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Giacomo Ceruti, called Pitocchetto
Milan, 1698-1767
Young Peasant Woman Holding a Wine Flask, ca. 1737
Oil on canvas.
Cerutiís specialty was portraiture, depicting both conventional sitters and anonymous subjects from the bottom and periphery of society. This is a characteristic work from the time of Cerutiís activity in Padua. Conforming to the conventions of high portraiture, this peasant girl, her simple garments, and heavy hands are bestowed a real dignity. At the same time, rendered without prejudice or condescension, she emerges as thoroughly individual and unaffected. The painting anticipates not just the realism by also the egalitarian political spirit of the next century.