The Temptation

Pietro Longhi (Pietro Falca) Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 630

With remarkable frankness, the arrival of a sex worker and her procuress is announced to a gentleman wearing a dressing gown at his breakfast table. A second cup and saucer suggest that he has anticipated her visit. The intermediary male figure’s ostentatious dress seems not to be Venetian, though his identity remains uncertain. As often in Longhi’s compositions, a painting within the painting—here an erotic mythological subject—clarifies the actions about to take place.

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

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