Hubert Robert (French, 1733-1808)
Hubert Robert (French, 1733-1808) - The Landing Place.
Gift of Richard T. Crane, 1900.
Art Institute of Chicago.
Hubert Robert (22 May 1733 – 15 April 1808), French artist, was born in Paris.
His father, Nicolas Robert, was in the service of François-Joseph de Choiseul, marquis de Stainville a leading diplomat from Lorraine.
Young Robert finished his studies with the Jesuits at the Collège de Navarre in 1751 and entered the atelier of the sculptor Michel-Ange Slodtz who taught him design and perspective but encouraged him to turn to painting.
He spent eleven years in Rome, a remarkable length of time; after the young artist's official residence at the French Academy in Rome ran out, he supported himself by works he produced for visiting connoisseurs.
Robert spent his time in the company of young artists in the circle of Piranesi, whose capricci of romantically overgrown ruins influenced him so greatly that he gained the nickname Robert des ruines. The albums of sketches and drawings he assembled in Rome supplied him with motifs that he worked into paintings throughout his career.
His success on his return to Paris in 1765 was rapid: the following year he was received by the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture, with a Roman capriccio, The Port of Rome, ornamented with different Monuments of Architecture, Ancient and Modern. Robert's first exhibition at the Salon of 1767 was greeted in print by Denis Diderot, "The ideas which the ruins awake in me are grand." He was successively appointed "Designer of the King's Gardens", Keeper of the King's Pictures" and "Keeper of the Museum and Councilor to the Academy".
During the Revolution, he was arrested in October 1793.
He survived his detentions at Sainte-Pélagie and Saint-Lazare, by painting vignettes of prison life on plates, before he was freed at the fall of Robespierre.
Robert narrowly escaped the guillotine when through error another prisoner died in his place.
Subsequently he was placed on the committee of five in charge of the new national museum at the Palais du Louvre.
The quantity of his work is immense; the Louvre alone contains nine paintings by his hand and specimens are frequently to be met with in provincial museums and private collections.
Here you find a link to the website of the museum:
See also my list of best and worst museums in the world:
And here you find my list of best and worst museums in Holland: