NOMA is organizing A Life of Seduction: Venice in the 1700s in cooperation with Contemporanea Progetti in Florence, Italy. This exhibition celebrates the theater and spectacle of Venice—in public and private life—in paintings, costumes, furnishings, glass, and ceremonial regalia.

Renowned for its beauty and singularity, Venice played a central role in the history of Western art. In the 18th century, the city experienced a revival in the arts and was the premier destination for intellectuals and travelers. The city and its inhabitants cultivated and eulogized a tradition of street life, festivals, and fashion.

Guest curated by the former director of the Museums of Venice, Giandomenico Romanelli, A Life of Seduction examines this culture of display and sensuality through four primary themes: A City that Lives on Water, the Celebration of Power, Aristocratic Life in Town and Country, and the City as Theater.

The works in the exhibition are drawn primarily from Venetian and other Italian collections, with important additions from American institutions. Five extraordinary paintings, never before seen in the United States, introduce the themes of the exhibition. Recently attributed to Joseph Heintz the Younger (1600-1678), these detailed works illuminate the richness of Venetian culture and society, providing insight into the public life of Venetians, and intimate views of political and aristocratic life.

NOMA also is partnering with Contemporanea Progetti to produce a noteworthy publication to accompany this exhibition. This publication will include a scholarly essay by NOMA’s Senior Research Curator for European Art Vanessa Schmid on the exceptional series of paintings by Joseph Heintz the Younger.


Late 16th century

Wood and leather and bone

15.5 x 24.6 cm.

Venice: Museo Correr

Follower of Joseph Heintz the Younger, Fantastic Vision of the Triumph of Venice (detail), 18th-century, Oil on canvas, Rovigo: Palazzo Roncale, Fondazione Cariparo

18th century

Joseph Heintz the Younger

Oil on canvas

150 x 140 cm.

Rovigo: Palazzo Roncale, Fondazione Cariparo

Finial from Gondola

18th century

Venetian Manufacture


131 cm.

Venice: Museo Correr

The Wharf from the Basin of San Marco

18th century


Oil on canvas

51 x 83 cm.

Milan: Castello Sforzesco

Two Bauta Masks

Late 18th Century

Venetian Manufacture

Cloth, painted gesso

7 1/2 x 6 inches

Venice, Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, Ca' Rezzonico - Museo del Settecento Veneziano


A Life of Seduction: Venice in the 1700s is organized by the New Orleans Museum of Art in cooperation with Contemporanea Progetti in Florence, Italy.