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A Ball by Johan Franz Hörmannsperger 1736

A Private Ball_Johan Franz Hormannsperger_1736

Johan Franz Hörmannsperger  ( 1710 – ? )

Detail: ballroom, food, drinks, dancing, musician, waiter, portraits, paintings, ladies dress, pitcher, clocked stockings, music, musical instruments, door, chair, hinges, fan, jewelry, bread, waiter’s apron

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. Everyone’s feet are drawn with a duck foot gait. I see that whoever designed the room, was very much into symmetry. There are two green chairs by the doorway, a portrait on each side, a sconce on each side of the painting over the musicians, paintings placed directly over the center of the doors. I also notice space around the musicians. I am wondering if instruments were loud in a room like that and if it was more comfortable to stand away from the group. I do find it interesting that the painting on the walls are hung in such a way that they jut out. I am wondering how they propped the paintings. Are there chains towards the tops? Or, did they cut wood wedges to act as mounts for the frames? From the looks of the paintings, I am guessing that whoever owns this room also owns the land that is in the paintings on the walls. I would also think with the sconces being mounted, there would be streaks of black over the candle burning areas. Speaking of lights, how did they get so much light into this space just by opening two doors? There must be other doors/windows. Personally, I would not hang fabrics over doors. I am sure it looks nice, but I don’t like spiders and I could imagine critters making home in fabrics draping doorways. I do also find it interesting that for a ball, there are not as many people as I would think. Movies portray balls to be packed rooms. This is a very small number of guests for a ball. Was this painting commissioned with a couple of close friends and family members in mind to show off the ballroom?

    1. If you put the eyelets for the picture hanging wire lower than normal on the back of the frame, the top will jut out. This was done to reduce the glare from the varnish applied over the paint, making it easier to view a painting that is hung up high.

      Rooms were draughty, which is why drapes were hung over the doors. I have friends in Britain who still do this; it’s remarkably effective.

      The sconces actually jut out of the wall to avoid the smoke streak problem; it was also safer and reduced the risk of fire. The backplates of such sconces also were typically polished regularly in order to reflect as much light as possible around the room.

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