Eugen von Blaas, 1843 – 1931, AUSTRIAN
FLIRTATION, c. 1894
Oil on canvas
41 1/2 by 52 in., 105.4 by 132.1 cm
Flirtation depicts three young women gathered around a vera da pozzo, the stone structure that protects the opening of a well. The carefully observed coat of arms represents the wealthy Venetian family who donated the well to the city, as was the case with many others dotted around numerous courtyards and public spaces. The women bring copper pots to gather drinking water and at the same time draw the attention of a flirtatious, barefoot suitor, who approaches with flower in hand. More on this painting
Eugen von Blaas was famed for depicting beautiful Italian women at work or in the company of admiring suitors. Anticipation shows a dark haired young woman leaning her elbow on a balustrade overlooking the Venetian lagoon. She dreamily gazes towards the water, where a gondola is just coming into view. The precise technique and bright palette of Blaas’ Venetian genre scenes were in tune with the Venetian tradition of painting. Famed for his depictions of everyday life in Venice, Blaas’ very commercial subjects and finely painted, vividly coloured canvases found a ready market among the wealthy travellers and tourists visiting the city. Above all he strove to capture the inherent beauty of the Italian women with vignettes of their conversations in the street or courting with lovers. More on Eugen von Blaas
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