Little is known about Christian Friedrich Hecker's life. He was described as a Tiroler by one of his contemporaries, and in the national sensus is noted as 'Saxon'. He is first recorded in Rome in 1784, but is likely to have moved there slightly earlier. Hecker was part of a community of northern artists active in Rome, and counted Alexander Trippel and Angelica Kauffman, amongst others, as his friends. Hecker's work consisted largely of reproductions of classical sculpture, and was heavily influenced by Giovanni Pichler. He is further known to have carved a portrait of Goethe and of his mother, and also counted some British patrons amongst his clients, including Augustus, Duke of Sussex.