The appearance of jugglers and circus artistes is trumpeted forth from the arcades of the Doge's Palace in Venice in the true sense of the word. A masked man holds up a pig's trotter and balances an object with his other hand - is he a quack doctor? In front, a lady in a light blue dress coquettishly delights a gallant gentleman, but the stubbly chin suggests that the so-called gnaga mask is actually hiding a man's face. The masked scholar in the background also represents a type; perhaps he is part of a troupe of actors. In fact, the boundaries between actors and public have become blurred. Is the gentleman from the Orient part of the ensemble, or is he a foreign merchant? And what about the elegantly dressed gentleman and his companion, before whom a beggar woman is bowing? The scene is full of riddles: it is carnival time in Venice.