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.
Von Blaas' marriage into a wealthy Italian family would give him the exposure and means that would earn him the sobriquet 'painter of Venetian beauties.' This magical city of water and light had enchanted countless artists throughout the centuries, however Blaas' chosen subjects were not the floating city's architectural landmarks or sweeping vistas. Rather, he captured the day-to-day lives of Venice's citizens amid the ancient masonry of intimate courtyards and unassuming back streets. According to Thomas Wassibauer, Blaas often 'contrasted the decaying grandeur of old Venetian stone with...young people...his young people live their lives within the old walls of a still important city, and become links in an apparently endless chain of generations who carry the Venetian traditions and way of life' (Thomas Wassibauer, Eugen von Blaas, Das Werk, Hildesheim, 2005, p. 19).