München 1869-1958 – Aufbruch zur Modernen Kunst, Munich 1958, p. 212, cat. no. 736.
Münchner Maler im 19. Jahrhundert, Munich, Bruckmann, 1983, ad v., p. 11, no. 8.
The young lady in the foreground is depicted seated and in the act of reading the booklet of an opera which is about to go on stage. Von Salzmann captures the consolidated iconography of the "reading woman" within the mundane setting of the theater hall. The bourgeois society attending the theater is a subject which became popular around the second half of the 19th century thanks to several French painters, and it was intimately linked to the development of opera.
Our piece, painted around the 1900 is particularly precious, as it testifies the pictorial talent of this important artist at the time when he had just completed his studies at the Academy and was confronting himself with the novelties of Symbolism, was meeting artists of the calibre of Kandinsky and was entering the theatrical scene.
A decade after the execution of our painting, the artist and illustrator von Salzmann began working as a light technician and scenographer in the theaters of Paris, Moscow and Tblisi. The theater will become for him the venue in which to materialize the idea of “total art piece”, experimenting revolutionary luminous and scenographic solutions. This painting belonged to the prestigious collection of German paintings of the 19th Century created by the industrial businessman Georg Schäfer (1896-1975), to whom is entitled a museum in Schweinfurt.
 A. Finocchi, Lettrici. Immagini della donna che legge nella pittura dell'Ottocento, Nuoro, 1992.