Jakob Philipp Hackert

The Stone Caves of the Capuchin Monks in Syracuse, Sicily

1777
In 1777, Jakob Philipp Hackert toured Sicily in the company of the collector Richard Payne Knight. Syracuse, near the island's northeast tip, was one of the last stops on their trip, and its distinctive stone caves, or latomie, were of great interest to them. These ancient quarries, burrowed by Greek colonists, have long since been reclaimed by nature. As Knight described them in his diary of the voyage: "These are immense quarries, sunk to a prodigious depth and excavated in some places to immeasurable vaults, supported by stone pillars which have been left in position. Various of these pillars having yielded, vast masses have collapsed and now afford, with their covering of bushes and vegetation, the wildest and loveliest sight imaginable."
Title
The Stone Caves of the Capuchin Monks in Syracuse, Sicily
Date
1777
Medium
Drawing
Materials
pen and brown ink with brown wash over graphite on laid paper, laid down on laid paper
Dimensions
39.6 x 52.8 cm
Nationality
German
Credit line
Purchased 1995
Accession number
37708