Washerwomen from Tivoli

Bartolomeo Pinelli

  • Washerwomen from Tivoli 2
  • Washerwomen from Tivoli 3
Basic information
Bartolomeo Pinelli
Washerwomen from Tivoli
Date of creation
etching watercolor
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
10.5 x 16.5
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 work is from the Roman series. The first watercolor engraving with the same name but completely different in composition was issued in the album Costume popolare tratto dalla "Nuova Raccolta di cinquanta motivi pittoreschi e costumi di Roma" published in Rome in 1810. A composition similar to the so-called Lviv one was performed by Pinelli in 1815. It was published in the album Nuova Raccolta di cinquanta Costumi Pittoreschi incisi all 'acquaforte da Bartolomeo Pinelli Romano, Nicola de Antoni impresse, Ignazio Pavon Offre e Dedica, Roma 1816. In that composition, the scene was taking place against the background of fragments of ancient architecture. A similar image to the "Lviv'' version but not painted with watercolors was first issued in the album Nuova Raccolta di 50 costumi li più interessanti delle città, terre e paesi in provincie diverse del Regno di Napoli published by Giovanni Scudellari in Rome in 1817. The engraving Lavatrici di Tivoli was completely different from the "Lviv'' version and was published in the Pittoreskes Italien album of Karl Ludwig Frommel in Leipzig in 1840; it included 103 engravings. In the foreground, one can see three young women engaged in washing clothes in a stone reservoir placed under the trunk of a mighty tree on a hill. A well-dressed young man in a wide-brimmed black hat with a blue cloak slung over his shoulder approached the washerwomen. Two laundrywomen made eye contact with him, and the third one continued doing her job. The rich and bright range of colors of the women’s clothing, namely red, blue and yellow tones, highlight the female images. The background with a forest on a mountain slope is depicted in a dimmed blue and green range. Tivoli, an ancient Tibur, was conquered by the Romans in the 4th century BC. It is located northwest of Rome. In the Renaissance period, the city was built up due to the efforts of the popes. The old buildings were damaged during the Allies bombing in 1944.
Below in the centre there is the author’s signature Pinelli written in italics, and the date 1816. In the center of the engraving under the image there is the work’s title Lavatrici di Tivoli. There is a number "32" in the upper right corner above the plate.