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Born in Milan, Ceruti trained there and absorbed the north Italian interest in still-life painting associated with the work of Caravaggio. In northern Italy during the eighteenth century a fashion developed for paintings of peasants and beggars. Ceruti developed this genre by incorporating still-life details of game and vegetables and giving his peasants a new sense of dramatic solemnity. His work earned him the nick-name ‘il pitocchetto’ the painter of beggars. In 1721 Ceruti moved to Brescia where he produced an important early series of beggar and pilgrim scenes depicting the ragged poor that were quite unlike any previous representations of the genre. Ceruti’s Brescian beggar scenes are large in scale and devoid of the comic and anecdotal qualities usually associated with this style of painting.
Physical Description: A young boy, wearng a ragged red cap and torn clothes, wraps his arm around a dog and with his other hand lifts the dogs foot. The dog sits on top of a table and holds a horn in his mouth.