Museum Folkwang
Die Franziskushöhle
  • Philipp Hackert
  • Die Franziskushöhle, 1801

  • The Cave of St. Francis
  • Oil on canvas
  • 126 x 96,5 cm
  • Acquired in 1939 with the support of the City of Essen
  • Inv. G 69
  • CommentaryLike Carl Rottmann, Joseph Anton Koch, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, and many other Neoclassicists, Philipp Hackert also traveled to Italy around 1800 in search of inspiration and motifs. For them, Antiquity and the Renaissance were both the benchmark and basis for all harmonious, idealized depictions of nature. One popular destination was the place known as the »Cave of Saint Francis« in La Verna, a hill in the Tuscan Apennines where the monastery founded by Francis of Assisi stands. According to legend, Saint Francis frequently visited the cave to meditate, and it was there that he received his stigmata. Hackert was so thrilled by the many grottoes and caves that he mentions them repeatedly in his letters. The numerous studies he produced in preparation for this large-format painting of 1801 show him following very closely the topography of the locale. His depiction of the place is, however, certainly not neutral; on the contrary, it exaggerates certain features. The towering cliffs of weathered limestone and luxuriant flora sprouting from poor soil, for example, are rendered with painstaking attention to detail. Hackert translates the extraordinary beauty of nature gone wild and the almost theatrical play of light into an exciting, painterly palette. By including a pair of pilgrims emerging from the grotto into bright daylight and a dog leaping out in front of them, he also lends the »genius loci« something cheerful and poetically down-to-earth.
  • Obj_Id: 3,021
  • Obj_Internet_S: Highlight
  • Obj_Ownership_S (Verantw):Painting, Sculpture, Media Art
  • Obj_SpareNField01_N (Verantw): 187
  • Obj_Creditline_S: Gemäldesammlung
  • Obj_Title1_S: Die Franziskushöhle
  • Obj_Title2_S: The Cave of St. Francis
  • Obj_PartDescription_S (Titelerg):
  • Obj_SpareMField01_M (Alle Titel): Die Franziskushöhle The Cave of St. Francis Die Franziskushöhle
  • Obj_Dating_S: 1801
  • Jahr von: 1,801
  • Jahr bis: 1,801
  • Obj_IdentNr_S: G 69
  • Obj_IdentNrSort_S: G 0069
  • Obj_Classification_S (Objtyp): Painting
  • Obj_Crate_S: 126 x 96,5 cm
  • Obj_Material_S: Oil on canvas
  • Obj_Technique_S:
  • Obj_SpareSField01_S (Mat./Tech.): Oil on canvas
  • Obj_AccNote_S (Erwerb): Acquired in 1939 with the support of the City of Essen
  • Obj_PermanentLocation_S (Standort):
  • Obj_Condition1_S (Druckerei):
  • Obj_Condition2_S (Auflage):
  • Obj_Subtype_S (Genre):
  • Obj_Rights_S: © Museum Folkwang, Essen
Commentary
Artists

Like Carl Rottmann, Joseph Anton Koch, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, and many other Neoclassicists, Philipp Hackert also traveled to Italy around 1800 in search of inspiration and motifs. For them, Antiquity and the Renaissance were both the benchmark and basis for all harmonious, idealized depictions of nature. One popular destination was the place known as the »Cave of Saint Francis« in La Verna, a hill in the Tuscan Apennines where the monastery founded by Francis of Assisi stands. According to legend, Saint Francis frequently visited the cave to meditate, and it was there that he received his stigmata. Hackert was so thrilled by the many grottoes and caves that he mentions them repeatedly in his letters. The numerous studies he produced in preparation for this large-format painting of 1801 show him following very closely the topography of the locale. His depiction of the place is, however, certainly not neutral; on the contrary, it exaggerates certain features. The towering cliffs of weathered limestone and luxuriant flora sprouting from poor soil, for example, are rendered with painstaking attention to detail. Hackert translates the extraordinary beauty of nature gone wild and the almost theatrical play of light into an exciting, painterly palette. By including a pair of pilgrims emerging from the grotto into bright daylight and a dog leaping out in front of them, he also lends the »genius loci« something cheerful and poetically down-to-earth.