CRESPI, Giuseppe Maria
(b. 1665, Bologna, d. 1747, Bologna)
Village Fairc. 1709
Oil on canvas, 76 x 84 cm
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan
Crespi rejected the opaque quality of Bolognese academic art to develop a realist vein that enlivened his work as a painter in Venice and Parma. His best pictures express an affectionate and sharp-eyed participation in the minor moments of the life of simple, unaffected people. Crespi was also a skillful caricaturist, as is shown by his expulsion from the Accademia Ghisilieri in Bologna for having represented Count Cesare Malvasia, a highly respected compiler of the city's art history, as a plucked capon. This Village Fair is similar to the one in the Uffizi. It has the same warmth of colour, acute description of the characters and sympathetic participation in the life of the market day.