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

A Theatrical Scene

c. 1752
Oil on canvas, 62 x 50 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Longhi's amusing genre scenes allows us to form an impression of the fashion, habits, and general half-real, half-fantastic atmosphere of 18th-century Venice, which had lost its political might and turned into a city of amusements, spectacles, and gambling. The plot of the painting is unclear, but it is obviously a risqué love scene from an Italian comedy featuring a fat doctor (or notary) and the servant girl Columbine.