Sailors on the Pier of the Port of Naples Listening to "The Story of Rinaldo"

Bartolomeo Pinelli

  • Sailors on the Pier of the Port of Naples Listening to "The Story of Rinaldo" 2
  • Sailors on the Pier of the Port of Naples Listening to "The Story of Rinaldo" 3
Basic information
Bartolomeo Pinelli
Sailors on the Pier of the Port of Naples Listening to "The Story of Rinaldo"
Date of creation
etching watercolor
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
10 x 16
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 Neapolitan series. The multi-figure composition entitled Marinari sul Molo di Napoli is known from Pinelli's engravings dated 1809 and 1815. But in both previous versions, the musician was a citizen of Naples, singing and playing the lute for sailors. In the "Lviv" version one of the sailors is depicted in the image of a singer and musician. It is a foreground composition, which shows four Neapolitan sailors. One of them, depicted on the left, is sitting on the podium and plucking the lute strings; he is singing a long cantastoria about the knight Rinaldo. An experienced sailor with a pipe is sitting to the right; he is listening carefully to the song story. Between them two young sailors are standing embracing; they are perceiving with their souls the words of the romance, which was popular in Naples at that time. All the characters are dressed as Parisian sans-culottes, in particular they wear long baggy pants, white shirts, and light vests; there are Phrygian caps on their heads; they are barefoot. The sailors' clothes are bright, with dominant blue, red, and yellow colores. The action is taking place in the background of Vesuvius depicted in blurred light blue tones. Rinaldo is the most popular Italian character from the ballad "Orlando in Love" (Orlando Innamorato). It was written by the Renaissance author M. M. Boiardo.
In the lower right corner there is the author’s signature Pinelli written in italics. In the center of the engraving under the image there is the work’s title Marinari sul Molo di Napoli, ascoltando l’Istoria di Rinaldo. There is a number "47" in the upper right corner above the plate.