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Giovanni Battista Piazzetta
(Venice, Italy, 1682 - 1754, Venice, Italy)
Along with Sebastiano Ricci, Piazzetta was responsible for revitalizing Venetian painting and inaugurating its second great age. Trained in Bologna under Giuseppe Maria Crespi, Piazzetta brought back to his school a naturalism based upon systematic drawing, featuring intense chiaroscuro, and dedicated to dramatic expression. Reconciling this conception with the mobile light and personalized brushwork of his native tradition, while rejecting its bright palette and decorative tendencies, Piazzetta brought new life and power to the tired late Baroque formulae. He would never engage in the monumental decorative projects that were the staple of the age, and unlike his compatriots who were adept at that genre, he never worked outside Venice. He did, however, infuse his religious and genre subjects with a force of visual sensation and human characterization equal to that of the greatest works of the early Baroque.