Wide view of Venice: Piazza San Marco - Riva degli Schiavoni


... card games, the eternal seduction

We see here a Carnival scene taken from one of Carlo Goldoni's comedies: "Le Donne Gelose" (the Jealous Women).

Typical representation of a reunion in late 18th century at the Ridotto, everybody wearing a mask, most often the typical bauta, playing cards, somebody engaged in a conversation, and on goes the eternal game of seduction.

The origins of casinos and gambling houses in Venice seems to go back to the 13th century.

The casinos were usually small private apartments or “withdrawing rooms” where the Venetians met to have fun, especially at night.

Love affairs, political meetings, conversations, intrigues were happening there …, although these places were dedicated primarily to the great Venetian passion for gambling.

There is a Venetian proverb of the '700 that goes like this:

"Alla mattina una messeta,
al dopo disnar una basseta,
e alla sera una doneta"

"In the morning going to the Mass,
after dinner a game of Basset,
and at night an easy woman"

The adrenaline you could get from a win, the silent fight against your opponents and the idea of "winning" was the drug of those times.

If we can add the intellectual work for making your choices - that was not so much different from everyday merchant work - and the risk connected to them, here's the fun.

Who happened to get ingaged in this activity for a while, very well knows what I mean ... hard to resist.

Giovanni Maria de Pian: Illustration from Carlo Goldony play "Le donne Gelose"
Giovanni Maria de Pian: Illustration from book of the play
"Le Donne Gelose" (The Jealous Women)
by Carlo Goldoni - (1791) - Edizioni Zatta

Pietro Longhi: "Card players" - oil on canvas (18th century)
Pietro Longhi: "Card players" - oil on canvas (18th century)
The card games here are at home, with friends, supposedly,
just for the fun of it, maybe

Copyright by Roberto Delpiano 1997-2023 - visit my website www.delpiano.com