Gottardo Piazzoni was born in Intragna, Switzerland; he moved with his family to California at the age of 15. His father had established a dairy farm in Carmel Valley, and life on the farm taught Piazzoni to revere and respect nature. He studied with Arthur Mathews at the California School of Design, followed by a sojourn in Paris. Piazzoni eventually settled in California, where he developed a mature style featuring harmonious palettes, spare compositions, and poetic symbolism.
What is your relationship to nature?
Piazzoni was friendly with the California poet George Sterling, and they often expressed similar ideas in their work. Sometimes the titles of Piazzoni’s paintings found their way into Sterling’s poems. It is thought that Sterling’s 1911 poem “Moonlight in the Pines” inspired this painting: “But o’er the dale where Silence stood, / With tranquil dews austerely crowned, / A wilder glory touched the wood,—/ A sense of things profound.”
Oil on paperboard mounted on panel
Museum purchase, Skae Fund Legacy
25 1/2 x 31 3/8 in. (64.8 x 79.7 cm)