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date: 23 October 2019

Crespi, Cristoforo Benignolocked

(b Busto Arsizio, Oct 18, 1833; d Milan, Jan 5, 1920).
  • Janet Southorn


(b Busto Arsizio, Oct 18, 1833; d Milan, Jan 5, 1920).

Italian businessman and collector. His family owned a successful cotton-spinning business, which Crespi and his four younger brothers inherited and ran as a flourishing concern. With the help of such friends as the art historian Giovanni Morelli and the painter Giuseppe Bertini, who was also curator of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera and the Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Crespi created one of the finest private collections of turn-of-the-century Milan and displayed it on the first floor of his palazzo at 18 Via Borgonuovo. An illustrated catalogue by Adolfo Venturi, published in 1900, shows that the collection included a wide range of Italian art from the 16th to the 18th century. Lombard painters were particularly well represented, with paintings, for example, by Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, Daniele Crespi and Luigi Crespi (ii). Examples of Venetian painting included a Risen Christ (Florence, Contini-Bonacossi priv. col., see Wethey, p. 177, cat. no. X-31) by ...

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Dizionario biografico degli italiani (Rome, 1960–)