- Night in Bologna
- 50 3⁄4 x 35 in. (129.0 x 89.0 cm)
- Credit Line
- Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation
- Mediums Description
- egg tempera on fiberboard
- Architecture Exterior — detail — column
- Occupation — military — soldier
- Dress — uniform — military uniform
- Cityscape — Italy — Bologna
- Figure group
- Object Number
Night in Bologna is a provocative scene. A traveler with a suitcase seated at a café table observes a soldier in uniform, who looks toward a strolling woman. Each is bathed in a different color of light: the soldier in red for lust, the woman in yellow for greed, and the tourist in green for envy.
Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection, 2014
Night in Bologna is a dark comedy of sexual tensions played out on a stage of shadowy arcades. In the foreground, a soldier on leave throws off a visible heat that suffuses the air around him with a red glow. He casts an appraising look at a worldly woman nearby, who gauges the interest of a man seated at a café table. The gawky tourist is unaware of her attentions, and looks longingly at the man in uniform. Cadmus left the outcome unclear because he was more interested in the tangle of human instincts than in tidy resolutions. He once said that he would always rather paint "a novel" than "a short story."
Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006