Family of Ciociari on a Horse

Bartolomeo Pinelli

  • Family of Ciociari on a Horse 2
  • Family of Ciociari on a Horse 3
Basic information
Bartolomeo Pinelli
Family of Ciociari on a Horse
Date of creation
etching watercolor
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
10.4 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 coloured version of the engraving was performed in 1815; later in 1816, its black and white version was issued 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. The next version (almost unchanged and similar to the "Lviv" engraving) was issued in the album Nuova Raccolta di cinquanta costumi pittoreschi... (Collection of fifty picturesque costumes) published by Giovanni Scudellari in Rome in 1817. A pencil drawing painted with watercolors was performed by Pinelli in 1815 under the title Famiglia di ciociari in viaggio (Family of Ciociari on a Journey). Another slightly modified version depicts not only three riders but a dog at the horse's feet, and the ride itself is taking place in the forest (the date is unknown; it may be an early version of 1809). The "Lviv" engraving belongs to a simpler version of the composition dated 1815. In the center of the work, one can see three persons sitting on a light gray horse covered with a blue blanket, namely a young man holding a horse by the bridle, a boy depicted in front of the man and waving a tree branch, and a young woman from Ciociaria dressed in a bright national dress and leaning against her husband's back. The blue, yellow, and crimson colors of the characters' clothing highlight their figures. The action is taking place on a hill. In the foreground on the left, one can see a strong black tree on the hill. Right below, one can see a wide valley with trees and fragments of buildings depicted in blurred blue tones. Ciociari are citizens of the region of Ciociaria situated south of Rome. The region became widely known in the middle of the 20th century due to the novel "La Ciociara" / "Two women" by Alberto Moravia and the film of the same name by Vittorio De Sica.
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 Famiglia Ciociara a Cavallo. There is a number "38" in the upper right corner above the plate.