Francesco Guardi, The Ridotto in Venice with Masked Figures Conversing, before 1768
Oil on canvas, 77.5 x 107.5 cm
The scene takes place in the salone centrale of the ridotto in Palazzo Dandolo at San Moisè. The ridotti were public spaces, usually located close to theaters, where the wealthy upper classes would engage in gambling. Since most visitors wore masks, the ridotto soon became the obvious location for conspirational plots and illicit amorous encounters, fueling the imagination of artists and writers in the 18th century Venice: Francesco Guardi, Pietro Longhi and Giambattista Tiepolo all painted numerous scenes of the ridotti and the writings of Giacomo Casanova and Carlo Goldoni were appreciated and inspired by these surroundings.
Carlevarijs was an ItalianBaroque painter and engraver working mainly in Venice. He pioneered the genre of the cityscapes (vedute) of Venice, a genre that was later widely followed by artists such as Canaletto, Francesco Guardi and Antonio Visentini.