The New World in this painting is hidden in the booth – a magic lantern presenting the pictures of exotic spaces – bringing together the crowd of people from every social layer looking or waiting to look at it. A unique painting of the time in which the scene, the real interest of the crowd, is hidden from the viewer challenging classical representation.
Scarpa’s details often seem to negotiate space between existing structure or edges of walls, floors and constructional supports by leaving a carefully designed partial gaps (see my previous posts on Scarpa). This is partly due to the fluctuating water levels of Venice canals but also there is an introduction of temporal element in creation of spatial gaps. Undermining structural unity by introducing the gap he evokes time, an unexpected encounter with the structure. This particular water channel detail is quite unusual for Scarpa as not being along the edge but perpendicular to the space between two walls that bridges the gap between the walls from garden pool into outdoor Stampalia’s cafe.