Dec 20, 2013

The Waterfall of Marmore at Terni

The Waterfall of Marmore at Terni


Philipp Hackert

(German, 1737–1807)

Pen and black ink, brush and brown wash, with white gouache and graphite

Support: Cream(3) laid paper

Sheet: 52.2 x 39.9 cm (20 9/16 x 15 11/16 in.)

Dudley P. Allen Fund 1982.40


Did you know?

This work recalls the words written by the artist's close friend, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who declared that an artist should "give his work of art a content and a form through which it appears both natural and beyond Nature."


Influenced by the landscapes of Claude Lorrain and seventeenth-century Dutch artists, the German Jakob Philipp Hackert was one of the most successful landscape artists based in late 18th-century Rome. His precise renderings of beautiful and historic sites attracted an international clientele on the European grand tour. This finished drawing depicts one of Italy's most spectacular natural phenomena, the Marmore waterfall at Terni, located north of Rome. Hackert carefully crafted the composition so that the detailed cliffs covered with foliage frame the tiered cascade from its soaring heights to its final emptying in the foreground. Hackert was known for traveling to the countryside on foot with large portfolios so that he could execute complete wash drawings like this one directly in nature. He probably drew this scene during one such sketching tour in 1776, or 1778.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.