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The National Gallery of Art presents: Hubert Robert, 1733–1808

The National Gallery of Art presents Hubert Robert, 1733–1808, an exhibition organized with the Musée du Louvre in Paris that celebrates the prominent French painter and draftsman.

The work of Hubert Robert encapsulates a broad range of genres: poetic landscapes, imaginary urban views, archaeological studies, designs for gardens and palatial decorations. By combining famous monuments of antiquity and modernity in unexpected ways to create new and imaginative city scenes and landscapes, he played a fundamental role in promoting the architectural capriccio. He loved and depicted ruined structures of all types, whether real or imagined, and not just those of ancient Rome.

The Paris-born painter followed a remarkable artistic path that led him from Rome, Italy in the mid-18th century, where he spent more than 10 years and he fostered close professional bonds with artists such as Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Giovanni Paolo Panini and Jean-Honoré Fragonard, to the court of France. In Paris, he produced some of the most spectacular decors in the decade that preceded the French Revolution.

Hubert Robert later contributed to the vandalizing of royalist monuments and the destruction of the Bastille prison. Imprisoned himself, he completed a series of meditative depictions of the newly created Muséum Central des arts de la République, the future Musée du Louvre, where he served as curator until his death in 1808.

Hubert Robert, 1733–1808 is the first monographic exhibition in the United States on the artist as well as the first exhibition to survey his achievements as both a painter and a draftsman. With some 50 paintings and 50 drawings, the exhibition showcases the works of one of the 18th century’s greatest creators of poetic images.

The exhibition Hubert Robert (1733–1808), A Visionary Painter was presented at the Musée du Louvre, Paris, in May 2016.