Hidden treasures

The Seven Sacraments by Pietro Longhi

Unknown places & works

The Seven Sacraments by Pietro Longhi

One of the finest museums of Venice, the Querini Stampalia Foundation in Santa Maria Formosa, houses an interesting series of paintings by Pietro Longhi representing the Seven Sacraments. These paintings were commissioned by Andrea Querini to adorn his bedroom.

Despite their sacred representation, the scenes are solved by Pietro Longhi in a totally new way, in particular, highlighting aspects of daily life related to the Sacraments. The protagonists are in fact simple bourgeois Venetians intent with domestic practices.

In the Baptism, for example, the centre is the baptismal font, but on the right you can see a woman hidden behind a pillar, surely the child's mother, who for the ecclesiastical laws was considered unclean and therefore could not attend the function.

In the confession, around the figures ready to repent, you can see a small dog; when the painting was printed by Pitteri, the dog was considered a misnomer, and then replaced by a tombstone.

Among the seven paintings, the most moving one is surely 'the last rites' one: we can see a woman who blows her nose, the heater to heat the dying and the slice of lemon ready for the ritual.

The Querini Stampalia Foundation and other great museums of Venice can be included in Your Own Venice, a customized guided tour enabling you to visit the city in a new and highly evocative way: you can agree with us an itinerary to include the areas or attractions you want to visit, with starting time and meeting point of your choice!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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