also spelled Arcimboldi; 1527 - July 11, 1593) was an Italian painter best known for creating imaginative portrait heads made entirely of such objects as fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, and books -- that is, he painted representations of these objects on the canvas arranged in such a way that the whole collection of objects formed a recognizable likeness of the portrait subject.
In 1562 he became the court portraitist to Maximilian II at the Habsburg court in Vienna, and later, to his son Rudolf II, both of whom seem to have much liked Arcimboldo's extraordinary portraits.
He was also the court decorator, costume designer, and general art expert. His style of early pre-surrealist portraiture was much copied by his contemporaries, making it difficult at times to differentiate his work from that of imitators. Ironically, given the fame of the imaginary portraits, Arcimboldo's conventional work has been all but forgotten.
He died in Milan.
His works can be found in Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Habsburg Schloss Amras in Innsbruck, the Louvre in Paris, as well as numerous museums in Sweden. In Italy, his work is in Cremona, Brescia, and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. The Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut, and at the Candie Museum, Guernsey, also contain pieces of his work.