I am unfamiliar with German painter Wilhelm Schreuer, but his "Before the Ball" seemed an interesting addition to April's "Ball" series. I have to admit, this painting did not immediately appeal to me; the washed out use of green, as well as Schreuer's unusual rendering of his subjects' faces, which to me registered as masks, some indistinguishable from others, caught me off guard. However the more I return to this painting, the more those same qualities intrigue me. What is going on in this scene? I would assume they are preparing for wedding ceremony, after which the party will kick off.
My eye is led to the middle of the scene where a woman stands prominently in the foreground while looking outward at the viewer. Immediately to her right, a merry couple, perhaps a bride and groom, are seen a short distance away. I like that juxtaposition.
There are a few other interesting people to observe, particularly at the far right around which a small path is noted in the grass. The posture of the gentleman who has his back against the stone structure adds a sense of casuelness to this otherwise formal scene.