CERUTI, Giacomo
(b. 1698, Milano, d. 1767, Milano)


Italian painter, one of the so-called Lombard Painters of Reality (i.e. low-life). He is now known to have been born in Milan, where he died, but by 1721 he was in Brescia, and his earliest work (1724) is a signed portrait of a Brescian patrician: his portraits are influenced by his elder contemporary Ghislandi. He frescoed the staircase of the Palazzo Grassi in Venice c. 1470 and was back in Milan by 1757. His present fame is based on his groups of working-class sitters, ranging from lacemakers to destitute vagabonds, painted in a technique similar to Ghislandi's, but the subject-matter is far closer to the Le Nain brothers, and ultimately derived from Caravaggio's realism. His nickname in Italy is Pitocchetto, the Little Miser. None of his works is dated, and few are yet in museums.