Sermon in the Square

Bartolomeo Pinelli

  • Sermon in the Square 2
  • Sermon in the Square 3
Basic information
Bartolomeo Pinelli
Sermon in the Square
Date of creation
etching watercolor
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
10.2 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
In 1815, Pinelli made the work titled La Predica in Piazza in the series Costumi di Roma for the album Nuova Raccolta di Cinquanta costumi pittoreschi incisi di acqua forte (New Collection of fifty picturesque costumes engraved in strong water) that was issued in 1816 by the publishing house Nicola de Antoni impresse, Ignazio Pavon Offre e Dedica in Rome (it was later reprinted in 1817). The engraving from the Lviv collection, in contrast to its first version, shows less architectural details, and a smaller crowd of people in front of the preacher. However, the Capuchin monk, who is preaching on the podium and holding the crucifix in his hand, is shown as a persuasive expressive speaker (unlike the previous engraving, where the preacher is depicted as a calm and old monk). Next to him, two Capuchin brothers with hoods on their heads are shown on their knees, holding lanterns with oil lamps. On the right there is an exalted audience fascinated by the sermon. The artist depicted people of different classes. In the foreground one can see a legless cripple. The simple and fast drawing is painted with contrasting watercolors; the artist actively used brown and light gray paints except for the figures on the right, which are painted in bright colors. Capuchin Monks or The Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (Ordo Fratrum Minorum Capucinorum) is a Catholic order that separated from the Franciscans in the 16th century. The Capuchins were characterized by charity and asceticism. Their clothing consisted of a brown soutane with a hood sewn to it, a rope with a knot on the belt (a symbol of the inviolability of vows), and sandals worn on their bare feet.
In the lower left corner there is the author's signature Pinelli made in italics and an illegible date 1816. In the center of the engraving under the image there is the title of the work La Predica in Piazza. In the upper right corner of the engraving above the plate there is a number "21".