Antonio Carneo
(Concordia Sagittaria 1637 – Portogruaro 1692)

Rural Conversation

Oil on canvas, 90 x 81 cm (35 x 32 inches)

Act one, scene two (near the same farmhouse, the same two ladies, one old and the other young): “El Palma Vechio a sto discorso invido; perché in la bela Dona me confido, Fata da lù de cusi vago aspeto.” (“Palma the Elder I here address; as in his Beauties I do trust, done by him with such a Loveliness.”).

It is still summer, there is still time to “paint blood, and real meat,”, counting the merits of that distant teacher on the fingers of one hand (Boschini, M., La carta del navegar pitoresco (The map for Pictoreque Navigating), Venice 1660, first part, pp. 42-43). But they will speak about other things, resting their elbows on the chipped wall in the picture; perhaps about life’s lessons and unheeded advice, possibly dictated by common sense or in envy of that body which is still intact.