Woman from Conca di Venafri in the Province of Terra di Lavoro in the Kingdom of Naples

Bartolomeo Pinelli

  • Woman from Conca di Venafri in the Province of Terra di Lavoro in the Kingdom of Naples 2
  • Woman from Conca di Venafri in the Province of Terra di Lavoro in the Kingdom of Naples 3
Basic information
Bartolomeo Pinelli
Woman from Conca di Venafri in the Province of Terra di Lavoro in the Kingdom of Naples
Date of creation
etching watercolor
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
10 x 16
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
The composition is known in a version of 1816, which was issued 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. The work was based on “The Woman from Venafro” painted in gouache by the Neapolitan artist Alessandro d’Anna in 1794. Alessandro d’Anna died in 1810, and his works became apparently available for Bartolomeo Pinelli. The artist used the composition of the work by the Neapolitan painter as a basis. However, he depicted the figure of a woman in national clothing and with a barrel on her head more dynamic and mobile. In the composition, one can see a steep slope with a tree in the foreground on the right. This element is often used in many other works by Pinelli. The crowns of the other two trees create a horizontal rhythm and, accordingly, complement the visual effect of the woman’s pace from right to left down from the mountain peak. The artist accentuated the figure of the woman with the help of bright green, blue, and yellow colors. Present-day Venafro is a municipality on the border of the provinces of Lazio, Molise, and Campania. In the early nineteenth century, the city was part of the province of Terra di Lavoro. It is located near the main ridge of the Apennines. Conca Casale is a comune in a high-mountain valley north of Venafro.
In the lower left corner there is the author's signature Pinelli f. [fecit]. In the center of the engraving under the image there is the title of the work Donna di Conca di Venafri, della Provincia di Terra di Lavoro nel Regno di Napoli. In the upper right corner above the image there is a number "9".