After studying in Berlin and then spending three years in Paris, Jakob Philipp Hackert arrived in Rome in the winter of 1768.  He immediately began to visit picture galleries and ancient ruins, and to explore the city’s outskirts, journeying for instance to the Colli Albani, the Monti Sabini and the hills around Tivoli.  His views soon become very popular, and by about 1780 Hackert had become the best-known and most sought-after landscape artist not only in Rome but anywhere in Europe.  He made the acquaintance of King Ferdinando IV of Naples, of the House of Bourbon, in 1782 and entered his service as first painter to the court in 1786.  He stayed in Naples, a figure of great honour and esteem, until 1799 when the revolutionary climate prompted him to seek refuge in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.  Settling in Florence, he rebuilt his life thanks to his increasing skill as a painter, and eventually bought a villa with two farms in Careggi on the outskirts of Florence, where he also devoted his time to farming.  He died in Florence on 28 April 1807 and was buried in the non-Catholic cemetery in Leghorn.