Saint Francis’ Grotto on Monte Verna, Jakob Philipp Hackert
Jakob Philipp Hackert
Saint Francis’ Grotto on Monte Verna
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Jakob Philipp Hackert

Saint Francis’ Grotto on Monte Verna, 1801

125.1 x 96.5 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
Acquired in 1921 with means provided by the Jenny Eyssen bequest
Not on display


About the Work

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.

About the Acquisition

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.

Work Data

Basic Information

Saint Francis’ Grotto on Monte Verna
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Bezeichnet, signiert und datiert unten links über dem sitzenden Mönch: La Grotta di S. Francesco Alla Verna. Filippo Hackert dipinse 1801
Work Catalogues
  • Nordhoff/Reimer 1994, Nr. 296

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
Public Domain
Acquired in 1921 with means provided by the Jenny Eyssen bequest

Work Content

Motifs and References

Main Motif
Associated Persons and Institutions


  • 11Q651 crucifix ~ personal devotion
  • 11Q22 aids for prayer, e.g. rosary
  • 25H112 rocks
  • 25I1413 sloping street; street with steps or stairs
  • 25G3 trees
  • 61F(LA VERNA) names of historical buildings, sites, streets, etc. (LA VERNA)

Research and Discussion

Conservation and Restoration

Art-technology findings and/or documentation regarding conservation and restoration are available for this work. If interested, please contact .

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