Seller of Zeppola Pastries in Naples
Information about author
The first version of the engraving is unknown. The “Lviv” version might be dated 1816. The work is from the Neapolitan series. Like in many other compositions that are depicting the sellers of Naples, the scene is taking place in the same square next to the temple. It might be the Basilica di Santa Maria della Sanità located north of the city center in the Sanita neighborhoods. From that perspective, one can clearly see Vesuvius; it is seen in the distance on the right. In the center of the composition, in the foreground, one can see a young salesman who is talking to a boy, raising his hand with a horn and pointing to a table with a large bag of pastries. The girl, a sales assistant, is forming the pastries into a zeppola cookie. The artist highlights the light and ordinary clothes of the Neapolitan common people with bright watercolor, namely the red vests of a young salesman and a boy, their blue and yellow knee-length trousers, and a girl’s pink long skirt with a blue apron. The young seller, like the young boy, is standing barefoot on the sun-baked stone terrace; on his head there is a black hat decorated with a flower. The girl's hair is tied with a white headscarf; there are sandals on her feet. Buildings and the sky with Vesuvius serve as the background of the composition; they are depicted in blurred ocher and pink, and light blue tones. Rione Sanità, literally Health Neighborhood, is a densely populated neighborhood in the Stella district north of Naples’ downtown. Now they are full of small street markets where food and clothing are sold; there are also ice cream shops and simple trattorias. Zeppola is a traditional Neapolitan pastry; round pancakes are topped with cream or honey.
In the lower left corner there is the author’s signature Pinelli f. [fecit]. In the center of the engraving under the image there is the work’s title Venditore di Paste, dette Zeppole, in Napoli. There is a number "39" in the upper right corner above the plate.