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ID number:  BIRBI-65.3
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Crespi, Giuseppe Maria (1665-1747)
Title / Object name:  A woman looking for fleas
Object type:  Painting
Culture:  Italian
Date made:  about 1715/20
Materials:  Oil on canvas
Measurements:  49.5 x 38 cm
Provenance:  Rome, Ilo Nunes-Mauri, 1943; purchased from the Hazlitt Gallery in 1965.

It is night, and a partially undressed woman surrounded by her stays, skirt hoops and stockings, searches for fleas. She has placed a pot of water in front of her in which to drown them. At the top, two boys look down at her, adding a ribald element to this low-life scene.

Although Crespi painted religious subjects, he is best known today for his genre paintings, being one of the first Italian artists to specialise in everyday scenes. This subject was particularly popular and there are six other versions.

Notes:  Exhibited: 'Cinque Pittore del Settecento', Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne, Rome, 1943, cat. no. 19; 'Giuseppe Maria Crespi and the emergence of genre painting in Italy', Fort Worth, Kimbell Art Museum, 1986, no. 21; 'Hogarth and Europe', Tate Britain, 3 November 2021 - 20 March 2022 (Cat. p.89)

1 Related People

Crespi, Giuseppe Maria

1 Related Publications

Giuseppe Maria Crespi
Merriman, M. P.

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