Purchased by Maggiotto’s heirs in Rome in 1921, the painting, signed and dated 1792, portrays the painter with Antonio Florian and Giuseppe Pedrini, his students at the eighteenth-century Accademia di Pittura e di Scultura di Venezia, the former from 1788 to 1791 and the latter from 1784 to 1792. Fedeli was a member of the Accademia from 1768 and was its president from 1790 to 1792.
The three characters are portrayed seated around a table and are holding towards the viewers a palette wih brushes, the head of a female statue, and an unfortunately unreadable sheet of paper. In the foreground on the table we are given a compass, a book, and several drawings. These are obvious references to the practice of different fine arts – painting, sculpture, and architecture – brought together in graphic design and theoretical study, which are a prelude to all artistic endeavour. The image presents the twofold nature of the artistic profession – the intellectual and the material. In this way, the painter wishes to celebrate the academic institution and proclaim his own social status, elevating it above a merely manual activity. Outstanding are the refined clothes Maggiotto portrays himself in and his proud pose, conscious of his own authority and dignity.