Serving Art Educators
and Students Since 1994


Archimboldo and Art & Math Integration

Arcimboldo Face Collage

7th and 8th Grades

Giuseppe Arcimboldo was a famous Italian painter (1500's) who spent the last 25 years of his life as an Austrian court painter for Emperors Maximilian and Rudolph II. His court paintings are exciting to view because instead of painting them as realistic portraits, the faces are composed of fruits and vegetables of the different seasons or of the elements like fire, water, sky, and land. Even some of his paintings can be view upside down. For example, in "The Cook" Arcimboldo paints a platter of cooked meats but when turned upside down, it becomes the portrait of the court cook. This type of painting is called "mannerism."


Using the idea of creating a face with unusual items, students were allowed to go through many magazines looking for any possibilites of items. They were allowed ONLY 7 minutes to find these items. Fast and furiously they raced to get as much as they could find... knowing they could not return to the magazines again until the project was completed. We enjoyed lots of laughter and sharing.


Students were asked to complete two faces... one to be torn only with the fingers and the second to be cut with scissors. Here you can see the "fruits" of their labor in these dynamic faces. You can notice which are torn and which are cut.

Arcimboldo Face Collage
Arcimboldo Face Collage Arcimboldo Face Collage
Arcimboldo Face Collage


Arcimboldo - Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527-1593) - In this book there is a detailed chronological summary of the life and oeuvre of the artist, covering his cultural and historical importance. The book includes a concise biography with approximately 100 illustrations with explanatory captions.

Arcimboldo: Visual Jokes, Natural History, and Still-Life Painting - Drawing on his thirty-five-year engagement with the artist, Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann begins with an overview of Arcimboldo’s life and work, exploring the artist’s early years in sixteenth-century Lombardy, his grounding in Leonardesque traditions, and his tenure as a Habsburg court portraitist in Vienna and Prague.


Art and Math Integration

7th and 8th GRADE

Art and Math is a special art class offered for a semester once every other year. It is a unique approach to teaching math. Instead of relying on the usual number problems with correct answers as the goal, the new goal is the completion of an art experience relating the answer to a design.


Especially useful to the visual learner, these projects provide for all learners a relationship of the abstract (math) to the concrete (art)... and art is a fantastic motivator. Modular math, base systems, number sequence, logic, percentages, probability, patterns, construction, symmetry, measurement (standard and metric), fractions, algebraic equations, operations and geometry... even calculus... are included in this course along with different cultural studies and art concepts.


There is no homework and no tests. Can you think of a better way to learn math?


Creating a hexagonal kaleidocycle


Here we are beginning a rotating hexagonal kaleidocycle. Within the shape lie tetrahedra shapes connected to each other.

Creating a hexagonal kaleidocycle


The strip is rolled up like a hose and turned into itself as you see above.

Painted fold-up designs


Once dry, patterns are created that will rotate differently when flipped over as you see here.


Other art and math work.....


Cubist painting


...Round Robin constructions...

Cubist painting


Opical Illusion


A Victor Vasarely study of op art using diameters and radii. If you stare at it long enough, the circle will start to move.


Art 'N Math Kaleidoscopes

These are done with squares of cut paper folded in one of three ways and glued in radial symmetry on pre-folded black background paper. Once shaped, the student is asked to determine the kind of radial symmetry that is present...rotational or reflective or both. The next step is to find the degree of rotation in the piece. Third, the student is required to find the total numbers of each color in his/her artwork and transfer that knowledge into percentages. Fourth, the student is finally asked to total the percentages which "might" not total 100%. They are asked to explain why these percentages might not add up to 100%. A lot of math knowledge in these lovely art pieces, hummm?


Art and Math Kaleidoscope      Art and math kaleidoscope


Art and math kaleidoscope      Art and math kaleidoscope


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