Cheese Seller in Naples

Bartolomeo Pinelli

  • Cheese Seller in Naples 2
  • Cheese Seller in Naples 3
Basic information
Bartolomeo Pinelli
Cheese Seller in Naples
Date of creation
etching watercolor
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
10.1 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
The first version of the engraving is not found. It is probable that the Lviv version dates back to 1816. This composition is from the Neapolitan series. In the foreground on the left there is a young man, a cheese seller, with weight-scales lifted up, on which he puts a cut piece of cheese. To his right, there is a young woman with a basket in her left hand; with her right she touches the weight-scales. Between these two characters, there is a figure of a boy sitting on his knees, with a large piece of cheese on a wide wicker tray. The characters are dressed in typical Neapolitan clothing, with the hats protecting them from the sun. The woman resembles a classical antiquity figure; the artist repeatedly drew on classical forms in his early creative work. The action takes place on the coast of the Bay of Naples with sailboats in the sea and hills in the distance. The characters are painted with bright watercolor paints, with prevailing red, blue, and yellow ocher colors.
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 Venditore di Cacio per la Citta di Napoli. In the upper right corner there is a number "11".