The Letter

Pietro Longhi (Pietro Falca) Italian

Not on view

An older man holding a coin negotiates with a procuress over a young woman, who reads with evident pleasure the letter he has written her as she takes a break from her millinery work. A young girl holds a doll that mimics the toppled mannequin on the table, suggesting she may follow in the older woman’s footsteps. The Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni praised Longhi’s dedication to truth, by which he meant the way in which the artist chronicled the foibles of contemporary society. This painting and three others in The Met’s collection probably formed part of a series painted in 1746 for the Gambardi family in Florence.

The Letter, Pietro Longhi (Pietro Falca) (Italian, Venice 1701–1785 Venice), Oil on canvas

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