Arcimboldo, Giuseppe (jōzĕpˈpā ärchēmbôlˈdō) [key], 1527–93, Italian painter. The son of an artist, he began as a traditional portrait painter. Later, as court painter to Hapsburg kings Maximilian II and Rudolf II, Arcimboldo became celebrated for his grotesque, realistically rendered, symbolic portraits constructed from fruits, vegetables, animals, fishes, and the like, works that reflected mannerism's taste for the strange and exotic. His paintings are included in major museum collections, e.g. Winter (1563) in the Vienna Kunsthistorische Museum. Arcimboldo's fanciful mannerist works were frequently imitated and found particular favor among the surrealists (see surrealism).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: European Art to 1599: Biographies