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The Boston Globe

Theater & art

Frame by Frame

‘Woman Playing a Lute’ by Giuseppe Maria Crespi

When painting lifts off into the ineffable, it’s hard to account, even internally, for what has taken place, much less why. You can stroll through one gallery after another, nodding at this and pausing at that, homing in more often than feels warranted on wall labels, frames, and other incidentals. But when you come across something like this painting by Giuseppe Maria Crespi (1665-1747), at the Museum of Fine Arts, you suddenly find your soul on the hook.

What has happened?

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