Acquajolo, a Seller of Drinks in the City of Naples
Information about author
This composition is from the Neapolitan series. The engraving is known in black and white version 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. In the foreground, one can see a tall young man, who is a seller of spring water (acquajolo), and a girl. He is pouring water for her from a metal jar to a glass, and she is standing next to him, holding a water tube with a lemon and looking at him as if appraising the young seller. Both characters are dressed in typical Neapolitan clothing. A young man is dressed in a white shirt, red vest, short (knee-length) blue pants, white stockings, and black shoes with overlays. On his head there is a black hat, decorated with a branch with leaves on top of it: and a yellow neckcloth tied in a knot on his neck. On the seller's belt there is a box (probably with a lemon or berries); in his hands there is a jar and glasses for water. The young girl is dressed in a white dress with a yellow apron, and a long skirt with a pink edging and floral patterns. On her head there is a headscarf tied in a knot on the back of her head; on her feet there are light red shoes. She is carrying a round parcel in her hand (maybe with some linen or clothes). The action is taking place in the city square, between the brick buildings of Naples, which are depicted in light ochre tones, as if saturated with the southern sun. Acquajolo was a street salesman or kiosk keeper in Naples who sold spring water from the mountains between Castellammare di Stabia and Salerno situated south of Naples. Lemon juice or berries were added to the spring water. The seller kept them cold in a metal jar. Acquajolo was a typical character in the streets of Naples in the 19th century.
In the lower right 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 Acquajolo, nella Città di Napoli. There is a number "35" in the upper right corner above the plate.