Piferari in Rome. From the "Costumes of the Kingdom of Naples" Series

Bartolomeo Pinelli

  • Piferari in Rome. From the "Costumes of the Kingdom of Naples" Series 2
  • Piferari in Rome. From the "Costumes of the Kingdom of Naples" Series 3
Basic information
Bartolomeo Pinelli
Piferari in Rome. From the "Costumes of the Kingdom of Naples" Series
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
There are two versions of this composition by B. Pinelli. They are dated back to 1809 and 1815. In the first version, which the artist performed for the album Raccolta di cinquanta costumi pittoreschi (Collection of fifty picturesque costumes engraved in strong water), to the left of the votive aedicula, in front of which the musicians are playing, there is a young woman with a child standing. In the second version, known from the album Nuova Raccolta di Cinquanta costumi pittoreschi, a young woman is kneeling in prayer in front of the shrine. The Lviv version replicates the second composition with less author's attention to the drawing but with an emphasis on bright local colors performed with watercolors. The pipers are dressed in bright clothes, with blue and red capes, on their feet there are ciocia sandals and shoes, on their heads there are Neapolitan bonnets. One of the musicians is holding a piffero, looking at the image in the aedicule, the other one is playing the bagpipe-zampogna. The young woman, who is praying, is in mourning, as evidenced by her black headscarf. Piferari (Pepiferari) are shepherds-musicians from the provinces of the Kingdom of Naples, mainly from Campania and Abruzzo, who came to Rome during the Christmas holidays and played music before the images of Virgin Mary. They played the piffero and the Italian bagpipe (zampogna). They were the integral characters of Roman folk life.
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 work’s title Li Piferari in Roma, Costumi del Regno di Napoli. There is a number "23" in the upper right corner above the plate.