Man and Women from Afragola in the Province of Terra di Lavoro in the Kingdom of Naples

Bartolomeo Pinelli

  • Man and Women from Afragola in the Province of Terra di Lavoro in the Kingdom of Naples 2
  • Man and Women from Afragola in the Province of Terra di Lavoro in the Kingdom of Naples 3
Basic information
Bartolomeo Pinelli
Man and Women from Afragola in the Province of Terra di Lavoro in the Kingdom of Naples
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 work is from the Neapolitan series. The composition is known from the album Raccolta di 50 costumi li più interesanti delle città, terre e paesi in provincie 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 in Rome in 1816. Before that, the engraving of the same name but in black and white and in a square frame was published in the album dated 1814. That composition by Pinelli replicated with some modifications the painted etching by the Roman artist Antonio Zaballi (1738–1785), which was performed after the painting by Alessandro d'Anni and published in Naples in 1792 – Raccolta di Varie vestiture che costumano nell Città Paesi in Provincie diverse del Regno di Napoli, edito a Napoli da Nicola Gervasi e Vincenzo Talani nel 1792. The "Lviv'' engraving is less detailed but it is more dynamic. A young woman approached a young man sitting on a stone. He is wearing a military uniform, namely a blue jacket, red pants, and white stockings. On his head there is a cocuzzolo cap; a hat worn over a cocuzzolo cap is lying on a stone nearby. The young man is leaning on the stick that he is holding in his left hand; with his other hand, he is trying to reach a woman, wanting to stop her. She is looking at him calmly, warming her hands in the muff. She is wearing a long dark blue skirt with a blue apron over it, and a red cap with gold ribbons. A chain with a cross is seen on her neck. The action is taking place on one of the hills. The low trees, mountain range and clouds in the sky serve as the background of the composition. Afragola is a city north of Naples, which was one of the most developed districts of the Campania region in the 18th and 19th centuries. At the beginning of the 19th century, it was the center of Camorra, the Neapolitan mafia.
In the lower left corner there is the author’s signature Pinelli written in italics, 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’ Afragola, Provincia di Terra di Lavoro nel Regno di Napoli. There is a number "33" in the upper right corner above the plate.