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

The Ridotto

Oil on canvas
Raccotta Salon, Venice

In Longhi's pictures manners are painted with a decorousness that becomes insipid; in most of the pictures nothing is happening and the figures are sometimes barely composed into any coherent relationship. Longhi's justification is not really by any artistic standard but through a new claim: that what he depicts is true. His pictures were not collected internationally as souvenirs of Venice, but must have hung on the walls of actual rooms similar to those he depicts: reassuring in their reflection and yet something of a revolution, at least in that city, by their simple realism.