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Domenico Piola

1627–1703, Genoa

Domenico Piola is certainly the most important representative of the Casa Piola, the school of painting which bears the name of his family and largely determined the look of Genoese art during the mid to late 17th and early 18th centuries. Domenico, son of the painter Paolo Battista Piola, was trained by his prematurely deceased brother Pellegro Piola (1617–1640) and Domenico Capellino. What really shaped his stylistic development, however, was the powerful example set by the art of Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione. By about 1670 Piola had advanced to a mature style, which was mainly to be seen in his wall and ceiling frescoes and made him one of the founders of Genoese illusionistic wall painting. Although his early drawings still betray the strong influence of Castiglione, Piola soon developed his own, unmistakably personal artistic style.