Micheletti – Costumes of the Kingdom of Naples
Information about author
The composition is from the Neapolitan series. The image of Micheletto, a Neapolitan warrior since the reign of the proteges of Joseph-Napoléon Bonaparte and later of Joachim Murat (1806–1815), was first depicted by B. Pinelli in watercolor in 1807. The composition, in which a young Neapolitan woman is pointing the way to two soldiers, B. Pinelli presented in 1809, publishing it as a black and white engraving in the album Raccolta di cinquanta costumi pittoreschi. The second version, that is almost identical to the "Lviv" one, is known from the album Costumi dei Regno di Napoli dated 1815, as well as from Nuova Raccolta di 50 costumi pittoreschi dated 1816. The "Lviv" version is completely replicated as a black and white engraving in the album dated 1817. The composition is depicting the moment of a meeting of a young mountain girl with two soldiers that are standing near the path between powerful boulders and trees; apparently they are guarding the path. They are standing and leaning on the fusees; they are wearing a military uniform with ammunition and pistols on their belts. On the head of one of them there is a top hat; the other one is wearing a bicorne with a red pompom but without a tricolor cockade. They are wearing high boots on their feet. The girl is looking bravely and openly at the military men. She is dressed in traditional but modest clothes, namely in a light shirt with a yellow and blue apron, and a crimson skirt. On her feet there are traditional ciocie. In her left hand, she is holding a basket covered with greenery. She is probably going to church to consecrate the Easter cake. The clothes of the figures are performed in bright saturated colors, in particular in red, blue, and yellow paints. Trees and boulders are depicted in dark brown and green colors. The distant background with mountain range and greenery of trees is performed in blurred blue and green tones. Micheletto is a popular name for a soldier of the Neapolitan army in the Kingdom of Naples, which was a French satellite between 1806 and 1815. After the return to power of the Bourbon dynasty in 1816, the name and form of the soldiers, apparently, did not change.
In the lower left corner, on the stone depicted in the composition, there is the author’s signature Pinelli and date – 1816; below to the right of the centre there is one more author’s signature Pinelli f. [fecit]. In the center of the engraving under the image there is the work’s title Micheletti – Costumi del Regno di Napoli. There is a number "46" in the upper right corner above the plate.