Hubert Robert Biography, Artwork, Galleries Online | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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Biography

Occupation: Painter
Movement: Veduti, Capricci, Rococo
 
Hubert Robert's Famous Artworks
"A Hermit Praying in the Ruins of a Roman Temple," 1760
"Architectural Fantasy," 1760
"The Old Bridge," 1775
"Imaginary View of Rome with Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius, the Column of Trajan and a Temple," 1786
"Fantastic View of Tivoli," 1789
"Imaginary View of the Grand Galerie in the Louvre," 1789
"The Grand Galerie," 1795
"Imaginary View of the Grand Galerie in the Louvre in Ruins," 1796
"Projet d'aménagement de la Grande Galerie du Louvre," 1796
"Demolition of the Château of Meudon," 1806
 
Hubert Robert was a French artist. Extremely popular during his own lifetime, he was known for painting imaginary works of monumental ruins and was given the sobriquet “Robert des Ruines” (Robert of the Ruins).
 
Hubert Robert's Early Life
Hubert Robert was born to Nicolas Robert, a squire who served Francois-Joseph de Choisel, the Marquis de Stainville. Robert was admitted to the exclusive College de Navarre run by Jesuits that provided him with an excellent education, which would serve him well in the future. After completing his education in 1751, he worked as an apprentice to the sculptor Michel-Ange Slodtz. Slodtz taught him perspective and encouraged his inclination towards painting.
 
Hubert Robert's Career
Robert was only 21 when he was inducted into the entourage of Etienne-Francois de Choisel, the son of Francois-Joseph, the Marquis of Stainville. The two were childhood friends. In 1754, Robert went to Italy as part of Etienne-Joseph’s entourage, when the latter was appointed the French ambassador. Though he had no official position at all, he lived in Italy for the next 11 years. Here, he had the luck of attending all the lectures and classes that were held for the winners of the coveted Prix de Rome at the Académie de France in Rome. He supported himself by painting small works which he sold to visiting dignitaries. The Abbé de St-Non was one such person, and under his patronage, he visited Pompeii in 1760 in the company of Jean-Honoré Fragonard. He kept a sketchbook of his travels, and it was at this time that he began painting imaginary ruins made up from his drawings. He was greatly influenced by the etchings of Rome that Giovanni Battista Piranesi had just produced then. 
 
Hubert Robert's Return to Paris
Returning to Paris in 1765, Robert became an immediate success. His style was much admired, and he was made a member of the Royal Academy in 1766. He was invited to exhibit at the Salon the following year, and his ruins found favor with the critic Denis Diderot. He benefitted from a number of royal appointments in the next few years. His work had become fashionable, and he received regular commissions. He had settled on painting “Capricci,” essentially imaginary architectural and landscape fantasies. He applied his talents to all sorts of projects, ranging from large-scale works to small miniatures to garden design. 
 
Hubert Robert's Mature Years
The French Revolution broke out in 1789. Being a favorite of the royalty and aristocracy made Robert an enemy of the new state. He was imprisoned at Sainte-Pelagie and then at St-Lazare. He kept himself occupied by documenting daily life in the prison. Orders for his execution had been served, but he was incredibly lucky when an administrative error sent some other unfortunate to the guillotine instead of him.
 
Hubert Robert's Later Life and Legacy
Though some of his work was destroyed, Robert was lucky to escape with his life. He was even given back his old position at the Louvre, where he had been living for the last many years. He continued painting through this time and eventually died of a stroke at the age of 75 in Paris, France in April 1808.
 
Robert’s carefully delineated and detailed paintings of ruins elevated this aspect of neoclassical art, in the context of both patrons and critical acclaim, even though this genre was a limited cultural phenomenon by itself. His paintings are held with private collectors and museums. You can buy Hubert Robert's artworks online.
 
Hubert Robert's Major Exhibitions
2009  -  Portland Art Museum, Portland
2011  -  Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
2011  -  Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels 
2011  -  State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
2012  -  National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
2012  -  Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix
2013  -  Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento
2013  -  Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts
2013  -  Sperone Westwater, New York
2013  -  The Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia
2014  -  The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
2014  -  Tchoban Foundation, Museum for Architectural Drawing, Berlin
 
Hubert Robert's Museums/Collections
State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna
Musée du Louvre, Paris
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Gallerie di Palazzo Leoni Montanari, Vicenza
Museo Galuco Lombardi, Parma
National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco
J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa  
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena
Prado Museum, Madrid
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto 
Bowes Museum, County Durham
Brooklyn Museum, New York City
Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland
Courtauld Institute of Art, London
Fondation Bemberg Museum, Toulouse
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis
Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth
La Salle University Art Museum, Philadelphia
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, New York
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis
Musée Cognacq-Jay, Paris
Musée de Valence, Valence
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen, Rouen 
Musee Magnin, Dijon
National Gallery of Armenia, Yerevan
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia
Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey
Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels
St Louis Art Museum, Missouri
State Museums of Florence, Florence
Statens Museum for Kunst / National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen
Strossmayer Old Master Gallery, Zagreb
Teylers Museum, Haarlem
The Albertina, Vienna 
The Huntington Library, San Marino, California
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond
Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut
 
Books/Publications
"Hubert Robert: Painted Spaces of the Enlightenment" by Paula Rea Radisich
"Hubert Robert: The Pleasure of Ruins" by Pierre De Nolhac

 

ART PRICES

LOT SOLD (1988 - 2010)

2127

MAX PRICE

$5,512,200

AVG PRICE

$526,621

TOTAL SALES (1988 - 2010)

$17,378,508

 Women Washing At The Fountain Of The Villa Aldobrandini, Frascati by Hubert Robert

Hubert Robert

Women Washing At The Fountain Of The Villa Aldobra

Christie's, London

July 3, 2018

$42,718  USD

 La Promenade Solitaire by Hubert Robert

Hubert Robert

La Promenade Solitaire

Sotheby's, Paris

June 21, 2018

$231,615  USD

 Capriccio with a temple and ancient ruins by Hubert Robert

Hubert Robert

Capriccio with a temple and ancient ruins

Bruun Rasmussen Kunstauktioner, Bredgade

June 8, 2018

$3,961  USD

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