Man and Woman from the Village of Vasto in the Province of Chieti in Lower Abruzzo

Bartolomeo Pinelli

  • Man and Woman from the Village of Vasto in the Province of Chieti in Lower Abruzzo 2
  • Man and Woman from the Village of Vasto in the Province of Chieti in Lower Abruzzo 3
Basic information
Bartolomeo Pinelli
Man and Woman from the Village of Vasto in the Province of Chieti in Lower Abruzzo
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
This composition was first introduced in the 1790s in an engraving by Alessandro d’Anna in the album Costumi d’Abruzzo. Pinelli's composition is known in the version of 1816, which was issued in the album Raccolta di 50 costumi li più interessanti delle città, terre e paesi in provincia 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 engraving was also published later. The Lviv engraving of 1828 replicated the composition from the album of 1816 with absolute accuracy, except for the clothing of the characters, which was painted differently. It is obvious that the artist took inspiration from the prototype performed between 1783 and 1797. In 1783, King Ferdinand IV of Naples sent in turn four local artists – Alessandro d'Anna, Saverio della Gatta, Antonio Berotti, and Stefano Santucci – to the mountains of his kingdom so that they could paint images of peasants in national festive clothing. Under the insistence of Domenico Venuti da Cortona, the director of the Capodimonte factory, those sketches had to be used for decorating the porcelain products of the factory. During the Napoleonic invasion and the French conquest of the Kingdom of Naples, those sketches were used by Bartolomeo Pinelli, who repeated them in his art studio in 1809 and 1816 in the albums Raccolta di 50 costumi and Nuova Raccolta di 50 costumi. In 1816, the Kingdom of Naples was reestablished under the name of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. But at that time it was not Neapolitans’ painted etchings but B. Pinelli’s ones that were used in decorative and applied arts. In Pinelli's work, there is a girl shown in the foreground. She is approaching a young man who is sitting on a large boulder, leaning on a stick. At his feet there is a standing dog. The young man is looking amiably at the dog, ignoring a girl who is dressed in rich national clothes, namely in a headscarf and a cape with openwork lace, a blue waistcoat with cuffs, and a burgundy skirt. She is wearing solid blue shoes on her feet. The young man is dressed in a blue camisole put over a red vest, with a scarf tied around his neck, and yellow pants; on his feet there are knee-high boots, and on his head there is a wide-brimmed hat. The characters are painted with bright watercolor paints, with prevailing yellow, blue, red, and pink colors. The action is taking place on a hill, where in the background the crowns of low trees and a fragment of the ancient city of Vasto mistakenly classified by the artist as a village (A. d’Anna also called Vasto a village) are depicted.
In the lower right corner there is the author’s signature in italics – Pinelli, date – 1816, and the place of performance – Roma (illegibly). In the center of the engraving under the image there is the work’s title Uomo, e Donna del Paese del Vasto, Provincia di Chieti, Abruzzo Citra. There is a number "19" in the upper right corner above the plate.