Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Painting of the Day: “Blind Man’s Buff,” Pietro Longhi, 1744

Blind Man's Buff
Pietro Longhi, 1744
The Royal Collection

Italian artist Pietro Longhi excelled at intimate and romantic interior scenes. Though trained in Venice, Longhi demonstrated a certain French influence in his works. He had a remarkable ability to capture to joy of everyday events and the objects used by people on a daily basis. The figures on all of his paintings were carefully rendered. Many of them were small portraits of people known to Longhi or his patrons.

Here, we see a group engaged in the popular game of Blind Man’s Buff which was a celebrated diversion in Paris on the Eighteenth Century. The joyful scene is curiously juxtaposed by the painting in the background which depicts the suicide of the Numidian Queen. Was Longhi making a statement about the fleeting nature of joy? Perhaps he was, or perhaps not. Nevertheless, this painting, over three hundred years later, reminds us to enjoy each moment. 

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