A pair of copies of paintings by the 18th century Italian artist Pietro Longhi, made by his French compatriot, the engraver Flipart, will be linked to the revered decorative arts collection at The Bowes Museum in Durham, where they will hang in the central picture gallery as part of a bequest.
The Lover of a Venetian Lady and The Encounter of a Procurator with his Wife at Ridotto reflected Longhi's eye for scenes of Venetian life. Their imagery chimes with the museum’s collection of English porcelain – gifted by the Art Fund in 2004 – and the resident fine woven silk fabrics, which add aristocratic hallmarks to a series of 18th century textiles.
© Bowes Museum
“The paintings help expand the Museum’s collection into the field of social scenes and life, while enhancing its collection of artefacts relating to the same period,” said the Museum’s Keeper of Fine Art, Emma House, who applied for money from the Fund to buy works reflecting the “sparkling nature” of Longhi’s brushwork.
“They enhance the museum’s important collection of Italian paintings, including landscapes by Canaletto and Guardi, which represent the Venetian school in the 18th century.”
The paintings will hang near other works by the likes of Goya, Boucher, Gainsborough and Reynolds.