CRESPI, Giuseppe Maria
(b. 1665, Bologna, d. 1747, Bologna)

Searcher for Fleas

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.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 3 minutes):
Modest Mussorgsky: Flea song