This unpublished sheet is closely related to two drawings in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam: one depicting Colma discovering the bodies of Salgar and her brother, and the other representing Colma lamenting the death of Salgar and her brother.1 These drawings are executed in the same technique and have almost identical dimensions to the present lot. The inscriptions on the verso of both sheets in the Rijksmuseum (Pinelli fece. Roma 1809 ; Pinelli fece 1809) allow us to establish that the present work was, in all likelihood, also executed in Rome in 1809.
This large, powerful drawing is a characteristic example of Bartolomeo Pinelli’s early work, in which he strikes a unique balance between Classicism and Romanticism. In the calligraphic elegance with which the facial features and hairstyle of Minona are rendered, the drawing still bears evident signs of the Neoclassical style. At the same time Pinelli shows particular skill in exploiting the potential offered by the alteration of brown and grey ink, thus transmitting the melanchonic beauty of the landscape as described in the Poems of Ossian.
1. See G.J. van der Sman in B.W. Meijer (ed.), Italian drawings from the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, exhib. cat, Florence 1995, nos. 82 and 83
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