The Confession

about 1755
Pietro Longhi (Italian (Venetian), about 1700–1785)


62.3 x 50.2 cm

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

On View

Ann and Graham Gund Gallery (Gallery LG31)




Probably acquired in Venice by George Cavendish Bentinck (b. 1821 - d. 1891), London and Brownsea Island; July 8-19, 1891, posthumous Cavendish Bentinck sale, Christie, Manson and Woods, London, probably lot 574, to Col. H. Drake for £115 [see note 1]. By 1905, private collection [see note 2]. February 11, 1948, sold by Arthur Tooth and Co., London (stock no. C7449) to Marion Audrey (Mrs. Basil M.) Lindsay-Fynn (b. 1906 – d. 1991), London and County Meath, Ireland; until about 2016, by descent within the family; about 2016, sold by the Lindsay-Fynn family to Galerie Sanct Lucas, Vienna and Derek Johns, Ltd., London; 2017, sold by Derek Johns to the MFA. (Accession date: June 21, 2017)

[1] As P. Longhi, “The Confessional,” 23 ½ x 19 in. Terisio Pignatti, Longhi (Milan: Electa, 1972), p. 96, who did not publish the present painting, tentatively suggested that a composition by Longhi of a similar subject, later in the Luigi Albertini collection, Rome, was identical to the Cavendish Bentinck picture. This, however, seems unlikely given the earlier provenance of the Albertini painting, which was acquired in Milan in 1913. The present picture is more likely to have been among the works of art acquired by Cavendish Bentinck in Venice during the nineteenth century. His collection was dispersed in 1891 and at least one other painting from the sale was reproduced by Monneret de Villard in his article of 1905 (see below, n. 2).

[2] Ugo Monneret de Villard, “Arte Retrospettiva: Note su Pietro Longhi,” Emporium 21, no. 123 (March, 1905), ill. p. 204, as in a private collection.

Credit Line

Charles Potter Kling Fund