Offered by Galerie PhC
Hubert Robert's Workshop (1733-1808) - Scene in the gardens of the Palazzo Corsini
French school of the late eighteenth century
Canvas 74 cm by 61 cm
Old frame of 93 cm by 80 cm
This superb painting corresponds to the series of landscapes painted by Robert in the years 1770-1780 and in particular those of the gardens of Corsini Palace in Rome.
In one of the paintings of this series we recognize the same place but realized with a wider angle which makes it possible to see on the right a wall of enclosure on which is carved an escutcheon and the arms of the Corsini family. (painting today at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, USA.
It should be known that Hubert Robert when he set his easel to paint the landscape that offered him never painted him as it really was but reinterpreted it almost systematically. (Very often, by the way, he painted from places rather than in situ)
To the similarities of place (although the two tables are two different interpretations) we must add similarities in certain characters, especially this man who is advancing towards the group of women at the edge of the basin. In our painting he is at the top of the stairs while in the work of Fort Worth he is at the foot of the stairs.
Our painting is not a copy after an engraving because the two images would be in reverse but a reinterpretation of the original work, certainly made by the workshop of the Master. (to answer an order?)
It is of a very high quality that the photos have a hard time making. A beautiful frame comes to finish the set that can be described as superb without exaggerating.
Hubert Robert (1733-1808)
Artist who is certainly one of the main protagonists of the general renewal of landscape painting that marks in France the second half of the eighteenth century. Hubert Robert was trained during a long stay in Italy (1754-1765). The interest in Claude Lorrain's painting, which was already showing in Joseph Vernet's work
and encouraged by Natoire, (director of the French Academy in Rome), the influence of Pannini, then very fashionable and connected with the milieu of the Academy of France, could decide his vocation. His production, which combines the studies of nature and the landscapes of caprice, then offers many possibilities of confusion with that of Fragonard, of which Robert was the friend; the Cascatelles de Tivoli (Louvre) were thus returned to Fragonard after having long passed for a Hubert Robert.
Hubert Robert, his way once found, will evolve little: his paintings, views of landscapes, cities or isolated monuments, real or imaginary ruins, always keep an air of poetic fantasy, a vivacity of touch, a certain vaporous character of the atmosphere, even when they have a well-defined subject. Thus the series of small views preserved at the Carnavalet Museum, and which bear witness to some of the transformations of Paris in the last years of the reign of Louis XVI, are much more than documents; the painter's imagination does not restore us sites and events, for example the fire of the Opera at the Palais-Royal or the series of Parisian monuments "imagined in ruins" only after having turned them into a kind of magic kind and almost detached from reality, despite topographic accuracy. The four great views of monuments of Provence, royal commission of 1787, now preserved in the Louvre, are treated in the same spirit. It is easy to imagine by looking at them the relation that may have existed between Robert and Piranesi, for it is certain that they knew each other. But the fascination exerted by the grandeur of the ancient ruins brings one towards distressing representations, while the other remains in the register of a voluptuous reverie.
Happy in his life as in his work, Robert went through the years of the Revolution without further trouble than during the Terror, a few months of incarceration at Sainte-Pélagie. As in Fragonard or Guardi, we can see in him a harbinger of romanticism, a romanticism to the Musset in whom the graces of the eighteenth century keep a taste of nostalgic pleasure.