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Sleeping Shepherdess Teased by a Boy

circa 1695-1700
18th century
15.88 cm x 22.86 cm (6 1/4 in. x 9 in.)

Giuseppe Maria Crespi (Bologna, Italy, 1665 - 1747, Bologna, Italy) Primary

Object Type: painting
Artist Nationality: Europe, Italian
Medium and Support: Oil on copper
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
Accession Number: 2017.1063

Giuseppe Maria Crespi’s paintings are characterized by the masterful treatment of light achieved by free brushwork and sophisticated use of colors, which he learned from Venetian art. This luminous quality is most apparent in his small paintings on copper executed for private patrons. On the smooth surface, the painter’s virtuoso strokes create intimate and charming images that glisten against dark backgrounds.

The depiction of contemporary life was a passion for Crespi throughout his career. These three small paintings of shepherdesses represent bucolic reveries, without specific literary sources attached to them. The works are meant to evoke a poetic mood rather than to communicate a message.

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