26 January 2001
GIUSEPPE MARIA CRESPI (Bologna 1665-1747)
The Flight into Egypt
oil on canvas
22¼ x 16¼ in. (56.5 x 41.3 cm.)
Count Pepoli, Bologna.
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M.P. Merriman, Giuseppe Maria Crespi, Milan, 1980, p. 302, no. 233 illustrated.
Bologna, Palazzo Communale, Mostra Celebrativa di Giuseppe Maria Crespi, June-July 1948, p. 43, no. 51, pl. XXXCI.
Both Gaudi and Arcargeli in the catalogue of the exhibition in 1948 (op. cit.) suggest a date after 1725 for the present painting. Merriman (op. cit.) points out that the kneeling peasant recalls several figures in the martyrdom series in San Paolo d'Aragon, documented to 1728-9. Similarly the fussy brushwork in the rendering of the foliage and straw is found in paintings such as A Pastoral Scene with Two Shepherdesses in the Roberto Longhi collection, Florence, and Jupiter among the Corybantes, London, both dated circa 1730.
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