Ruined Bridge with Figures Crossing
Hubert Robert, French, 1733 - 1808
Oil on canvasDimensions:
18 1/2 x 26 inches (47 x 66 cm)Curatorial Department:
* Gallery 290, European Art 1500-1850, second floorAccession Number:
Bequest of William B. Dietrich in loving memory of his brother, H. Richard Dietrich, Jr., 2010
In 1766, on his return to France after eleven years in Italy, Hubert Robert was made a full member of the French Academy and the following year caused a sensation at the Salon with thirteen paintings of ruins. Exhibited under the title: Un Pont, sous lequel on voit les Campagnes de Sabine, this painting was the subject of much commentary by the art critic Denis Diderot who was very taken by the grandeur of Robert’s Italian landscape.
Robert specialized in paintings of idealized landscapes and architectural fantasies and drew much of his imagery from the studies he made during his Italian sojourn. During his lifetime, Robert was recognized as one of France’s finest landscape and view painters, as well as an accomplished garden designer. A prolific artist who exhibited regularly at the Salon until 1798, Robert was imprisoned during the French Revolution but later held an official position as a curator of the Musee du Louvre where he helped to organize temporary exhibitions.
Ange-Laurent de La Live de Jully (1725-1779), Paris; sale, La Live de Jully, Paris, March 5, 1770, no. 120 ("un pont, sous lequel on voit les campagnes de Sabine à 40 lieues de Rome," with its pendant "Les Ruines du fameux portique du Temple de Balbec à Héliopolis"); purchased by Basan, Paris ; Basan collection. Sale, Christie's, London, December 4, 1886, no. 57. Galerie Cailleux, Paris, until c. 1950; sold to Henri Decourt, Paris [or Mme Henri Decourt?], c. 1950, until 1990 ; Decourt sale, Sotheby's Monaco, June 15, 1990, no. 276 (as "La Passerelle"). With Didier Aaron, Inc., New York, by 1990; sold to William B. Dietrich, Villanova, PA, through Leigh Keno of Keno, Inc., New York, as agent, February 19, 1991; bequest to PMA, 2010.
1. From annotated sale catalogue at the RKD.
2. Provenance per Sotheby's Monaco sale catalogue (June 15, 1990) and Didier Aaron, Inc. However, Mme Henri Decourt is listed as the lender to the 1957 Galerie Cailleux exhibition, "Hubert Robert". Bukdahl, Diderot, Critique d'Art, (Copenhagen, 1980), vol. 1, p. 279, n. 265, gives Henri Decourt as the owner.
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