Gottardo PIAZZONI (1872-1945)


Hagemeyer, Johan. Gottardo Piazzoni  (1943). BANC PIC 1964.063--NEG Piazzoni, Gottardo -- 003. Courtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

Hagemeyer, Johan. Gottardo Piazzoni (1943). BANC PIC 1964.063–NEG Piazzoni, Gottardo — 003. Courtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

“One finds in Gottardo Piazzoni an artist, a landscape painter, who is also a poet and a philosopher and sometimes a prophet. His conception of landscape is idyllic. He is a romanticist whose methods are realistic. He is fundamentally a dreamer who cannot move about the country and paint here and there, but must stay quietly in one spot and live in the landscape he paints and absorb it to the point of saturation. Back of this is a love of the country that is born in the blood of people born in the mountains, and is perhaps the thing that makes him a landscape painter by choice and reveals itself in everything he paints. There is a sober simplicity in his work that never resorts to anything spectacular or involved, nor aims at striking effects. By its very simplicity it achieves real dramatic power. It is entirely reasonable that he has a respect that amounts to veneration for the great Italian primitives, I have heard him say with vehemence ‘that to create art one must have faith in something, either in God or faith in art.” Ray Boynton, art critic and artist

Read Gottardo Piazzoni‘s biography in California Art Project, volume 7.

At a glance

Birth : 1872 in Intragna (Switzerland)
Death : 1945, in Carmel Valley, California (United States)
Arrival in San Francisco Bay area : 1891
Married to : Beatrice Delmue
Skills : Painter, muralist  and teacher at the 
California School of Fine Arts


Art education, teachers :  Mark Hopkins Institute of Art/ California School of Fine Arts with Raymond D. Yelland and Arthur Mathews; Academie Julien with Benjamin Constant, Henri Martin, and Paul Laurens; Ecole des Beaux Arts (Paris, France) with Leon Gerome
Relations :   Gertrude Albright, Giacomo Balla, Ray Boynton, Rinaldo Cuneo, Maurice Delmue, Stafford Duncan, Maynard Dixon, Julia Heynemann, Spencer Macky, Xavier Martinez, Otis Oldfield, Willis Polk, Arthur Putnam, Lee Randolph, Joseph Raphael, Ralph Stackpole, J. B. Tufts, Edgar Walter, Tim Wulff
Patrons : Will Crocker, Charles Lombard, Andre Mattei, California Club
Institutions, clubs : Advisory Board of San Francisco Museum of Art, Bohemian Club (Honorary Member), California Society of Etchers, Chicago Society of Etchers, San Francisco Art Association, San Francisco Society of Mural Artists

Resources in the Bancroft Library


Chatham, Russell (1987). A reflection on Gottardo Piazzoni : presented September 26, 1987 at Hertz Hall, University of California, Berkeley. Catalog record
Salz, Helen A (1975). Sketches of an improbable ninety years : oral history transcript ; tape recorded interview conducted by Suzanne B. Riess in 1973-1974. Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library. Catalog recordOnline

Data Visualization : mapping of the artist biography

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