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Donato Creti
Cremona, Italy, 1671-Bologna, 1749
Cleopatra, 1710s
Oil on canvas.
Creti’s style represents the most self-conscious and rarefied vein of classicism to appear in late Baroque painting. Trained in the Bolognese academy, he reacted against its increasingly stale formulae by attempting to return to its first principles. The result of this deliberate archaism is seen in an extreme refinement of form and color, lack of emotional quality and an unearthly beauty.