Eugen von Blaas was famed for his images of everyday life in Venice, particularly beautiful Italian women at work. Born near Rome into a family of Austrian origin, von Blaas spent most of his life in Italy, traveling throughout the country, before settling in Venice. He received his first lessons in art from his well-known father, Karl von Blaas, an instructor at the academies of Vienna and Venice. Von Blaas’ finely painted, vividly colored canvases catered a growing demand for coyishly sentimental contemporary genre scenes that found a ready market among the wealthy travelers and tourists visiting La Serenissima.
Here, a young beauty looks directly at the viewer, leaning slightly forward and holding a bright red fan in her left hand. The floral motif and vibrant color of the fan echoes the pattern of her corset and the rosiness of her cheeks. The immediacy of the model's youth and beauty is enhanced by the austere and humble character of her surroundings.