Hubert Robert Biography | Oil Paintings

5-22-1733 Paris, FRA - 4-15-1808 Paris, FRA

Robert, Hubert

Hubert Robert completed his studies with the Jesuits at the Collège de Navarre in 1751 when he was eighteen and then entered the workshop of the sculptor Michel-Ange Slodtz who taught him design and perspective, but not sculpture, as he encouraged him to turn to paint. In 1754 he left for Rome in the convoy of the French ambassador to Rome, Étienne-François de Choiseul. Hubert Robert spent eleven years in Rome until his residence at the French Academy in Rome ran out, then he supported himself by producing art for visiting dignitaries and art connoisseurs like the abbé de Saint-Non, who took Robert to visit the ruins of Pompeii in 1760.

The contrast between the ruins of ancient Rome and Pompeii and Herculaneum excited his keenest interest. Hubert Robert worked for a time in the studio of Pannini, whose influence can be seen in the Vue Imaginaire de la Galerie Du Louvre en Ruine (Imaginary view of the Gallery of the Louvre as a Ruin). 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 moniker Robert des ruines (Robert of the ruins).

Hubert Robert returned to France in 1765, and the following year he exhibited at the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in Paris, with a Roman capriccio blending fantasy and factual accuracy, View Of The Port Of Rippeta In Rome, ornamented with different monuments of architecture, ancient and modern, his success following this was fast.

Hubert Robert was arrested in 1793, during the French Revolution, served ten months in detention, and narrowly escaped the guillotine when through an error, another prisoner died in his place He survived his detention by painting vignettes of prison life on plates before he was freed. Robert was later placed on the committee in charge of the new national museum at the Palais du Louvre, where he lived for many years.

Hubert Robert deserves to be remembered not so much for his skill as a painter, but also for his daring character and many adventures. Hubert Robert's name is perpetually invoked in connection with Marie Antoinette's 'premier architect Richard Mique through several phases of the creation of an informal landscape garden at the Petit Trianon, and the setting of the petit Hameau du Reine in Versailles. Robert's contribution to garden design was not in making actual plans for the gardens, but in providing atmospheric inspiration for the proposed effect.

Art Movement: Romanticism.
Artists Influencing Hubert Robert: Michel-Ange Slodtz, Étienne-François de Choiseul.
He Traveled To Italy.
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.

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