Born and active above all in Rome, after having trained artistically with the late Mannerist Giuseppe Cesari, made himself known for genre scenes and for its insertion into the stream Roman folk Caravaggist, defined Bamboccianti school run by Flemish Pieter van Laer, of which he became one of the main exponents together with various Dutch artists residing in Rome.
His condemnation by critics was even harsher than that of Van Laer, having denied him the merit of having at least inaugurated a new genre. But his painting yields nothing compared to that of Bamboccio, and indeed Cerquozzi often reveals a more pathetic and sympathetic attitude towards the simple affections and humble events of the people; outstanding document is The revolt of Masaniello, objective chronicle of the Neapolitan popular tumult, completely devoid of emphasis and of rhetoric.
In works such as the Death of the Donkey, a notable vital charge was added to the colorful anecdotal spirit. Even in the still lifes, well represented by Collecting snails, the painter highlighted not only the teachings of Gobbo dei Carracci, but even a trace of mixing with landscape painting. Notable, among the latest contributions, the Genre scene, depicting the veneration of the healer Angizia goddess of the Marsi during the Festa dei Serpari of Cocullo, with the admirable rendering of the bagpiper kneeling among his shawls, where the bambocciante style develops a Caravaggesque reading.
Height 55 cm x Width. 46 cm