88
88
Bartolomeo Pinelli
A SCENE FROM THE STORY OF OSSIAN
Estimate
9,00012,000
JUMP TO LOT
88
Bartolomeo Pinelli
A SCENE FROM THE STORY OF OSSIAN
Estimate
9,00012,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master & British Works on Paper

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Bartolomeo Pinelli
ROME 1781 - 1835
A SCENE FROM THE STORY OF OSSIAN
Pen and black ink and brown and grey wash over traces of black chalk;
bears signature, lower right: C. Rochussen ft
345 by 463 mm
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Provenance

Sale, Amsterdam, Sotheby's, 5 November 2002, lot 182 (as Attributed to Charles Rochussen)

Catalogue Note

The subject of this drawing is taken from the Poems of Ossian, the collection of Gaelic poems that contributed significantly to the diffusion of the Romantic Movement throughout Europe. The scene, set in a woody landscape, is inspired by the first of the Songs of Selma and depicts the gathering of a group of bards who, according to an annual custom established by the ancient Caledonians, exhibited their poetical talents on Lora. Minona, a female bard of great beauty, is about to sing the song of the unfortunate Colma, while six seated men look on, listening attentively. It is precisely Minona’s “soft complaint” that much appealed to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who included the passage in his The Sorrows of Young Werther.

This unpublished sheet is closely related to two drawings in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam: one depicting Colma discovering the bodies of Salgar and her brother, and the other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

Old Master & British Works on Paper

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