Arcimboldo's conventional work, on traditional religious subjects, has fallen into oblivion, but his portraits of human heads made up of vegetables, fruit, sea creatures and tree roots, were greatly admired by his contemporaries and remain a source of fascination today. Art critics debate whether these paintings were whimsical or the product of a deranged mind. A majority of scholars hold to the view, however, that given the Renaissance fascination with riddles, puzzles, and the bizarre, for example, the grotesque heads of Leonardo da Vinci, Arcimboldo, far from being mentally imbalanced, catered to the taste of his times.
Arcimboldo died in Milan, to which he retired after leaving the Prague service. It was during this last phase of his career that he produced the composite portrait of Rudolph II, as well as his self-portrait as the Four Seasons. His Italian contemporaries honored him with poetry and manuscripts celebrating his illustrious career. When the Swedish army invaded Prague in 1648, during the Thirty Years' War, many of Arcimboldo's paintings were taken from Rudolf II's collection. His works can be found in Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Habsburg Schloss Ambras 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, the Denver Art Museum in Denver, Colorado, the Menil Foundation in Houston, Texas, the Candie Museum in Guernsey and the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid also own paintings by Arcimboldo.