Giovanni Battista Piazzetta was a Venetian artist who excelled in painting and illustration. Unlike his contemporaries, Piazzetta preferred to use somber and monochromatic palettes, inspired by the Italian Baroque and later the French Rococo. He received many commissions for religious works; since he was a notoriously slow painter, he had to produce a large number of drawings to support himself. He would gain considerable renown for his drawn, half-length portraits of Venetians and complex landscapes. Piazzetta was one of the first artists to elevate the practice of drawing—then considered merely an auxiliary tool—to an art form equal to that of painting in importance and quality.