Albano Costumes (Washerwomen)

Bartolomeo Pinelli

  • Albano Costumes (Washerwomen) 2
  • Albano Costumes (Washerwomen) 3
Basic information
Bartolomeo Pinelli
Albano Costumes (Washerwomen)
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
The engraving with such a name performed by B. Pinelli was first issued in the album dated 1809. It depicted three women and two children washing clothes in Lake Albano located not far from Rome. The composition similar to the so-called Lviv version but not painted with watercolors, which depicted three washerwomen, was performed by the artist in 1815 and issued in the album Nuova Raccolta di cinquanta Costumi Pittoreschi incisi all 'acquaforte da Bartolomeo Pinelli Romano, Nicola de Igna impresse Pavon Offre e Dedica published in Rome in 1816. The color version of the engraving with a not so detailed drawing compared to the "Lviv" version is known from the album Costume popolare, tratto dalla "Nuova raccolta di cinquanta costumi de' contorni di Roma compresi diversi fatti di brigandi disegnati ed incisi all'acqua forte", (Costume Popolare, taken from the "New collection of fifty costumes from the contours of Rome including several facts of brigands drawn and engraved in the aquifer fort"), which included 16 engravings. The album was published by Giovanni Scudellari in Rome in 1823. A slightly modified version of the engraving of Costumi di Albano performed by Karl Ludwig Frommel was published in the album Pittoreskes Italien in Leipzig in 1840; it included 103 engravings. In the foreground, one can see three women engaged in washing in the waters of Lake Albano, one of the cleanest mountain lakes in the Apennines. In the center there is a monumental figure of a woman looking like an ancient sculpture with a board with washed linen on her head. On her right, a woman is sitting under a tree close to a large copper jug. In the jug, there is linen brought for washing. A third woman on her knees is washing a bed sheet in the lake. The rich range of colors of the women’ clothing, namely red, blue and yellow tones, highlight the female images. The background with trees, mountains, and the sky is depicted in a dimmed blue and green range.
Below in the centre there is the author’s signature Pinelli f [fecit] written in italics, and the date 1816. In the center of the engraving under the image there is the work’s title Costumi di Albano There is a number "30" in the upper right corner above the plate.