(b. 1640, Pederobbe, d. 1705, Venezia)


Italian sculptor and intaglio artist, part of a family of artists. Giacomo Piazzetta's renown in his own day was sufficient to earn him the sobriquet of 'palmifer' or bearer of the victor's palm. He has since been chiefly remembered as the father of the more famous Giovanni Battista Piazzetta, a painter and draughtsman, who was one of the most distinguished artists in 18th-century Venice.

Giacomo's oeuvre is known mostly through documentary sources. In addition to intagliowork (in wood and marble), he created a series of complex decorative ensembles, now destroyed, dismembered or dispersed, one of which was the reredos (1683) of the Scuola di Santa Maria della Carità, Venice, which he carved with scenes from the Life of the Virgin. It was broken up and divided between Adria Cathedral (near Rovigo) and the Cappella del Rosario in SS Giovanni e Paolo, Venice. The latter pieces were destroyed in a fire in 1867 and replaced with other works of his, also originally in S Maria della Carità. His relief carvings (c. 1685) for the church of the Carmini in Venice are similar in composition, with typical rounded forms and a rococo elegance reminiscent of the style of Francesco Cabianca.

His work is disappointingly inexpressive, however, perhaps partly because of the extensive participation of assistants, especially in the larger pieces. A signed Virgin and Child in the Ognissanti Church in Feltre can be dated to c. 1681, and in the sacristy of Feltre Cathedral the bas-reliefs of 1690 on a huge wardrobe show clear signs of Piazzetta's hand. Of certain attribution too are the St John the Baptist (1697; Venice, SS Apostoli) and St Romuald and Two Angels (1699; Venice, S Michele in Isola). Around this date he also created the marble group of St Joseph with the Child in the Bellati villa near Feltre. His wooden statue of Juno is in the same family collection.