Lot 310
  • 310

Jakob Philipp Hackert

100,000 - 150,000 USD
Log in to view results
bidding is closed


  • Jakob Philipp Hackert
  • Naples, a view of the Gulf of Pozzuoli
  • signed and dated, lower right: Filippo Hackert dipinse 1798.
  • oil on canvas
  • 64 x 96 cm


Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 10 December 1958, 164;
Anonymous sale, Munich, Adolph Weinmüller, 18-19 March 1959, lot 766;
With Otto-Galerie, Munich, 1995;
With Galerie Neuse, Bremen, 1997;
Private collection;
Anonymous sale, London, Bonham's, 6 July 2011, lot 121, where acquired.


C. Nordhoff and H. Reimer, Jakob Philipp Hackert 1737-1807: Verzeichnis seiner Werke, Berlin 1994, vol. II, p. 133, cat. no. 275.


The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. The canvas has a 20th century lining applied with glue as an adhesive. There is a strong and clearly visible pattern of cracking in the lighter colors of the sky, water and landscape beyond. Under ultraviolet light, the only retouches that can be seen have been applied in the sky to reduce the strongest of the cracking. These are in the center of the sky and across the top edge where the stretcher mark becomes more noticeable. The paint layer is completely un-abraded. The work should be hung as is.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

By the time the German-born artist Jakob Hackert arrived in Italy in 1768, he was already a successful and established landscape painter.  He studied initially with his father, the portrait and animal painter Philipp Hackert, and then at the Berlin Academy.  Much like the Grand Tourists who patronized him, Hackert travelled extensively throughout Europe, all the while further perfecting his craft.  After sojourns in Stockholm, Hamburg and Paris, he settled in Rome where he would remain until 1786 when he was invited by King Ferdinand IV of Naples to become court painter. After thirteen years in Naples, he was forced to leave following the temporary fall of the Bourbons, and he settled in San Pietro di Careggi, near Florence where he died in 1807.  Following his death, his memoirs were edited and published by Goethe, whom he had met in Naples in 1787.  In extolling the skills of the artist, Goethe concluded that Hackert had an “...unglablische Meisterschaft, die Natur abzuschreiben (an amazing ability to capture nature).”  Hackert’s attention to detail and his emphasis on rendering nature as realistically as possible made his works ideal souvenirs for foreign tourists to bring home from their Italian travels.

Hackert first arrived in Naples in 1770 and his poetic landscapes depicting the city and its surrounding hills and coastline held an enduring appeal among the European nobility.  Like Pietro Fabris (see lots 307-309), Hackert produced many works for the British diplomat Sir William Hamilton and counted Pope Pius VI  and the Russian Empress Catherine the Great among his patrons.  Catherine’s heir, the Grand Duke Paul Petrovich (later Emperor Paul I) commissioned a view of the Gulf of Pozzuoli from Hackert while travelling in Italy in 1785.  The Russian Duke was accompanied by his wife, Maria Feodorovna and, like many Royal tourists, the couple travelled incognito as the “Conte and Contessa del Nord” to elude attention.  The Duke’s canvas is painted from a viewpoint further west than the present composition, from Monte Nuovo and is now in the State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg (inv. no. 7310).1

In this crystalline landscape, Hackert depicts a view of the Bay of Pozzuoli from near the church of San Gennaro, to the east of the town of Pozzuoli, taking in the islands of Ischia, and Procida with Mount Vesuvius looming in the distance beyond.  In the middle ground, Pozzuoli extends outward to the bay, the outline of the cathedral visible on the town’s skyline.  Hackert painted two landscapes from a similar viewpoint, one dating to the same year, now in the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte, Rome (inv. no. 8533/945) and another painted in 1799, now in the National Trust collection at Attingham Park, Attingham (inv. no. 86).2

1.  C. Nordhoff and H. Reimer, under Literature, p. 84, cat. no. 188.
2.  Ibid., pp. 132-133, cat. no. 274 and p. 137, cat. no. 284, reproduced vol. I, p. 181, fig. 140.