Creti was born in Cremona but moved with his family to Bologna in 1673. He seems to have studied under Lorenzo Pasinelli (1629 - 1700), the leading Bolognese painter of the time. In 1709 Creti was one one of the founder members of the Accademia Clementina in Bologna. He painted decorative frescoes and some altarpieces, but most of his activity was for private patrons, including a commission for a series of paintings for the 2nd Duke of Richmond at Goodwood. His art is rich in allusions to the great traditions of Bolognese painting.