CRESPI, Giuseppe Maria
(b. 1665, Bologna, d. 1747, Bologna)
Searcher for Fleas1720s
Oil on canvas, 55 x 41 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris
It is possible that this canvas (of which Crespi produced various versions) was commissioned by Owen McSwiney, director of the Opera House in London and Canaletto's first agent. The humble, direct reality of the piece is explored through the minute details of everyday life. It bears comparison to Hogarth but lacks the caustic irreligious caricature that makes the English painter's work so unmistakable.