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  • View of the Temple Ruins at Agrigento in Sicily

    Artist:
    Hackert, Jakob Philipp. 1737
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    123x170 cm

Hackert, Jakob Philipp. 1737

View of the Temple Ruins at Agrigento in Sicily

Germany, 1778

Title:

View of the Temple Ruins at Agrigento in Sicily

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

123x170 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1933; handed over by the Antikvariat All-Union Association; originally in the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-7381

Comment:

Jakob Philipp Hackert formed as an artist in Germany, within the circle of the followers of Johann Joachim Winckelmann, the great expert on Classical Antiquity. After spending three years in France, the home of the Enlightenment, he arrived in Rome, and joined the milieu of artists fired by the ideas of Neo-Classicism. He then became court painter to King Ferdinand IV in Naples. In 1777 he visited Sicily. The rather dry, static composition of his View of the Temple Ruins at Agrigento is rationally constructed, with a clearly indicated succession of grounds. The broad spreading sky is covered with light white clouds. The sun pierces through them into all corners of the panoramic view that lies before us and extends into the distance but is confined on the left and right by coulisses of trees and mountain slopes. The influence of Claude Lorrain’s landscapes can be felt in the picture. The buildings in this case are the ruins of the ancient Temples of Concordia and Hera (or Juno) Lacinia that stand out clearly against the background of the sky. The staffage figures have been carefully painted in. Among the peasants depicted in the right foreground, the woman spinning yarn, the mother embracing her child and the dog lying alongside stand out and introduce an idyllic note that softens the mood of solemn grandeur in this Neo-Classical landscape. The companion piece to this picture, Temple Ruins at Segesta, is now in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow.

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