Jacob Philipp Hackert
THE CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA DEI MIRACOLI IN SCAFATI NEAR NOCERA INFERIORE
Oil on canvas (relined). 64 x 87 cm.
Philipp Hackert 1806.
With a label to the reverse at the top of the stretcher inscribed by a hand other than that of the artist: No (.) / Scaffata di Nocera da Pregano, Regno / di Napoli. Filippo Hackert. dipinse 1806.
The third work also presents a view from the Kingdom of Naples, this time the small town of Scafati, located near Nocera Inferiore between Naples and Salerno on the banks of the river Sarno. The viewer looks out over this river, spanned by a brigde built in the 18th century, behind which the 15th century church of S. Maria delle Vergini can be seen. A ruined, probably mediaeval, tower can be seen on the right edge of the painting, alluding to former fortifications, and an old oak frames the left edge of the painting. Neither the bridge nor the tower still exist.
A detail in this painting displays the artist's interest not only in the landscapes he walked in, but also the people inhabiting them: On the bank of the river, a family and a traveller are shown beside a press, presumably an olive press, and several barrels can be seen to the right - their lids weighed down with stones - presumably containing the olive oil being made. This interest in the lives of the rural population is typical of this artist. Thus, Hackert's painting is not merely to be viewed as a landscape, but also a document informing the observer of the conditions in a certain place at a certain time.
Claudia Nordhoff, Rom (11.9.2013).
South German private collection (since 1950s).