Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (attributed to), San Francesco di Paola, first half of the 18th century, oil on canvas, measures 120×93 cm.
The painting is accompanied by an expertise on photography by Professor Adolfo Venturi (1856-1941), who on May 15, 1936, attributes the painting to Giovanni Battista Piazzetta.
Giovanni Battista Piazzetta was born in 1682 in Pietrarossa, near Venice, and died in Venice in 1754.
He worked in the atelier of Antonio Molinari and worked with Giuseppe Maria Crespi in Bologna.
The particularity of Giovanni Battista Piazzetta, derived from his passion for caravaggesca painting, is the use of chiaroscuro or color contrasts to guarantee form and volume to his subjects, with an extraordinary rendering.
His painting, thanks to an exceptional intensity of perception of the external world, was intentionally concentrated and synthesized to the extreme.
In fact, it seems that the artist had wanted to reach the impossible goals of plasticism in search of absoluteness, something that made his production – precisely for such intimate and extreme complexity – oscillating between the highest peaks of art and real rethinking, often leading to dissatisfaction with the unachieved end.
Technically, in fact, Giovanni Battista Piazzetta distanced himself from the Venetian painting of his period for the use of an unusual drawing force, not at all linear, despite his trait still retains an appropriate pictorial imprint.
To reinforce this opinion, it is enough to remember that he is still considered to be the greatest designer of the eighteenth century and one of the highest interpreters of the pathetic-chiaroscuro current, in absolute contrast with the chiarista style.
His example certainly influenced the Venetian school to come but also in mature artists, among which one could also include Crespi, who was one of his teachers.
The lesson of the Piazzetta contributed to nourishing the airy dreams of Tiepolo with vital sap.