A holy place of Franciscan piety. Legend has it that Francis of Assisi received the stigmata of Christ in this cave - his hermitage - in 1224, after fasting for forty days. Hackert, who lived in Italy from 1768 until his death, shows not only the wild and Romantic beauty of the location in the province of Arezzo with luxuriant nature and awe-inspiring rock formations, but also its religious significance. Lost in prayer, two Franciscan monks are shown kneeling before a simple wooden cross in this important place of pilgrimage. Set against the massively soaring unhewn stone expanses, the figures look small and lost.
When Frankfurt resident Jenny Eyssen died in 1920, the majority of her assets passed to the foundation named after her. Purchases for the Goethe Museum were the central purpose of this charity, which was bound to the Freie Deutsche Hochstift. Jenny Eyssen had left a portrait of Henry Luyten to the Städel, which was sold in 1921 with prior approval of the executor. The proceeds were put towards the acquisition of this painting by Hackert.
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