- The wealthy merchant Hans Puggaard spent some six months with his family in Rome. The Puggaards, who had an address on the Piazza Barberini close to Thorvaldsen’s studio and residence, were fond of being surrounded by the Danish artists who chanced to be in the city. Several Danish artists are known to have been present at this masked ball on 7 February 1836. Thorvaldsen himself can be seen with the host on the left of the picture, dressed in dark clothes and with a moustache that has either been fixed or painted on his face. At the centre there is a couple dancing a saltarello (a dance with a leap on the third beat), and on the right the painter Ditlev Blunck can be seen, full bearded and dressed in female clothing. A popular motif from Roman street life has here been transferred to a bourgeois setting. One suspects a fascination with the festivities, abandon and sensuality of the South, though everything here is kept within seemly limits.
- Width 276 mm
- Height 207 mm