Posted by John Bidwell
Monday, February 14, 2011 5:57:00 PM
Bartolomeo Pinelli (1781-1835). Album of thirty-seven Italian genre scenes assembled by or for Eugène de Bourbon-Busset, consisting of hand-colored etchings, mostly by Bartolomeo Pinelli, but also by Gaetano Cottafavi and Filippo Ferrari. [Rome: n.p., ca. 1809-1838]. Purchased as the gift of the Visiting Committee of the Department of Printed Books and Bindings in honor of Charles E. Pierce, Jr., and on the Gordon N. Ray Fund, 2008.
Brilliantly colored, lavishly bound, these prints may have been a souvenir of a trip to Italy, or they could have served as a conversation-piece in the library of Eugène de Bourbon-Busset (1799-1863), connoisseur of fine bindings and scion of a noble house with dynastic links to royalty. They include the later work of Pinelli, whose earliest collection of costume prints (1809) came to the Morgan in the Paul Mellon gift of 1979. Here are the genre scenes that made Pinelli’s reputation: street festivals, rustic dances, picturesque ruins, religious processions, peasants in their holiday finery, and bandits on the lookout for unwary tourists.