Gottardo Fidele Piazzoni was a Swiss-born American landscape painter, muralist and sculptor of Italian heritage, and a key member of the school of Northern California artists in the early 1900s. Piazzoni was born in Intragna, Ticino, Switzerland. He moved at the age of 15 to his father's dairy farm in the Carmel Valley. After training with Arthur Frank Mathews at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art (later the San Francisco Art Institute), Piazzoni trained for three years in Paris at the Académie Julian and under Jean-Léon Gérôme. He then returned to California to begin his career and set up his own teaching studio. Specializing in landscapes in a muted palette, he was one of the most influential exponents of the Tonalist style in California. He was able to portray the essential qualities of a scene and achieve a strong mood, using only minimal descriptive details. Piazzoni's best-known public work are his murals for the former headquarters of the San Francisco Public Library, which are now part of the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum's collection.