LONGHI, Pietro
(b. 1702, Venezia, d. 1785, Venezia)

The Venetian Lady's Morning

c. 1741
Oil on canvas, 60 x 49 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

Much more comprehensible to his contemporaries, and truly typical of the century's interests, was Giuseppe Maria Crespi's Venetian pupil, Pietro Longhi. Without Lancret's charm and Hogarth's satiric bite, Longhi was closer a tattling journalist, observing life in Venice with mild, rather respectful, humour. Local patricians commissioned his little pictures which hold up to nature no more than a small hand-mirror, none too steadily, in which the more amiable surfaces of life are prettily reflected back. So many pages from an almanach, Longhi's pictures dutifully report the daily round of visits and coffee-drinking in patrician circles, and sewing and serving food in humbler milieux, and move out of doors to record carnival novelties.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 5 minutes):
Edvard Grieg: Peter Gynt Suite No 1, Op, 46 ('Morning Mood')