Tivoli Costumes (Mother with a Baby on a Donkey and Shepherd Traveler)

Bartolomeo Pinelli

  • Tivoli Costumes (Mother with a Baby on a Donkey and Shepherd Traveler) 2
  • Tivoli Costumes (Mother with a Baby on a Donkey and Shepherd Traveler) 3
Basic information
Bartolomeo Pinelli
Tivoli Costumes (Mother with a Baby on a Donkey and Shepherd Traveler)
Date of creation
1816 (?)
etching watercolor
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
10.2 x 16.4
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 Roman series. The first version of the composition is known from the album Costumi di Tivoli published in 1815 and reissued in 1816 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, Roma 1816. In 1818, Pinelli replicated this version in watercolor. A version similar to the "Lviv" one was released in black and white in the album Nuova Raccolta di Cinquanta costumi pittoreschi… (Collection of fifty picturesque costumes) published by Giovanni Scudellari in Rome in 1817. The second version of the composition was no different from the first one, except for a donkey depicted instead of a horse. Besides, the image itself was not as skillfully painted as in the first version. In the foreground, one can see a young woman with a baby pressed to her chest; they are moving on a donkey along a mountain path. She met a young shepherd, who is starting a conversation, but the woman is looking indifferently right through the traveler. She is dressed in clothes typical for southern Italy, particularly in a blue jacket with epaulettes, a long pink skirt, with a white headscarf on her head. A young man is wearing a blue jacket dressed over a red vest, with a sleeveless coat thrown on top of it, yellow trousers, white stockings, and black shoes. On the shepherd's head there is a black hat; on his shoulder, he is holding a long trumpet, an analogue of the Hutsul trembita. To the left of the characters there is a hill; to the right of them there is a fragment of a tree, behind which in the background one can see a blue valley where the city is located (a fragment of one of the buildings is visible). The clothes of the characters are painted with bright watercolors, namely red, blue, yellow, and pink tones. The background is depicted in green, ocher, and blue colors.
In the lower right corner there is the author’s signature Pinelli f [fecit], date – 1816, and the place of performance – Roma. In the center of the engraving under the image there is the work’s title Costume di Tivoli (on other engravings – Costumi). There is a number "36" in the upper right corner above the plate.