Pietro Longhi (Venice, 1701–85)

For BADA Week 2023, Trinity Fine Art have chosen to feature this majestic portrait by Pietro Longhi (Venice, 1701–85).

The portraits subjects are Edward Wortley Montagu (1713–1776) and his son, Massoud Fortunatus (1762–1798).

The scene reflects Europe's fascination with the East at the time, as explained by Tom Dawney of Trinity Fine Art, "The “East” as a source of fascination, a style and a concept for artistic as well as physical exploration has long held sway over the European imagination, and the life and exploits of Edward Wortley Montagu are one such example of the physical embodiment of this fascination.

"He was one of the more eccentric and notorious personalities of the 18th century, whose passion for the Middle East and its languages led to a period living in Egypt and expeditions to Armenia, Sinai and Jerusalem, adopting Armenian dress and henceforth wearing nothing else.

Pietro Longhi"In our portrait by Pietro Longhi, Wortley Montagu is accompanied by his son Massoud Fortunatus, as they were seen by Grand Tourists when father and son were an obligatory attraction in Venice and consequently put on a “show” for their guests."

Image caption:

Edward Wortley Montagu and his son, Massoud Fortunatus.
Pietro Longhi (Venice, 1701–85).
Oil on canvas.
Circa 1770-75.
52 x 67 cm.