Jean-Luc Baroni Ltd

Giuseppe Arcimboldo

(Italian, b. ca. 1527–1593)

an allegory of death by giuseppe arcimboldo

Attributed to Giuseppe Arcimboldo

An Allegory of Death

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Born into a noble Milanese family, Giuseppe Arcimboldo was working as independent artist by 1549, when he provided paintings and designs for stained glass windows for the Duomo in Milan. He remained active in Milan and elsewhere in Lombardy until 1562, when he was summoned to the Imperial court at Vienna by the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II. Two years later he is recorded working as a portrait painter to Ferdinand’s successor, Maximilian II. Arcimboldo remained in service at the Habsburg court after Maximilian’s death, working for Rudolf II in Prague both as a painter and as a designer of theatrical costumes and entertainments. He is best known, however, for his anthropomorphic paintings of portraits made out of a combination of various fruits, flowers, animals and so forth. Arcimboldo’s service to the Emperor continued after his return in c.1587 to Milan, where he died in 1593, having been named a Count Palatine the previous year.