Tag Archives: 19th century art

Curious folk artes…

Not quite Halloween but this fellow can seem a bit scary. It’s a traditional, 19th century pipe – said to be hand-carved by a shepherd in Abruzzo’s mountains – that I found in an antique shop in Paris of all places. The pipe is close to a metre long and designed so its bowl sits on the ground. Such an unusual and rare piece from Abruzzo, I decided I couldn’t leave him in Paris so he’s had quite a journey over the past 140 years or so from Italy to France then Australia – ironically the same course my Bisnonno Vitale took before he arrived in Melbourne in the 1920s.

“Verses carved on staves by shepherds, with an infinity of patient ornamental detail, are strongly reminiscent of old Etruscan myths and beliefs long since forgotten, but which have left behind them curious customs and rites, the traditions of which still cling to the newer generations who do not seem able to break away from them.”

Vincenzo Balzano from, ‘Peasant Art in Italy’ edited by Charles Holme (London: 1913).

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Filed under inspiration + history, italy

19th century Italy in regional Australia…

20151104_121733Recently, while in Victoria I visited the Bendigo Art Gallery and it was wonderful to see their collection of 19th century Australian art (inspiration for the next book!)

It seems Italy is never too far away however as I couldn’t help noticing this circa 1879 painting of women carrying their copper conche to collect water, such a common sight in Abruzzo especially.

Titled, ‘Peasant Water Carriers’, it was painted by Pietro Barucci {1845-1917} who was mainly known for his paintings of landscapes in the rural areas surrounding Rome.


Filed under art + photographs, inspiration + history