Italian painter. He was one of the most original Venetian artists of his day. His religious and genre scenes helped to prepare the way for the rococo style of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and others.
Piazzetta worked in Venice for various churches, and his ceiling decoration The Glory of St Dominic about 1727 (SS Giovanni e Paolo, Venice) influenced Tiepolo. He also painted sensitive genre pictures (a number of which were engraved) and a few portraits, as well as producing many drawings and book illustrations.
The use of a dark-red ground has made for a dusky effect of light and shade in some works, which has increased with time, though he also showed a trend towards the lighter rococo scheme of colour.
Piazzetta was a very slow worker, and much of his later work was largely carried out by pupils. His best work was executed in the 1740s; in his last years he had been eclipsed by the new generation. In 1750 he was made the first director of the Venice Academy of Fine Arts.
Credit: The Ecstasy of St Francis, by Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (1682-1754). / De Agostini Picture Library / A. Dagli Orti / The Bridgeman Art Lib