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Piazzetta's Self-Portraits

Giovanni Battista Piazzetta's most distinctive works were his head studies in chalks. The drawing on the left is a straightforward self-portrait around the age of 50, but in the drawing on the right he re-imagines himself as a younger man. The formal wig has given way to an unruly mop of natural hair, a cloak is thrown over his loose shirt, and he rests his hand on a rough staff: the urbane artist is casting himself as a romanticised peasant.