuinely malevolent - but I loved it for that. It made me feel something.
In England a notable contemporary example is the anamorphic head of Edward VI, which can only be seen ‘correctly’ when viewed from side perspective.
These days, weird and wonderful composite creatures and constructed heads have fully permeated our visual culture, from the coathanger heads of sculptor David Mach to the marvellous animal monster of illustrator Andrew Rae. ....But Arcimboldo’s fish faced man still packs a mighty punch.