The end of the ball signed 'R. Egusquiza' (lower left) oil on panel 105 x 70.5 cm (41 x 27 3/4 in.)
One of the most celebrated Spanish painters of the 19th Century, Rogelio de Egusquiza began working with the academic painter Leon Bonnat and enjoyed a highly successful career thereafter. He eventually moved to Italy where he became a central figure of the Spanish artistic colony intimately connected with the circle of Spanish artists that included Mariano Fortuny and the Madrazo brothers. He successfully collaborated with the Italian painter, Mariano Fortuny and his style became more colourful and precise as a result. In Italy he also met the composer Richard Wagner and developed a friendship that was to have an important influence on his more grandiloquent and tragic later works. The present work reveals the artist at the height of his skill, both compositionally and stylistically. Dressed in traditional 19th Century costume, the couple is depicted dancing a waltz, a popular dance at the end of the century. The artist combines the depiction of elegantly dressed woman with beautiful roses and the atmosphere of the Belle Epoque. From his view of the room, Egusquiza is able to focus not only on the entertainers in the foreground but also on what is happening behind the scene. As such, the spectators eye is drawn upwards to the back of the room and beyond to the activity behind the curtains.