Italian Mannerist Painter, ca.1530-1593
Italian painter, draughtsman and tapestry designer, active also in Austria and Bohemia. He came from a distinguished Milanese family that included a number of archbishops of the city; his father was the painter Biagio Arcimboldo. Giuseppe is first documented in 1549, working with his father for Milan Cathedral; he received payments until 1558 for supplying paintings, designs for an altar baldacchino and stained-glass windows for the cathedral: the Story of Lot and the Life of St Catherine in the south transept windows are usually attributed to him. He collaborated with Giuseppe Meda in designing the gonfalone of St Ambrose in Milan, probably sometime soon after 1558. In 1556 he received a commission to paint the south wall and vault of the south transept of Monza Cathedral, also in Lombardy, a work that must have been completed by 1562. Portions of a fresco of the Tree of Jesse on the south wall there can be attributed to him. In 1558 he was paid for designing tapestries for Como Cathedral (in situ). On the basis of stylistic comparison with the windows in Milan and the frescoes in Monza, the design of a tapestry representing St John the Baptist Preaching and Baptizing (Monza, Mus. Duomo) can be attributed to Arcimboldo. The Archbishop of Milan, Carlo Borromeo, probably paid for this tapestry.