He trained with his father and completed a few altarpieces, including for the churches of San Sigismondo in Bologna, San Bartolomeo della Buona Morte in Finale Emilia, the parish church of Bastiglia in the Province of Modena, and a "Madonna del Rosario" for the Sanctuary of Valdibrana in Pistoia. in 1748, he was nominated canon of the Collegiata di Santa Maria Maggiore in Bologna. Two years later he became an assistant to Cardinal Lambertini, later Pope Benedict XIV. he traveled to Dresden in 1751-1753. upon returning to Bologna, he worked in the re-issuing and editing of the Carlo Cesare Malvasia's Biographies of Bolognese artists, published in 1753, and titled Felsina pittrice. iN 1760s, he began a career as portraitist in a Neoclassical style. He accumulated a number of honors and appointments, including an appointment as associate professor of the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence in 1770; honorary academic of the Academy of Parma (1774) and of Venice (1776). He died in his native Bologna.
- Angelo Mai Civic Library of Bergamo, short biography by Eleonora Delzano introducing letters by Crespi.