Man and Woman from the Village of Paganica in the Province of L'Aquila in Upper Abruzzo

Bartolomeo Pinelli

  • Man and Woman from the Village of Paganica in the Province of L'Aquila in Upper Abruzzo 2
  • Man and Woman from the Village of Paganica in the Province of L'Aquila in Upper Abruzzo 3
Basic information
Bartolomeo Pinelli
Man and Woman from the Village of Paganica in the Province of L'Aquila in Upper Abruzzo
Date of creation
etching watercolor
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
10.3 x 16.5
Information about author
Bartolomeo Pinelli
Artist's lifetime
Bartolomeo Pinelli (1781, Rome – 1835, ibid.) was an Italian painter, engraver, and sculptor. He was a son of the ceramist J. B. Pinelli. Bartolomeo Pinelli was born in ​​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 studio of Felice Giani, an Italian painter of the Neoclassic style, from whom he inherited the style of drawing. 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 Lviv's engravings are from this series. The main 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 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. An analogue of the "Lviv'' engraving is not found in Pinelli's available albums. However, we can confidently assume that it is included in the Neapolitan album dated 1816. The watercolor engraving by Alessandro d’Anna titled Costume del Paese di Paganica, Provincia dell’Aquila, Abruzzo Ultra served as a pre-image of Pinelli’s work; it was performed in the late 18th century. But in contrast to the work of the Neapolitan artist, which was saturated with many different colors, the engraving of the Roman master is more strict, more balanced in both color and composition. In the foreground, one can see young people, namely a man and a woman, each of them seeming to demonstrate their clothing. A woman is dressed in an elegant national costume of the Abruzzo region, but it isn’t not overloaded with colors. An important role is played by the geometric ornament on the dress, sleeves of the vest with cuffs, apron, and long skirt, under which red shoes with bows are seen. On her head there is a flattop headscarf; on her neck there are several strings of coral beads. The woman is holding a basket of bread covered with drapery, and looking to the right at a man, who, despite the more modest style of his clothes, is carrying himself with dignity. He is staying with a stick near a large boulder, while a young beauty is walking past it. The man is wearing a long blue camisole put over a red vest, short knee-length yellow trousers, white stockings, black shoes, and a black hat – the typical clothing of a gentleman in the Kingdom of Naples. The action is taking place in the background of green trees, behind which one of the peaks of the Apennines is seen in the distance. Paganica is a village (now a town) between the mountain ranges in the heart of the Apennines, near the provincial center of L'Aquila.
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 Uomo, e Donna del Paese di Paganica, Provincia dell’Aquila, Abruzzo Ultra. There is a number "43" in the upper right corner above the plate.