Oct 4, 2011

The Aqueducts at Caserta

The Aqueducts at Caserta


Carl Ludwig Hackert

(German, 1751–1798)

Gouache with graphite underdrawing

Support: Laid paper on board

Sheet: 42.3 x 64.1 cm (16 5/8 x 25 1/4 in.)

Norman O. Stone and Ella A. Stone Memorial Fund, acquired in honor of Alfred M. Rankin, Jr. in recognition of his service as President of the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Museum of Art (2006-2011) 2011.116



Such highly finished drawings by Hackert, younger brother of Jakob Philipp Hackert (who painted Waterfall of Marmore at Terni), are extremely rare. The Hackert brothers were among the first Romantic artists to adopt the practice of drawing and painting en plein air in Rome. Italians were amazed when they saw the artists roaming the countryside with large portfolios, executing finished outline drawings entirely from nature. This drawing accurately represents an aqueduct built in the middle of the 18th century in southern Italy. The degree of finish, meticulous detail of the vegetation and rocks in the foreground, recession of space, and subtle treatment of light are astonishing.

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