Hubert Robert (1733-1808) is celebrated with a landmark publication and two major monographic exhibitions of his work, at the Musée du Louvre, Paris, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.
Celebrated for the fundamental role he played in promoting the architectural capriccio, Hubert Robert (1733–1808) combined famous monuments of antiquity and modernity in unexpected ways to create strikingly new and imaginative city scenes and landscapes.
Dubbed “Robert des ruines” by the great critic and encyclopedist Denis Diderot, Robert was regarded during his era as one of France’s most prominent artists. His reputation has endured, but this outstanding book, published to accompany a major exhibition, co-organized by the National Gallery of Art and the Musée du Louvre, is the first to encompass his entire career and to survey his achievements as both a painter and a draftsman.
Presenting a discerning selection of his works, five scholarly essays, and a biographical chronology, this volume richly illuminates Robert’s outstanding accomplishments as an artist and his lasting contributions to French visual culture. Spending eleven years in Italy, three as apensionnaire at the Académie de France in Rome, Robert established close professional bonds with artists such as Piranesi, Panini, and Fragonard.
He simultaneously flourished under the patronage of several wealthy French supporters, including the marquis de Marigny, brother of the famed Mme de Pompadour. In France, Robert enjoyed success as a painter, draftsman, interior decorator, and garden architect, and was welcomed into the highest circles of Paris’s glittering society. He later addressed its demise both through ominous scenes of disaster and through representations of vandalized royalist monuments. Imprisoned himself during the French Revolution, he narrowly escaped the guillotine and upon his release completed a series of meditative variations on the Grande Galerie of the newly created Musée du Louvre, where he served as curator until his death in 1808.
Hubert Robert, edited by Margaret Morgan Grasselli with contributions from Yuriko Jackall, Guillaume Faroult and Catherine Voiriot will be published in May 2016.
Ahead of its publication, we’ve selected a few spreads and images from the book to share with you.
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The exhibition will open at the National Gallery of Art 26 June 2016