Pinocchio's Booth in Rome

Bartolomeo Pinelli

  • Pinocchio's Booth in Rome 2
  • Pinocchio's Booth in Rome 3
Basic information
Bartolomeo Pinelli
Pinocchio's Booth in Rome
Date of creation
etching watercolor
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
10.3 x 16.3
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 first work titled Il Casotto dei Burattini in Roma was performed by Bartolomeo Pinelli for Raccolta di cinquanta costumi pittoreschi released in 1809. It was a multi-figure composition, where in front of a wide square there was a crowd of people standing before a booth of a puppet mini-theatre. Among the spectators there were noblemen, monks, women, children, and even one traveler on a donkey. In the background, the artist depicted tall buildings, over the roofs of which the dome of St. Peter's Cathedral could be seen on the right. The engraving by Pinelli made in a slightly different variant, without the dome of the cathedral, but with a large crowd of monks and noblemen in a smaller square, has been known since 1816. This engraving with a simpler composition, in which there are few architectural elements, and the audience is dominated by common people, was issued in the album Nuova Raccolta di Cinquanta costumi pittoreschi incisi di acqua forte published by Giovanni Scudellari in Rome in 1817. This work was probably made in 1816. The artist presents a street scene where in the middle of the square stands Pinocchio's booth, with a popular puppet character peeking out of it. There are mostly women and children near the booth. The engraving is painted with bright watercolor paints with prevailing red, blue, yellow, and green ones. In 1844, the album with 27 engravings by Bartolomeo Pinelli was released, which included selected scenes of carnival, games, actions, street scenes, as well as this engraving.
In the lower right 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 Il Casotto dei Burattini in Roma. In the upper right corner there is a number "10".