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Browse >Gottardo Piazzoni

Gottardo Piazzoni

Paintings in Inventory

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Lake TahoeMlll Valley
Vichy SpringsWilbur Springs


Artist's Biography

Gottardo Piazzoni emigrated from his native Switzerland to Carmel Valley in 1886 when he was fourteen years old and went to work on his father’s dairy ranch. An early talent for art led to his becoming a student at the California School of Design under Arthur Mathews from 1891 to 1893 where he was known as a “farmer’s lad.” Like most talented San Francisco art students of the 1890s, Piazzoni then spent three years studying his profession at the Académie Julian in Paris. Returning to turn-of-the-century San Francisco, he exhibited broadly painted landscapes in a style that took the tonalist aesthetic to extremes. On May 2, 1902, the San Francisco Call noted that “Piazzoni’s fantastic ideals are much liked for the daring of the treatment and the originality.” In contemplating Piazzoni’s contributions to the California Society of Artists exhibition in November 1903, the Chronicle critic noted: “No pictures will be more talked of than those by G.F.P. Piazzoni. Some of them are in the lowest key in which it is possible to paint, and others are wonderfully luminous.” (Nov. 11, 1903). For all his radicalism, Piazzoni never stopped going to nature for his primary inspiration. The Chronicle critic praised Piazzoni’s works in the Bohemian Club Exhibition of 1904 in these words: “Few pictures in the gallery suggest more of the vastness, the mystery, the charm of wide-open country than [Piazzoni’s]. They are restful, peaceful pictures and good to live with.” (Dec. 11, 1904). Piazzoni went on to become a major mural painter as well as an exhibiting easel painter who tried to straddle the widening gulf between traditional and avant-garde artists.

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