Chestnut Seller in Naples

Bartolomeo Pinelli

  • Chestnut Seller in Naples 2
  • Chestnut Seller in Naples 3
Basic information
Bartolomeo Pinelli
Chestnut Seller in Naples
Date of creation
etching watercolor
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
10 x 16.1
Information about author
Bartolomeo Pinelli
Artist's lifetime
Bartolomeo Pinelli (1781, Rome – 1835, ibid.) was an Italian painter, engraver, and sculptor. He was the son of the ceramist G. B. Pinelli. Bartolomeo Pinelli was born in ​​the Trastevere district (over the River Tiber). Street sketches of that western suburb of Rome repeatedly appeared in his graphic works later. He studied in Bologna, later on – at Accademia di San Luca (Academy of Saint Luke) in Rome. He attended the Academy of Felice Giani, an Italian painter of the Neoclassic style, from whom he inherited the drawing style. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Bartolomeo Pinelli took an interest in the engravings of the Renaissance, namely in the works by Marcantonio Raimondi, and started making etchings and lithographs out of his drawings. In 1809, Pinelli created his first series of watercolor etchings – Collection of 50 picturesque costumes (Raccola di cinquanta costumi pittoreschi). The album was reissued in 1814 and 1815. In 1816, a new version of the album under the title Nuova Raccolta di Cinquanta costumi pittoreschi incisi di acqua forte was released. Most of the Lviv engravings are from this series. The central theme of the artist's creative work is genre scenes (Costumi), which he saw in Rome, Naples, as well as the provinces of Abruzzo and Molise. Pinelli's engravings have not only artistic value but also carry important ethnographic information. In the 1820s and 1830s, the artist created drawings and engravings for poems by Torquato Tasso (1827–1829) and the novel “Don Quixote” (1834) by Miguel de Cervantes. One of Pinelli's famous series of drawings is Seven Hills of Rome (Sette colli di Roma) (1827–1830). The artist's works are housed in many Italian museums as well as in collections of other countries.
Object description
Presumably, the work dates back to 1816. It is included in the album Raccolta di 50 costumi li più interessanti delle città, terre e paesi in provincie diverse del Regno di Napoli (Collection of 50 most interesting picturesque costumes from cities, towns, and villages of different provinces of the Kingdom of Naples) published by Giovanni Scudellari in Rome in 1817. Bartolomeo Pinelli frequently repeated this composition in different versions. Very close to it is the engraving “Seller of Sorbet (Sherbet)”, later known as a lithography. In the foreground there are bright figures of the Neapolitans performed in the special author’s style. This is a young man filling a girl's handkerchief with roasted chestnuts. Nearby, one can see the girl’s mother with her hand outstretched to the seller. Obviously, she is giving a coin to the seller as a payment. The characters are shown in one of the squares of Naples between the religious buildings with Vesuvius in the background, whose top is seen in the distance. The characters' clothing is painted with bright colors, while the distant views – with dimmed ocher and blue ones.
In the lower right corner there is the author's signature Pinelli f. [ficit]. In the center of the engraving under the image there is the title of the work Penditore di Castagne dette Verole, in Napoli. In the upper right corner above the image there is a number "8".