Artibus et Historiae no. 5 (III)

1982, ISSN 0391-9064

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FRANCESCA PETRUCCI - The "ragione trionfante" at the Medicean Court: Grand Prince Ferdinando and Giuseppe Maria Crespi

The paper considers the relationship of patronage and friendship that came to be between Grand Prince Ferdinando de' Medici and the Bolognese painter Giuseppe Maria Crespi in the first decade of the 18th century, when the artist was in Florence for a long time, guest of the Medici Court. An examination of the documents and of the literary sources regarding Ferdinando and Crespi leads us to suppose a considerable affinity of character between the two and an analogous feeling about ethics, so that the many "genre scenes" of a comic joking tone done by Crespi for his friend the Prince, like the "Poggio a Caiano Fair" (Florence, Uffizi) and the two round pictures now in Pisa, Museo Nazionale di San Matteo, turn out to have the value of messages alluding to the moral direction undertaken by both of them, one supported and shared by a considerable number of Florentine intellectuals and men of letters of the time.

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