Young Sculptor (w.d.)


Son of a modest sculptor, Giambattista Piazzetta was at Bologna in the early years of the 18th century, where he met Crespi. Settled in Venice starting from 1711, he was first the proprietor of a successful workshop and later, starting in 1750, the head of the school of painting that was to become the Venetian Academy. Renowned for his large religious compositions, he also painted pictures of medium-sized format, portraying mythological subjects or genre scenes.

The "great genius of chiaroscuro", as he was called, in 1733, by Antonio Maria Zanetti, was not however indifferent to the new trends emerging on the Venetian scene. The attention with which Piazzetta viewed Sebastiano Ricci and the young Giambattista Tiepolo is revealed especially in works from the third and fourth decades of the 18th century, more strongly marked by clear tonalities and great luminosity.


Skilled at presenting his figures enveloped in an intense, shadowy chiaroscuro, in portraits Piazzetta chooses for his models attitudes that are either boldly arrogant (as in his self-portraits) or introspective. The lowered viewpoint adopted by the artist for the Young Sculptor confers on the youth who wears an ostentateous fur hat, reserved elegance and an unexpectedly solemn air.