Playing Bocce in Rome
Information about author
The first work titled Giuoco di boccia, in Roma was performed by Bartolomeo Pinelli for Raccolta di cinquanta costumi pittoreschi (Collection of fifty picturesque costumes engraved in strong water) published in 1809. Bocce players (bocce means balls, bowls) were represented there against the background of fragments of the ruins of ancient Rome. That composition was published later in Leipzig, in 1840 in the album Pittoreskes Italien. In a simplified version (without an architectural background and with fewer players) it is presented, in particular, in the Lviv collection. This version of Pinelli's engraving has been known since 1816. It was issued in the album Nuova Raccolta di Cinquanta costumi pittoreschi incisi di acqua forte that was published in Rome in 1817. This composition is from a series of Roman entertainments. In front of the brick wall, there are five young men enwrapped in the bowling game. One of them aimed a stone ball in the direction of another one, but failed to hit the target. The opponent in the center points at it, the others closely follow the game. Unlike the multi-figure first etching, this composition is light and dynamic. The engraving is painted with bright watercolor paints, with prevailing red, blue, and green colors. A game of bowls (boccia, bocce meaning to bowl) is a traditional Italian game, which is played with heavy balls and is known since ancient times. In the nineteenth century, it was extended by Italian emigrants in America and Australia.
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 Il Giuoco di boccia, in Roma. In the upper right corner of the engraving above the plate there is a number "12".