Expanding my “Ball” series beyond the cozy homes of our subjects, today I will share a Parisian street scene by Spanish painter Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta. There are a number of people throughout this scene, however the two figures in the doorway, silhouetted against the bright interior of the Valentino, stand out foremost. I would guess that these two are going to the masquerade mentioned in the title, especially since the woman appears to be wearing a mask. The best detail in this scene is that of the woman’s feet crossed, and I presume that she and her companion to waiting for their carriage to arrive.
I love how the light fixture over the Valentino sign illuminates the scene, creating shadows which cast toward our perspective. There’s so much darkness in this work, and it contributes a sense of mystery to this otherwise casual episode. This painting has a wonderful atmosphere which feels taken from first-hand observation.