Giuseppe Maria Crespi - The Rape of Europa

Giuseppe Maria Crespi - The Rape of Europa - image-1
Giuseppe Maria Crespi - The Rape of Europa - image-1

Giuseppe Maria Crespi

The Rape of Europa

Oil on canvas (relined). 64 x 90 cm.

Already during his lifetime, Crespi was considered among the most outstanding painters not only in Bologna and his native Italy, but also in Europe as a whole. Ferdinando de' Medici was a patron of his throughout his lifetime, as was Pope Benedict XIV, who was also born in Bologna. Dignitaries and art collectors such as Cardinals Pietro Ottoboni and Tommaso Ruffo owned important works by Crespi. Many of his paintings were in imperial possession or could be found in the residences of the German prince electors - and thus adorned the collections of Prince Eugene of Savoy, Johann Adam Andreas Prince of Liechtenstein, Landgrave Philipp of Hessen-Darmstadt and the Saxon elector and King August III of Poland, among others.

Crespi was a contemporary of Stefano Magnasco and Sebastiano Ricci, whose works played an important role in the development of Italian Rococo painting. Crespi's works also exerted a strong influence on numerous renowned artists of the era, such as Ceruti and Bascheni in Lombardy, the young Tiepolo, Piazzetta, Bencovich and above all Pietro Longhi in Venice and Traversi in Naples. Crespi was known for rebelling against the artistic style imposed by the Academy. He relied on strong contrasts of colour and the use of chiaroscuro effects. Our work testifies to the virtuosity of this artist even as a young man. In her catalogue raisonné, Mira Pajes Merriman points out the clear similarities between our painting (no. 157) and Crespi's work "The Birth of Adonis" (no. 151).


Tuscan aristocratic property from a private collection in Vienna.


Cf. Merriman, Mira Pajes: Giuseppe Maria Crespi. Milan, 1980, no. 157.

Lot 2093 Dα

30.000 € - 40.000 €

37.500 €