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Showing posts from April, 2013

Master of the Week:Piazzetta, Venetian Poet of Light

The Soothsayer, 1740

Born on February 13, 1682 in Venice, Giovanni Battista Piazzetta was a Rococo painter. He studied with Crespi while in Bologna and quickly evolved into his own style of Venetian Neo-Baroque Rococo with dark colors and graceful figures. Although a contemporary of Ricci and Tiepolo, Piazzetta remains a unique artist for his use of light and figures that seems to defy the lighter Rococo era of his time. A teacher and co-founder of the Venetian Academy of Fine Arts Scuola di Nudo (I would love to attend a school like that!) Piazzetta would prove to leave a lasting legacy of Rococo genius, even if under-appreciated today. His drawings reveal an understanding of character and charm in the human face, especially in his studies of children, that is unmistakably Piazzetta.

In The Soothsayer above, Piazzetta melds warm and cool together with distinctive warm light and deep shadows. Note how he achieves the darks in the background with deep browns that transition into yellow…