National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of The Ponte Salario Hubert Robert (artist)
French, 1733 - 1808
The Ponte Salario, c. 1775
oil on canvas
overall: 91.3 x 121 cm (35 15/16 x 47 5/8 in.) framed: 116.2 x 146.1 x 9.2 cm (45 3/4 x 57 1/2 x 3 5/8 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
Not on View
From the Tour: 18th-Century France — Boucher and Fragonard
Object 8 of 8

Hubert Robert was nicknamed "Robert of the ruins." His view of the sixth-century Ponte Salario in the countryside around Rome includes real as well as imaginary elements. He and Fragonard studied together in Rome, sketching often in the Italian countryside. Robert drew ruins; his friend, the tree-lined alleys of Renaissance gardens. On his return to France, Robert himself redesigned Louis XVI's gardens at Versailles and served on the commission that established the Louvre as a museum.

In the eighteenth century, Rome retained little of its former glory; garbage in some quarters reached to the windowsills. Yet the city continued to attract artists and wealthy young gentlemen who completed their education on the Grand Tour. In the 1770s landscape artists gained a new means of support—which had been difficult, given the low esteem accorded them by the Academy—by producing works that could be engraved for the lavishly illustrated travel books that were gaining popularity.

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Exhibition History

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