Bartolomeo Pinelli

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Bartolomeo Pinelli
A Priestess Sacrificing to the Moon
Pen and brown ink and wash, with black ink, and black chalk on laid paper.
8 x 10 3/4 inches (204 x 273 mm)
The Joseph F. McCrindle Collection.

Watermark: Cursive monogram "TJ", centered between chain lines.
Inscribed at lower left in pen and black ink, "Pinelli Roma 1827"

Christopher Powney; from whom acquired by Joseph F. McCrindle, 2 March 1969 (McCrindle collection no. A0800).

Exploring Rome : Piranesi and his Contemporaries. Exh. cat., ed. C. D. Denison; Montreal, Cent. Com. Architect.; New York, Pierpont Morgan Lib; 1993-4.


The present sheet, by the eccentric artist Bartolomeo Pinelli, depicts a woman drawn in profile participating in an act of devotion. Pinelli's mode of drawing stresses emotion over the neoclassical interests popular in Rome during his lifetime. While Pinelli typically favored capturing scenes of quotidian life in Rome, Dr. Roberta J.M. Olson accepts the attribution to Pinelli (written correspondence 2008). As she has observed, "in [Pinelli's] own time he was equally well known for his illustrations of mythology, ancient history and literature" as he was for his scenes of everyday life (Olson, 2001). A Priestess Sacrificing to the Moon is stylistically similar to a drawing by Pinelli, The Death and Entombment of St. Monica, from a scrapbook now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA, The Elisha Wittelsey Collection, 49.19.1). The Morgan's drawing is signed at the lower left corner of the drawing along with the date 1827, which means that it was executed in the final years of Pinelli's career. (Roberta J.M. Olsen, "An Album of Drawings by Bartolomeo Pinelli," Master Drawings, vol. 39, no. 1 (Spring 2001): 12-44)

Associated names: 

Powney, Christopher, former owner.
McCrindle, Joseph F., former owner.

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